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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                275
                While Jim Stewart lived in San Francisco during the Golden Age
             from 1976 to 1982, he worked as a artist-photographer building a com-
             munity salon South of Market with other artists such as David Hurles,
             Tom Hinde, Robert Opel, Camille O’Grady, Chuck Arnett, Gregg
             Coates, Max Morales, and Larry Hunt, the Mapplethorpe model who
             was murdered. Like “Old Reliable” Hurles, Rex, and Robert Opel at Fey-
             Way Gallery, Jim Stewart opened his own SoMa studio, Keyhole, at 766
             Clementina Street with a literally underground mailing address in the
             basement at 768-A Clementina Street.
                Having established his Folsom Street “cred” and reputation with his
             photos in Drummer, he was later employed by publisher Embry to manage
             the Drummer Key Club bar and swimming pool at 11  and Folsom Street
             (1981-1982) in the location that had been the Leatherneck bar.
                Embry dubbed the venture the “Drummer Key Club” to ape Hugh
             Hefner’s Playboy Club. See the pre-opening display ad in Drummer 40
             (November 1980), page 48. Hefner had  Playboy  Bunnies, and Embry
             had Mr. Drummer contestants for centerfolds. “After the International
             Mister Leather contest in Chicago in 1981,” Jim Stewart recalls, “Embry
             returned and announced he was changing the name of the bar to the
             ‘Gold Coast’ [spinning off the brand name of Chuck Renslow’s venerable
             Gold Coast bar in Chicago]. See Drummer 46 (June 1981), inside front
             cover. By March 1982, the bar was closed.”
                Jim Stewart also wrote fiction for publisher Jim Moss who started up
             Folsom magazine in 1981; that glossy alternative that employed so many
             disaffected and often unpaid contributors to Drummer went belly up after
             several issues.
                Knowledgeable in the way the real world does business, Jim Stew-
             art remains rather shocked at the way Drummer did gay business, and
             how — as even word on the street knew — it often stiffed contributors and
             employees on pay day. He is an eyewitness whose Rashomon recall, which
             is his alleged opinion, he described to me in an email on September 21,

                Dear Jack,

                Working for John Embry [from LA] and Mario Simon [his lover
                from Spain] at their “Drummer Key Club” bar was a trip. Their
                heads didn’t really seem to be into running a bar/swim club.
                Their ideas seemed to fit more into Southern California than
                San Francisco, South of Market. For instance, the leather shop
                in the bar had one mannequin to display leather harnesses, etc.
                It was a surfer boy. I convinced John to let me trade it in for two

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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