Page 92 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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74       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            1993, the WWF itself was sued in 1994 by the “World Wide Federation
            for Nature” for using the initials “WWF,” and had to re-brand itself as the
            “WWE,” World Wrestling Entertainment.
               Intellectual property historians might note that Drummer 161 was so
            scofflaw that Maya Angelou might also have sued because the entire text
            of her poem written for Bill Clinton’s 1993 Presidential Inaugural, “On the
            Pulse of Morning” was boldly published across pages 6 and 7 with no note
            of permission or copyright.
               In Drummer 185 (May 1995) on page 51, editorial manager Wickie
            Stamps published a photo-spread titled “Forbidden Drummer” featuring
            pictures from Drummer 161 and confirming the WWF law suit.


               A legal wrangle over the use of a trademarked name [Wrestlemania]
               on the cover [of Drummer 161] forced all copies of that issue off the
               newsstands and into the shredder. Only a few copies of #161 ever
               made it into public hands.


               All that notwithstanding, on the cover of Drummer 170 (December
            1993), my word Russomania was pasted in large letters next to my cover
            photograph of Donnie Russo.

            Drummer 188 Cover: photo by Ram Studios/Franco of model Ted Downer.
            In what should have been a classic and gorgeous “Twentieth Anniversary
            Issue” in Drummer 188, Wickie Stamps was, according to my interview
            with her on January 20, 2011, rather coerced by circumstances into produc-
            ing an issue that in art design looked like a ransom note cut-and-pasted
            from previous Drummer issues. Frankly, I saw Embry’s characteristic reprint
            fingerprints and his revisionist history of Drummer all over the issue cre-
            ated at the precise time Embry and Robert Davolt were conspiring together
            over Davolt returning Drummer  to Embry even as the Dutch publisher
            Martijn Bakker found he could not control San Francisco Drummer from
            Amsterdam. At my home in 2014, Dutch leather historian Pieter Claeys
            told me that Bakker said: “I couldn’t fly to San Francisco every week to put
            out the fires. (Ik kon neit elke week naar SF vliegen on de brandjes daar te
            blussen.)” The issue also was  full, not of leather photographers’s warm and
            personal erotic work, but of corporate video photographs, and a grinding
            agenda to sell its soul for money that moved away from what it had been in
            the gay liberation 1970s and what it had become in the politically correct
            1980s into the queer feminism of the 1990s. In the magazine’s tortured last
            three years (1996-1999), Embry seemed obsessively dedicated to regaining


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