Page 80 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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62       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


                          TOM OF FINLAND AND DRUMMER

               Below:  The  [single  brackets]  are  insertions  by  Justin  Spring  into  his
               own quotation from Sam Steward’s letter; the [[double brackets]] are my
               observations.

                   On February 9, 1978, on one of his increasing rare nights
               out, [[the agoraphobic]] Steward had the pleasure [[because of my
               invitation]] of meeting Tom of Finland...Steward [[who was a star-
               fucker of Valentino, Stein, and Toklas]] wrote Douglas Martin that
               “the living legend Tom of Finland...is actually a Finn named Tuoko
               [[sic; Touko]] Laaksonen—a nice old geezer, my age bracket, with a
               kind of long horsey face...[Since] Jim Kane and Ike Barnes wanted
               to meet him...[[Sam begins the structure of his little prevarication]]
               I arranged [another] dinner [with him] and [the art dealer] Robert
               Opel and [[my lover]] Robert Mapplethorpe. Anyway, Tom and I
               were toasted [[by the Drummer editor, as I well recall doing]] as the
               two dirtiest men in the Westron [[sic]] world, and as responsible for
               an ocean of cum deep enough to float a battleship....
                   During dinner, Steward had a long conversation [[it was little
               more than a sentence or two tossed off by Sam at the sometimes
               condescending New Yorker Mapplethorpe who fended Sam off with
               his business card]] with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe,
               who apparently [[Apparently? As an eyewitness, I rest my case.]]
               told him that his erotic studies of black males had been partly
               inspired by similar studies by George Platt Lynes....[[as well as,
               and even more so, the studies of black males shot by Miles Everitt
               and George Dureau. It is meaningful that Mapplethorpe, shooting
               leather personalities and players in San Francisco, never bothered
               to lens a portrait of Sam.]]



                   Four days after Sam Steward wrote to Douglas Martin, Tom of
               Finland, acknowledging the actual source of the dinner party, wrote
               to Al Shapiro and me on February 18, 1978, from New York where
               he continued his American tour:


                   Many thanks for the dinner party which we both, Veli and
                   I, enjoyed very much. I’d liked to stay in San Francisco
                   much longer, but even those few days made me feel happy.
                   Seattle [where he visited between San Francisco and LA]


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