Page 67 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 67

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         49

             1970s that trusted no one over thirty. When I crossed swords with Embry
             and resigned from editing Drummer on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1979,
             Embry was turning fifty years old, was distracted by lawsuits and cancer,
             was obsessed with draining Drummer to fund his real estate holdings, and
             was no participant in the nighttime culture of leather in San Francisco.

                    The best objective correlative of how Embry’s on-going colon
                cancer subtracted him for almost a year of functional creativity at
                Drummer is an editorial he wrote after he fell and broke his hip in

                    I spent...the past weeks recuperating from a broken hip...
                    Now, months later, I’m still not completely functional, but at
                    least I’m mobile...I am now propped up in my own bed...still
                    embroiled in an experience [health crisis] that threatens
                    to go on for some time more. The healing process takes a
                    lot of energy, leaving little for the creative process. [Italics
                    added] (Super MR #7, page 5)

                Against the culture-changing tide of HIV, Bakker was riding high.
             He had recently purchased the legendary company, Rob of Amsterdam,
             founded by the person, Rob of Amsterdam, whom Mark Hemry and I—in
             the zero degrees of separation—videotaped in an hour-long interview in his
             leather shop in Amsterdam on June 22, 1989. Ravaged by HIV, Rob told us
             his eyewitness story in his last interview before his assisted suicide.
                Whether it was against Bakker or DeBlase or anyone who ever told him
             “no,” John Embry carried grudges. Jeanne Barney said that Embry often-
             times sat on his porch at one of his Russian River houses repeating, over and
             over, the long lists of those who had done him wrong.
                Embry was nothing but trendy. At the very same time, like a bit-
             ter queen escaped from The Boys in the Band, Truman Capote, another
             obsessive-compulsive, was sitting in Manhattan repeating over and over
             his infamous Hate List of all the rich and famous folk who had dropped
             him after he betrayed their personal secrets in his scandalous 1970s Esquire
             articles which became chapters in his troubled book, Answered Prayers.
             Like Embry’s Blacklist, Capote’s Hate List of hundreds of socialites and
             artists who had made the young Truman their darling included Jackie
             Kennedy Onassis’ sister, Princess Lee Bouvier Radziwill; his arch-enemy
             Gore Vidal; designer Gianni Versace; society hustler Denham Fouts; and

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