Page 54 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 54

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

            Henry. In his last days, Embry was kicking himself for not having the intel-
            lectual and literary gifts to raise the personal to the political, the specific
            to the universal. That failure, if anything, is a measure of Embry’s greatest
            flaw, as well as of his hubris.
               Luckily, Val Martin told us friends what happened that traumatic,
            comic, and ironic night when he was the main auctioneer for the Slave
            Auction. Perhaps Embry didn’t get that Val Martin was a smart man and
            not just a pretty sex object on the cover of Drummer.
               When  Drummer  artist, Olaf Odegaard, interviewed Val Martin in
            1984, one year before Val Martin’s death, one can only speculate why that
            “eyewitness Drummer” interview between one of Embry’s superstar models
            and one of his superstar artists about a subject burning a hole in his guts
            was published in the now-disappeared news weekly, Connection, and not in
            Drummer where Embry and his staffer John Rowberry sat contemplating
            their navels? Had one of the usual Blacklist enmities, jealousies, or estrange-
            ments arisen between Drummer’s top model and its publisher?
               Were Val and Olaf, like Fred Halsted and Robert Opel, just two more
            of the many former intimates of Embry who turned against him? Did they
            have to use other magazines to do an end-run around him to give voice to
            their testimony? Val told Olaf:

               So, that night [Saturday, April 10, 1976] we started the show and
               I started selling slaves.... We kept the slaves in a special room [off
               stage] where they were all in cages. In shackles and everything.
               We brought them one by one from the room to the stage....We tied
               some people up and spot-lighted them, took their clothes off... I had
               seventy slaves in the cages.... I was up to about my seventh slave,
               and I was selling him; a very groovy guy comes up to me with a
               leather jacket and a leather cap, torn jeans, very good-looking. And
               he...asks...the price of these slaves....He asked me if (the slave) was
               a good cocksucker; I said “sure” and he said, “Well, I have a big
               dick, do you think he can suck my big dick?” So, I said, “Sure, as a
               matter of fact they call him ‘Jaws.’” I was just kidding...finally the
               guy bid the highest and I said, “sold.” soon as I said “sold”
               and received the money from him, the whole thing comes down.
                   He gives a signal to the rest of the police and a couple of heli-
               copters, two or three busses, three or four TV cameras, and 120
               policemen surrounded the premises.... The police came in [to the
               cages]...and said, “We’ve come to free you. We know you’ve been
               sold, abused, beaten up and we’ve come here to free you.” One of

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59