Page 86 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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68       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            DeBlase with Embry’s old debts, it freed Drummer from his fiscal tyranny
            that caused Drummer staff and contributors so much hardship because,
            when it came to paying the talent, or honoring subscriptions, Embry was a
            deadbeat who was notorious in LA, according to Drummer editor-in-chief
            Jeanne Barney, as “Robert Ripoff.”
               The reason Embry sold  Drummer, according to DeBlase, was that
            Embry owed so many writers, artists, photographers, printers, suppliers,
            and staff so much money, siphoned off for his many real estate and publish-
            ing ventures, that he had no choice but to sell and run. Insulted when he
            discovered Embry’s hidden debts, DeBlase felt betrayed at Embry’s failure
            of “leather fraternity,” and expressed his bitterness in several of his Drummer

            Drummer 8 Cover: photo by Roy Dean of model Val Martin body-painted
            by tattoo artist, Cliff Raven, to look like a virtual drawing; Raven (Drummer
            14, p. 47) was named after a bird by his mentor, the tattooist Sam Steward
            who was the tough old bird known as Phil Sparrow aka Philip Sparrow
            aka Phil Andros whose story “Many Happy Returns” appeared in the same
            issue; within the Chuck Renslow Family, Raven tattooed me in Chicago in
            1969; David Sparrow’s true surname, Sparrow, was his family name, and his
            mother’s name was “Nellie” which caused him to be terribly teased among
            the queens when he came out in Evansville, Indiana. I used my lover, David
            Sparrow, as basis for the fictitious characters named “Arrow” in my 1969
            novel, I Am Curious (Leather) aka Leather Blues, and “Teddy” in my 1990
            book, Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982.

            Drummer 9 Cover: photo by Robert Opel of the male “Gloria Hole” in
            gender-bender drag, face obscured by makeup, from the LA Cycle Sluts
            performance-art troop which included Mikal Bales, founder of Zeus Studio
            later featured in Drummer for its bondage-nipple-whipping videos; this was
            Drummer magazine’s most unpopular cover ever. Leather animus against
            gender-fucking anima began in the next issue with “Letters to the Editor”
            and  simmered for years: in Drummer 134 (October 1989), an angry reader
            wrote on page 7:

               GENDERFUCK LIVES. In your latest issue of Drummer, I saw
               a listing for “Fantasia Fair Provincetown” listed in the “Leather
               Calendar.” For your information, “Fantasia Fair” is a national con-
               vention for transvestites; far from a leather event. Better do some more
               checking into what you list as “leather events.” —BL, Provincetown

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