Page 483 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 483

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 18                       465


                    Embry lost synergy. A Chris Duffy color cover would have
                bumped up sales of his magazine as well as my video, Sunset Bull,
                being  sold  by  his  own  mail-order  company,  Alternate  and  Wings
                Distributing.



                Distance, rather than dinner and dancing, defined Embry and me.
             Through his attitude-free employees, my pals, Rick Leathers and Frank
             Hatfield, he made a couple more overtures about writing and video. Frank
             Hatfield aka the Drummer author, Frank O’Rourke, was also his own mail-
             order company as Hatfield House producing and selling S&M audiotapes,
             and as XYZ Enterprises selling video from a Guerneville P. O. Box at the
             Russian River.
                Frank Hatfield told me that he had worked internationally as a diplo-
             mat-spy. It was as if he wanted me to take him for a double-agent reporting
             to both Embry and me. He colorfully claimed he was a convicted gay bank
             robber, “an international bank robber,” whom I interviewed on tape. He
             told me he was connected to the Mafia and had celebrated New Year’s Eve
             with Meyer Lansky in Havana the night before Castro took over Cuba on
             January 1, 1959. One-upping every prison fantasy in San Francisco, he had
             done time, he said, at San Quentin before becoming advertising director,
             beginning in Drummer 54 (June 1982).
                When Embry sold Drummer, Hatfield moved north of the Golden Gate
             Bridge with him. On the split-personalities masthead of Manifest Reader,
             featuring John H. Embry as publisher and Robert Payne as editor, Hatfield
             was listed as “Associate Editor Frank O’Rourke” and as “Frank Hatfield,
             Distribution.” He was also manager of Embry’s Wings Distributing and
             Alternate mail order, running the book-and-video business out of Canyon
             One Road under the redwoods in Rio Nido, one village east of Guerneville,
             where he lived in a house owned by Embry who was his landlord. Alternate
             Publishing had a P. O. Box one village to the south in Forestville. Their
             mass-mailer of brochures and magazines was located one more village to the
             south in Sebastopol. The “Buffalo Enterprises” bulk-mailing service Embry
             chose happened to be the mailer, and a friend, I had used since 1985 for my
             Palm Drive Video brochures. I hoped this zero degrees of separation was not
             a cosmic force field dooming us to be locked together as old souls forever.
                Frank Hatfield facilitated Wings’ distribution of the features I was
             directing for my Palm Drive Video. He sold hundreds of my videocassettes
             for Embry. Soon enough, payments due fell in arrears exactly as had the
             payment of salaries and fees due at Drummer. In no causal order, Hatfield


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