Page 59 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         41

             wanted to return Drummer to its roots and its core themes while at the same
             time changing its attitudes to accommodate the safe-sex exigencies of HIV.
                Here is “inside” eyewitness history.
                Their invitation to rejoin Drummer occurred in tandem with the sig-
             nificant “Drummer Restoration Dinner Party” hosted Folsom Fair week-
             end, September 28, 1986, 2:30 PM, by the erotic artist Rex and by Trent
             Dunphy and Robert Mainardi, owners of the archival San Francisco store,
             “The Magazine.” If ever a Drummer Salon dinner party for ten gay men was
             ripe for a screenplay, this sit-down summit had characters, wit, and intrigue
             enough for a Merchant-Ivory production scripted by Parker Wilde, the love
             child of Dorothy and Oscar.
                Celebrating the exit of the old regime of Embry and the new purchase
             of Drummer by DeBlase and Charles, the eight guests at the supper table in
             the photography-filled Dunphy-Mainardi Victorian included the intention-
             ally forward-planning boys in the band: Anthony DeBlase, Andrew Charles,
             Rex, Al Shapiro and his partner Dick Kriegmont, Mark I. Chester, Mark
             Hemry, and me.
                Two months later, in a letter to Al Shapiro, dated November 20, 1986,
             I wrote:

                Dear Al, All this nuevo Drummer stuff, starting with our pasta sup-
                per at Trent and Bob’s, has reminded me, as issue 100 sits next to
                me, and your name and mine are so entwined, that I might not have
                become editor of Drummer if you as art director hadn’t been so insis-
                tent [to me and to Embry]....Those were some days when you were
                the once-and-future famous A. Jay and I got to watch you work,
                designing issue after issue! Embry was a curse and a disaster, but
                he never was able to divide and conquer and come between us....I
                just wanted you to be the first to know that Gay Sunshine Press has
                today signed me to a contract for an anthology of my writing titled
                Stand by Your Man due out in late 1987, and, on page 1, I’m dedicat-
                ing the book to you, because when I moved to San Francisco, you
                were one of three guys who tried to help me find suitable work, and
                you succeeded....So what the hay! We can lift our heads and blow
                raspberries at all the small-minded, cheating, conniving Embrys,
                because, truly, we have been artists and friends together.

                Six months later, Allen J. Shapiro died May 30, 1987, ten years after
             we first marched together into Drummer. I wrote his eulogy in Drummer
             107 (August 1987). In that eulogy built on my interviews with him, he

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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