Hailed as ‘The new Bowie’ in the 70′s, flamboyant Glam artist Jobriath was the first openly gay artist signed to major label. He was also one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. For all of his potential and the media blitz behind him, Jobriath was a commercial failure.
Behind the push from manager Jerry Brandt, Jobriath was signed to Elektra Records for one of the largest contracts to date. The record was promoted with full page ads in Rolling Stone, Vogue and Penthouse. Jobriath was splashed all over New York City, with his image on 250 city buses and a Times Square billboard. Admid the hype of his self-titled debut record, Brandt made claims of “Elvis, The Beatles and Jobriath”.
Despite the heavy promotion and positive critcal acclaim, the record failed to chart. Even amid the success of artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mark Bolan and Brian Eno, it seems the general population was not ready for the self-proclaimed ‘Rock’s truest fairy’. A 2nd record, Creatures of The Night, released in 1974 fared even worse. Jobriath retired from music in 1975, and died of AIDS in 1983.
Despite his commercial failure, Jobriath influenced artists like Morrissey (his favorite singer!), Gary Numan, Def Leppard, Marc Almond, Scissor Sisters, The Pet Shop Boys and more. Director Kieran Turner’s new documentary film, Jobriath AD tells the amazing story of Jobriath, narrated by Henry Rollins and featuring appearances from Marc Almond, Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Stephen Merritt (Magnetic Fields) and more.
- Philadelphia – Qfest: Saturday, July 14th, 2:30pm & Sunday, July 15th, 9:30pm – http://www.qfest.com/
- Los Angeles – Outfest: Friday, July 20, 10:00pm – www.outfest.org (director appearing)
- Denver- QCinema: Sunday, July 22, 2:15pm – http://www.denverfilm.org/filmcenter/detail.aspx?id=24907&FID=61
- Houston – QFest: Saturday, July 28 & Sunday, July 29 (Times TBD) – http://www.q-fest.org/ (director appearing for the July 29 show)
- New York City – Newfest: Saturday, July 28th, 10:30pm at Lincoln Center (director appearing) – http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/newfest-2012
- Austin – Alamo Drafthouse Ritz: Monday, July 30, July 31 (director appearing) – http://drafthouse.com/movies/music_monday_jobriath_a.d/austin
Check out the trailer to the film below: