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Drummer Magazine Publications

Identifier: Tretter-104

Scope and Contents

To view a full listing of the Tretter Collection's holdings, please visit the UMN Library's Catalog record here: Drummer, Tretter Holdings


  • Creation: 1975 - 1998

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Drummer is a magazine for gay men about "leathersex, leatherwear, leather and rubber gear, S&M, bondage and discipline, erotic styles and techniques." Its first issue was published in 1975 in Los Angeles by John H. Embry, Jeanne Barney, and Larry Townsend. Drummer was one of the most influential and widely distributed leather magazines both in the US and abroad and has featured writers and artists such as Tom of Finland, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Fred Halsted.

The magazine originally grew out of Embry's personal mail-order buisiness, but it quickly became a larger publication. However, in 1977, it was forced to move to San Francisco due to police antagonism. Embry had previously worked with the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.), an organization that provided legal support to gay men arrested or questioned by the police, and in early issues of Drummer, Embry wrote a number of articles designed to provoke the LAPD. Drummer itself was used as legal evidence against gay men, for its writings on BDSM slavery and underage sex. After the magazine's move to San Francisco, Jack Fritscher became the editor-in-chief, and in his book, he recalls that, "The entire time I was editor of Drummer, Embry was on probation, continuously in court, and sentenced to community service."

Drummer ceased publication in 1999, but was revived as both a print and online publication in 2020 under editor Mike Miksche.


2 Linear Feet (2 Paige boxes, 1 Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



This record represents the run of Drummer held in the Tretter Collection. It is not a complete run but contains issues from a wide range of years of the publication from 1975 up to 1998.

Drummer Magazine Publications
Kristen Datta
January 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Jean Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies Collecting Area