Page 475 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 475

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 18                       457

                My “Tough Customers” had import as the first self-fashioning identity
             column of leather masculinity filled by the readers. With the dawn of video
             on the horizon, I had planned to develop my “Tough Customers” concept
             into a line of Drummer videos. Considering the media mentoring I did
             aiding the startup of the video businesses of Old Reliable (1981), of Chip
             Weichelt’s Academy Training Center (1989), and of Beardog Hoffman’s
             Brush Creek Media (1995), I could have made Embry a million dollars in
             video that would have supported Drummer forever. Instead, I started my
             own company, Palm Drive Video in 1982.
                “Tough Customers” as a high-concept was also “borrowed” for the tag
             line inside an ad for the wannabe Drummer leather bar in Houston called
             “The Drum” (Drummer 65, page 78).
                Embry was still spewing in 1995, zinging in little digs in his Manifest
             Reader 26, page 54, in which he, Saint Embry, protesting too much how
             very conscious he was of writing true history in Drummer, misspelled my
             last name. I mention that only because it was a small thing indicative of his
             larger dismissiveness, and an index of his pettiness. Fritscher is no harder an
             ethnic name to spell than John Embry or Mark Hemry or Sam Steward or
             Jim Stewart or Robert Mapplethorpe or Robert Opel if one is paying atten-
             tion. He could have practiced writing my name on those checks he never
             paid me. This über-publisher’s accidental-on-purpose blunder was a mon-
             key-wrench tossed to deflect research accuracy regarding the “true history”
             he claimed to value. It was as if he knew Google was coming. To a debutante
             of Embry’s generation raised on the manners of Emily Post, misspelling a
             name is a major social faux pas because one always spells given and surnames
             exactly as spelled by the person named.
                Pronunciation follows similarly. For instance, it insults the memory
             of Robert Mapplethorpe when someone chats me up about “Mmm-Apple-
             thorpe,” and I, without any particular inflection of accusation, reply with
             Robert’s own pronunciation, “May-pole-thorpe,” and the questioner contin-
             ues to say “Mmm-Apple-thorpe.”
                In that same Manifest Reader 26 in which Embry claimed he was feeling
             like gay avatar “Scarlett O’Hara,” (page 49), his politically correct feminist
             reviewer John F. Karr took a swipe at my “Drummer novel,” Some Dance to
             Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982. In the course of
             damning Felice Picano’s Like People in History (page 92), Karr griped that
             the publishers of both books and some reviewers, had touted each as “the
             gay Gone with the Wind.” In fact, before Karr reviewed my novel, David
             Perry in The Advocate called Some Dance the “gay Gone with the Wind.”
             Karr slammed his review shut with: “I only finished the book [Like People]

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
   470   471   472   473   474   475   476   477   478   479   480