Page 65 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         47

                In return, Embry’s talking head Robert Davolt ranted back against
             Bakker in the rival Super MR 7 (2001):

                ...Drummer, as we knew it, is plainly gone. It is particularly embar-
                ressing [sic] to [Embry’s] Alternate Publishing who originated the
                title [Drummer] 25 years ago...

                Why would Embry’s Alternate Publishing be “embarrassed”? It was
             ironic. Why would Embry, notorious for years for ripping off subscribers
             to Drummer and its “Leather Fraternity” want to fulfill the subscriptions
             of Drummer subscribers when there was a new publisher of Drummer in
             Amsterdam? Embry wasn’t even the previous publisher. He had bowed out
             of Drummer in 1986; he hated everything that DeBlase did; and then he
             hated everything that Bakker did in the way he had hated everything Jeanne
             Barney and I had done.
                Just as DeBlase, surprised that he had to pay the debts Embry owed,
             had buyer’s remorse, Embry had a major case of seller’s remorse. Perversely,
             Embry abused Drummer when he owned it, and when he got rid of it, he
             loved it. Embry fancied he was Drummer incarnate, but he wasn’t, Blanche,
             he wasn’t, and that fact fried his cojones for the rest of his life.
                Embry was first motivated to start the infant Drummer (gestation was
             from the twice-monthly little “zine” of 1971 to the slick monthly maga-
             zine of 1975) mainly as a medium for his mail-order business: “The Embry
             Company, PO Box 3843, Hollywood.” In the last issue Embry published,
             Drummer 98 (June 1986), he bitterly tried to destroy the future mail-order
             business that DeBlase would be running in his own version of the Drummer
             business. In his “so-long-suckers” issue, Embry penned a two-page diatribe
             against poppers in the “Drummer  Forum” section titled “Death Rush”
             which he illustrated with a drawing Rex had created to sell the popper brand
             “Bolt: New from the makers of Rush.” Ironically, Embry had for eleven
             years courted popper manufacturers like W. Jay Freezer who made “room
             odorizers” with names like “Rush” and “Aroma.” Poppers kept Drummer
             flying high. Popper dealers paid a huge chunk of advertising dollars buy-
             ing full-page display ads including expensive inside covers and back covers,
             often illustrated by identified Drummer artists like Rex. Embry’s sudden
             “abstinence from poppers” was no epiphany of social consciousness about
             the health effects of poppers. He wanted to injure DeBlase enough by alien-
             ating advertisers to drive Drummer out of business so that Embry would
             be able to crow that Drummer could not exist without him. He ended his
             diatribe with this sentence naming all the commercial brands of poppers:

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