Page 91 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 2                         73

             Bakker, known perhaps unfairly, as the last of the assassins who murdered

             Drummer 170 Cover: portrait photo by Jack Fritscher of Donnie Russo. I cast
             and directed Donnie Russo during the first six weeks of his meteoric video
             career in my features Homme Alone, When Bodybuilders Collide, and Rough
             Night at the Jockstrap Gym. I immediately pitched him and his videos to the
             new regime of Martijn Bakker’s “Dutch” Drummer. Every porn director in
             America wanted to shoot Russo. I hired him as the new, younger, fin de siecle
             Drummer man. Playing on the pop-culture provenance of Beatlemania and
             Wrestlemania, I submitted my concept of a “Russomania” theme issue to
             Joseph W. Bean who, as he exited Drummer, relayed the baton to Marcus-
             Jay Wonacott who was progressing from editorial manager to editor. Ten
             minutes later, I felt the freshness of the punch line inherent in my proposed
             pun lose its dewiness when the word Wrestlemania was suddenly and gratu-
             itously added to the very next cover of Drummer 161 (March 1993) featuring
             a depressingly drab shot of a joyless leather model that had nothing at all to
             do with wrestling. My proposal of “Russomania” for the future issue (170)
             was the trigger that had shot the theme word Wrestlemania to the cover of
             that very next issue. This cloning wasn’t Bean’s or Wonacott’s fault during
             that stressful period of in-house confusion as Drummer changed owners.
             For years staff had struggled to fill the next hungry issue with little regard
             to future issues. Fixated on the minutiae of one issue, editors, who came
             and went, often could not see the bigger picture of the long game. To them,
             Drummer was a bunch of separate issues. To me, Drummer was a very long
             book in which each issue was a continuing chapter documenting an eyewit-
             ness and narrative arc of gay culture and human drama very like an episodic
             television show with its long-form storyline that spans the series. But, then,
             I have congenital Drummermania.
                The minute  Drummer  161 hit the stands, the World Wrestling
             Federation (WWF), the owner of the word Wrestlemania threatened suit
             against Drummer for copyright infringement unless Drummer pulled the
             issue off the newsstands. The principle involved was similar to the “Gay
             Olympics” copyright fiasco in 1986 when the homophobic United States
             Olympic Committee won its suit prohibiting Dr. Tom Waddell, the gay
             Olympic athlete,  from calling the first “Gay Games,” which he founded,
             the “Gay Olympics.” Just so, the WWF had owned its coined word long
             before Drummer’s not-so-fair use made it seem as if the WWF had suddenly
             come out of its obvious closet into a gay leather magazine! Coincidentally,
             while protecting its intellectual property from the clutches of Drummer in

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