Glam rock helped define the 1970s, a decade in which sexual attitudes where changing rapidly – although not rapidly enough for Jobriath. Elektra Records spent vast sums on launching the talented, and first openly gay, pop singer as the US Bowie, but it was not to be. Jobriath A.D. is a sensitive, remarkable and sometimes hilarious exploration of this unique culture casualty, narrated by Henry Rollins and featuring Jake Shears and Stephin Merritt. Revelatory interviews delve deep into Jobriath’s background, and relationship with Jerry Brandt, the intensely driven Svengali who pushed for his success.
Over the years, I had periodically come across Jobriath in a very snide way, both in reading about rock and GLBT history. He was always treated as the punchline to a very derogatory joke. About three years ago, I got my hands on the compilation CD of his music that Morrissey had recently put out on his own label and to my amazement, the music was fantastic and beautiful and haunting. I began researching his life and I found a person who had really broken ground for openly gay musicians, he was the first, and has largely been unacknowledged by that same community for so many years.
Beyond that, I was struck by how fascinating Jobriath’s story was because he reinvented himself so many times, from a hippie flower child who had starred in Hair onstage to this glam rock creature, to a Weimar era cabaret singer who entertained in NYC bars, not to mention the various personal identities he adopted. But what I really identified with was here was this person, all he wanted to do was make music, make some kind of art, and he was kept from doing that because whatever powers that be didn’t deem it worthy. And it destroyed him. And he’s been forgotten, which is criminal.
Kieran Turner, Director
Recommended cert 15. NB/ Hi Fi Screening venue over 18s only.