The downfall of Jobriath certainly had nothing to do with his talent. The fact that he was the first openly gay rock star probably had something to do with his failure to connect with the record-buying masses, but even more so, it was the obnoxious and aggressive hype-mongering of his brash, Colonel Parker-style manager, impresario and Carly Simon associate Jerry Brandt, that likely did him in. Jerry plastered Jobriath's garish, nearly-naked likeness on thousands of city buses and talked him up to the media as the second coming of Elvis and the Beatles combined, before anyone had heard a single note of Jobriath's (actually excellent) music, and this unfortunately turned off many potential fans and even much of the gay community. The backlash against Jobriath was swift and vicious, even in that pre-Internet, pre-Twitter, pre-Lana age.
Now Jobriath's little-known life story is finally being told in a new rockumentary, Jobriath A.D., directed by Kieran Turner, narrated by Henry Rollins, and featuring commentary by Soft Cell's Marc Almond, Joe Elliott, Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, Semi Precious Weapons' Justin Tranter, Okkervil River's Will Sheff, and even a surprisingly candid Jerry Brandt. The fascinating film is making its world premiere at the BFI London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on March 29 and its U.S. premiere at the Florida Film Festival on April 14, but you can see an EXCLUSIVE CLIP from it right here, right now, below:
- Arts & Entertainment