Friday, October 27, 1995

S.F. Simply Fabulous, Part II

(Published in Lavender Lifestyles Magazine, Issue #11, October 27, 1995)

San Francisco/Drummer/Folsom reminiscences, continued from last issue . . .

This year’s International Mr. Drummer contest was the best international leather contest I’ve ever seen. Tickets were pricey—$25 for general admission (standing) and $65 if you wanted a seat. It was worth every penny.

Our own Alvin Robinson’s fantasy was an improved version of the “personal Jesus” fantasy which won him the Great Lakes Mr. Drummer title. The audience liked it—a lot. His speech, delivered in distinctive southern-gospel-preacher cadence, also got plenty of applause.

Best fantasy music: Florida Drummer Ray Castro used Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”—guaranteeing a big finish. His fantasy involved a painter whose portrait came to life. After getting nicely messy splashing each other with red paint (blood?), the two men embraced and stepped into a box which then spun around while spewing fireworks from its top. (How’s that for a sexual metaphor?)

Most politically-incorrect fantasy: Southern California Drummer Joe Spina’s fantasy started with the voice of a father yelling at his son that no kid of his was going to be a faggot. There was a gunshot and the audience gasped. The lights came on and we saw a twelve-foot-high cross, a kneeler—and the son, holding a gun to his head after killing his father. A priest (Spina) wrestled the son to the ground, knocking the gun out of his hand. The priest then stripped off his robes, revealing a harness underneath. What followed was an S&M scene to chilling Madonna lyrics: “You can’t hurt me now/I got away from you/I never thought I would.” Parental abuse, murder, Catholic priests and S&M in one disturbing and thought-provoking fantasy. (The son, incidentally, was Pup, Southern California Drummerboy who went on to win the International Drummerboy title.)

Spike, the muscular and gorgeous contestant from Australia, did a strip-to-naked-and-put-on-leather fantasy. You may recall that last year’s Great Lakes Mr. Drummer did something similar. But while I wasn’t allowed to be totally naked on stage, Spike was—with his back to the audience. He was standing in front of a “mirror,” which was really silver mylar, so the audience didn’t see a reflection of his front. (We just had to use our imaginations.)

The non-contestant entertainment was first-rate. Mimi=Freed poked fun at the macho hyper-masculine Drummer image and noted (quite correctly) that several of the contestants were seen lip-synching on stage! (I bet they just could have DIED of embarassment!) Vocalist Richie Waits, appearing in an androgynous dress and Cleopatra-style headdress, sang a unique rendition of “I Feel Pretty.” His final number, a wonderfully bizarre version of “Proud Mary,” exploded with energy: he became a male Tina Turner, and four backup dancers became male Ikettes. The audience was blown away. (Those four backup dancers were led by Charlie Seltz, the contest’s choreographer, who is a master dancer and choreographer—and a sweetheart besides.)

After the excitement of Saturday’s contest came Sunday and the Folsom Street Fair. 400,000 kinky people of all persuasions came out to see and be seen. Vendors ranged from the usual (t-shirts and buttons) to the unusual (a spanking booth). Colt man Steve Kelso was there, wearing too many clothes, shaking hands and giving autographs. The parties continued all night.

And then came Monday. The bars were deserted. The sex clubs were deserted. (Believe me, I checked.) Even the streets were quiet. If the previous week had been foreplay, and the Folsom Street Fair on Sunday was the leather tribe’s collective climax, then Monday was the day that San Francisco, exhausted, finally had a cigarette and drifted off to sleep.


Monday, Oct. 30: Halloween Fetish party in the Gay 90’s Dance Annex (9 p.m. to closing). $200.00 first prize for Most Original Fetish Costume (Rubber & Leather).

Sunday, Nov. 5: Leatherman of Minnesota and Ms. Minnesota Leather contests, Gay 90’s Dance Annex, 4-9 p.m., contest at 5:30. No admission charge, donations accepted, all donations to charity. Beer and food will be provided. The atmosphere will be relaxed and social, with informational booths for clubs and other organizations. Ms. Minnesota Leather will compete in the upcoming International Ms. Leather contest, while the Leatherman of Minnesota will have a choice of international competitions. This event is the Minnesota Leather Den’s gift to the community in celebration of the fact that there will be a Ms. Minnesota Leather this year.

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