Page 74 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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56       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            the iceberg of HIV. In the way that John Embry shied away from outing
            the gay “face,” so did his successor Anthony DeBlase for his first few covers
            (Drummer 99, 100, etc.)
               To me, the essence of movies is the human face. The perfect photo for a
            magazine cover is also the human face. Seven of the eight cover photos I shot
            for Drummer between 1977 and 1993 all feature face. Three were shot with
            David Sparrow: Drummer 21, Drummer 25, and Drummer 30; the other five
            I shot solo: Drummer 118, Drummer 140, Drummer 157, Drummer 159, and
            Drummer 170. I also shot two covers for Drummer’s sibling, Mach (Mach
            20, April 1990, and Mach 22, December 1990).The Drummer 24 cover I
            cast, designed, and assigned to photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is also
            all about the human face of my friend, Elliot Siegal. Time and Newsweek
            proved that nothing sells a magazine like a face.
               Branding in Drummer 29, page 64, my original “Tough Customers”
            feature which  I had debuted in Drummer 25 (December 1978), I created
            my Drummer Outreach program and asked invisible readers to shoot and
            share the personality of their own faces. As a gay activist journalist, I spe-
            cifically crafted “Tough Customers” to help guys come out of the closet. If
            Harvey Milk’s Castro Camera was among the first photo shops to develop
            gay men’s sex pictures of themselves, I figured the next step was to out those
            grass-roots selfie photos in Drummer which in the 1970s was that decade’s
            New Media:

                   KeeRIST! If youse guys are gonna send us your hot pictures for
               publication, at least include your FACE. Who wants to look at a
               disconnected cock? Drummer is a magazine, not a gloryhole....This
               is almost the Eighties, doncha know!

               At the request of publisher DeBlase, I also shot the “color-revival” cover
            and centerfold photographs of Palm Drive Video model Keith Ardent for
            Drummer 118 (July 1988) which was, DeBlase wrote, “the first color nude
            photography Drummer has offered in years...and more full color than the
            magazine has ever had before.” (Drummer 118, page 4) His words were one
            of his many passive-aggressive digs at Embry for publishing Drummer on
            the cheap by dropping the beautiful interior color that had graced many of
            the early issues.


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