A Memoir of the Gay History, Pop Culture, and Literary Roots of
The Best of Drummer Magazine
Collector's Edition of the
Edited with Annotations by
| Research note regarding quotation and use of this copyright information from both Drummer and this website.
Drummer Index of Jack Fritscher's writing, photography and videos in Drummer.
Actual writing and photography by Jack Fritscher as it appeared in Drummer--each with an historical introduction.
Virtual Drummer: The Director's Cut. Features, Fiction, and Interviews written for Drummer, but for reasons of politics, money, and creative differences, were not published in Drummer, and were published elsewhere.
Drummer Bibliography: An annotated list of writing and photography by Jack Fritscher.
Drummer covers photographed by Jack Fritscher.
A Brief History of Drummer written by Jack Fritscher for Drummer 20th-Anniversary Issue, June 1995.
Supplement: Introduction written by Jack Fritscher to Larry Townsend's The Leatherman's Handbook, 25th Anniversary Edition.
Foreword and Introduction to
The Best of Drummer Magazine
"The Titanic 70s"
The Father of Gay Writing, Sam Steward (Phil Andros) Ph.D., warned me I'd end up like this: both subject and object. As founding San Francisco editor-in-chief of Drummer and the writer most published in its pages during its 25-year life, I have to list my writing and photography both as historical objects of the period, and myself not only as an historical participant who lived as a gonzo journalist, but also as an historian university-trained to comment on literature and popular culture, precisely because the very lifestyles and art genres that I wrote about in Drummer--fiction, nonfiction, interviews, photography, film, and video --are the very tributaries that created what has come to be known as "gay culture." Historically, "magazine-culture" contributed real DNA into "gay culture" the way that "internet culture" is now defining "gay culture."
(As a retired university professor, credentialed with a doctorate from Loyola University, I adore the post-modern fact that academic "Queer Theory" must now intellectually regard the homomasculinist subcultures of, among others, leather, fetish, daddies, and bears. To readers wishing the back-story to what Drummer culture was like, I can recommend the autobiographical novel, Some Dance to Remember, which, the Advocate called "the gay Gone With The Wind.)
I arrived at Drummer with more than 20-years of magazine experience, and I took the opportunity to make the magazine reader-reflexive: what I put in its pages that I made purposely "self-conscious" was what was actually happening in the scene, both early on in the Golden Age of Gay Liberation in the "Titanic 70's," and later on in the desperate 80's and 90's. Ten years before I became editor of Drummer, I was one of the founding university members of the American Popular Culture Association, so I knew the importance of looking at life unfolding at the time it was unfolding, because pop culture as an intellectual discipline does not wait fifty years to make historical comment. To seal this deal at Drummer, I began to print on its masthead on the title page, "The American Journal of Gay Popular Culture."
My secondary goal, as editor and writer at Drummer, was for masculine-identified gay men to be able to read about themselves, see photos and drawings of themselves, and develop a sense of international community of themselves as red-blooded males.
My primary goal was to get the readers "off" erotically. Drummer, for all that legend has made it as an historical record and cultural force, was meant to be recreational entertainment back when people still knew how to read with one hand.
Please enjoy cruising around in my Drummer documents. If you were there at the party that went on from 1975-1999 with Drummer, then this will be a trip down Memory Lane. If you missed the party of --especially--the 70's, you can fantasize how hot gay life once burned before viruses and politics and religion repackaged homosexuality.