Page 397 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                377
             Naugahyde (!) which remains anathema, taboo, and camp joke to genuine
             leather fetishists. Among 1970s bar buddies, one line of code tossed off
             to dismiss a leather wannabe who was too new or too plastic to “dig the
             scene” was: “Lips that touch Naugahyde will never touch mine.” (See
             Naugahyde as insult: Drummer 1, page 9.)
                In 2003, Embry, the first publisher of Drummer, told Robert Davolt,
             who in late 1997 became the last editor and nominal publisher of Drum-
             mer, that he, Embry, “never foresaw the impact that Drummer would
             have. ‘It was a big surprise to me . . . . I’m amazed.’”
                Embry’s 1975 purpose for Drummer was to sell popper-like inhal-
             ants, cock rings, and butt plugs. He was, at age fifty-something, almost
             a generation older than the Youth Culture of the 1960s and 1970s. He
             seemed unmotivated to deal with the vision or the meaning or the content
             of the psychedelic convergence of drugs-sex-leather-and-gender that hap-
             pened when Drummer met San Francisco. Sensing his disconnection, we
             drove Drummer as a vehicle of the newly liberated Titanic 70s.
                In other places, I have mentioned that in the 1970s everyone spent
             so much time and energy having sex that not many guys wanted to take
             time out to contribute to a gay magazine which was then such a new phe-
             nomenon no one took the genre seriously. To build a network of reliable
             contributors took me a year, and during that year the only way I could
             keep up with our thirty-day production schedule was to work late into
             the night. Many a time I gave up going to the tubs or to the gay parade
             because I was churning out primary writing for Drummer. I wanted other
             authors on board; and I took time to develop them in various tutorials
             including my “Writer’s Aid” program. Even so, I had always been, in my
             twenty years of freelance publication before Drummer, and have always
             remained, during and since, very strict about maintaining ownership of
             my intellectual property in writing, photographs, and videos.
                That proprietary attitude was reinforced by the advice of my longtime
             pal, veteran gay writer Sam Steward. It was seconded by my eyewitness
             experience of seeing the work of Tom of Finland pirated left and right.
             Both Sam and Tom — when I met them — ranted and raved how their
             work had been famously and often ripped off. Durk Dehner gallantly
             rode to rescue Tom of Finland and his copyrighted work by founding
             the Tom of Finland Foundation. In the 1970s, I set out to champion a
             “New Generation of Gay Writers” resolved not to be exploited in terms
             of copyright and royalties as had authors like the young Larry Townsend.
             In 1968, I had not let Greenleaf Press rip me off for $300 for all rights to
             I Am Curious (Leather); and in 1978, I wasn’t about to let Embry rob me
             either. The 1972 limited edition printed by Lou Thomas nailed down my
             copyright just fine while I waited for gay book publishing to invent itself

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