Page 478 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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460      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


               “I forgive you. Will you forgive me?” If hatchets need burying, let’s do
               it. If there is no hatchet, then let’s put our heads together.
                   My proposal to you is as professional as personal. Drummer has
               asked me to write a continuing column on the history of international
               leather called “Rear-View Mirror.” [See  Drummer  125, February
               1989, page 82, for the DeBlase announcement of Fritscher anchor-
               ing “Rear-View Mirror.”] I mentioned to Tony, who had also thought
               of you and heartily agreed, that the time had come to document the
               history of your conception and invention of Drummer. (The LA stuff,
               Jeanne Barney et al., Ed Davis, your exodus to SF, etc.). However,
               we’d like to consider a broader interview that is you telling your story
               for journalistic and gay popular history from even before Drummer;
               then including Drummer; finally progressing to your new and current
               projects and publications.
                   If this very professional approach pleases you, we can do the
               interview in person, on videotape, so that your story and your image
               can exist for gay archives present and future; or we can do it over
               the telephone as we chat and record your history.
                   In the issue of Drummer due out around September 20, I have
               an article on Robert Mapplethorpe. I recently was on the interviewee
               end of a five-hour recorded phone call from Manhattan, as Robert
               had given a list of friends to the journalist Patricia Morrisroe (who
               has a major Random House book contract and has interviewed RM’s
               family). It turns out Ms. Morrisroe said that I am the only one on that
               particular list from the ’70s who has survived....Because the A-word
               has so decimated our ranks, and because you and Al Shapiro and
               I happened more than one gay generation ago, it’s important that
               you tell your story before others start telling it. As I recall, we had a
               basic human respect for each other, more than a little professional
               respect, and some creative fun. (I’ll never forget your always trying
               to put dialog balloons on photo spreads and me always trying to pull
               them off, and both of us getting our way alternating issues.)
                   Besides, to tidy things up, it would be nice to collaborate once
               again. When you arrived in SF, you had a new mag that needed a
               voice; I had a voice and needed a mag. Ours is almost a boy-meets-
               boy comedy. You didn’t give me my start in publishing, but you cer-
               tainly gave me a free-handed and free-spirited opening that with
               you and Al Shapiro (who truly became my intimate friend who drew
               his last drawing for me) turned Drummer into a gay popular culture
               publishing phenomenon. I like to remember those days in the best
               of lights, because when they were good, they were very good, and
               because these days, almost ten years into the plague, with so much
               death all around us, anyone a person knew “then” has become valu-
               able not only as a link to our personal and gay-group past, but as a


              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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