Page 61 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 61

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         43


                Jack: The rest is gay pop history.

                A. Jay: Back in those closeted days, Clark dared to put in a special
                slip-sheet mailed only to his subscribers. Frontal nudes. No sucking
                and fucking. Men who bought his mag called—guess what, guys,
                Drum—on the news stand missed out on that hot stuff. How times
                have changed! I did Harry in Drum for five or six years. Long before
                Drummer. One episode a month. Clark reprinted the whole thing
                once as a pocket book.

                Jack: That would have been The Original Adventures of Harry Chess.
                It’s now out of print. A collector’s item, right?

                A. Jay: I wish I had a couple dozen copies....Uh, let me see, where
                was I in the Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody Who Was
                Anybody? Oh yeah. Like Sebastian Venable, you see, I traveled
                a lot. I left Drum for a year to live in Mexico City for the 1968
                Olympics. Sniffing around the wrestlers, picking up used interna-
                tional jockstraps, and pumping my tits up at the local gym. Always
                hoping the yummy bodybuilder and movie star, Jorge Rivera, the
                Mexican Steve Reeves, would come in and sit on my face.
                    While I was feasting on dark meat, Drum magazine died. Clark
                chose to move on to something better that made him, I think,
                rich. So Harry Chess became “Little Orphan Harry.” Then Hanns
                Ebensten [the pioneer of gay group travel] told me about Queen’s
                Quarterly. Can you imagine a mag being called that in 1987? Back
                then you could. Anyway, publisher George DeSantis hired me free-
                lance and Harry had a new home.
                    I talked George into changing his two-word camp title to the
                sleeker, more designer-like “QQ” to try to butch it up. I could tell
                sissies were on the way out and sleaze-macho was on its way in.
                    DeSantis then started two more mags: Body and Ciao. DeSantis
                was a great publisher. A kind man. I learned a great deal from him
                about magazine production, which prepared me, really, to take over
                the art direction of Drummer.

                At a meeting with a struggling DeBlase at Drummer on Friday, February
             12, 1988, I made a proposal offering to further help lift his load produc-
             ing his monthly periodical. Besides my discreet hand-holding, I suggested
             reviving my 1970s concept of creating “theme” issues for Drummer featuring


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