Page 492 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 492

474      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

               Drummer is a duo-purpose magazine. As we slowly evolve, we want
               to get your head off as much as we’ve always gotten your, uh, other
               head  off. In short,  Drummer  has the  balls to  assume  to  report,
               rehash, and reshuffle at a certain expressive level of gay pop cul-
               ture, because you keep buying and demanding this certain stuff,
               issue after issue. You keep telling us what you want to see and read.
               We go beyond “models”—hot as they are. We prefer to reflect more
               authentic, real-life men. You ask for the same in our articles and
               fiction. It’s you after all, who put the popular in pop culture. Your
               very special, adult, masculine voice gives Drummer its very definite
               responsibility, purpose, and direction.

               Considering how Embry himself alarmed the LAPD with risky top-
            ics of necrophilia, bestiality, coprophagia, blood, and slavery, it is odd
            that in Drummer 9, page 72, he faulted Blueboy (September 1976) for its
            special leather feature, “S&M 1976.” When Embry called the feature a
            “campy bomb” that “can set off” the “homophobic police,” he spoke from
            experience because he was still clipping newspaper articles about his own
            Slave Auction “bomb” out of the LA Times, the LA Herald-Examiner, The
            National  Enquirer,  The  Sentinel,  and  the  San  Francisco  Chronicle  whose
            Charles McCabe in his column, “Himself,” headlined satirically: “Crimes
            Against Nature (2).”

               In the zero degrees of San Francisco journalism, when the Irish-
               American columnist Charles McCabe was found dead from a fall in
               his Telegraph Hill apartment on May 1, 1983, his daughter needing
               someone to quickly board up the door the paramedics had kicked
               down, contacted my friend, the carpenter John Turngren, who needed
               my truck to transport sheets of plywood. With awe and respect, he
               and I found ourselves standing alone on the edge of the bloody car-
               pet, hammers in hand, amidst the books, typewriter, clothes, and cof-
               fee cups of the popular journalist and activist who had opposed the
               Manhattanization of San Francisco in the late 1950s when he and his
               fellow columnist Herb Caen successfully crusaded to block construc-
               tion of a US Steel Tower, near the Embarcadero YMCA, that would
               have risen eighty feet taller than the West Tower of the Bay Bridge.

               John  Embry  attacked  Don  Embinder, the publisher  of  Blueboy, for
            what he himself had done tenfold. In attacking his rival publisher, Embry

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