Jobriath and authenticity


In looking for Jobriath on Spotify (he’s there) I also came across Ann Magnuson’s ‘The Jobriath Medley,’ which seems interesting. I’m listening now.

1 Like

Jobriath the first gay music star? What was Liberace? Chopped liver?

OPENLY gay. Liberace denied it and sued anyone who didn’t back down.


Good catch, though. I clarified to make clear that he wasn’t literally the first gay man in showbusiness ever. Lol!


I grew up in the 70’s and I knew who Klaus Nomi was then and I’m from the deep South and this is the first I’ve heard of Jobriath.


Or Tchaikovsky for that matter…

1 Like

I vaguely recall hearing of him. I was too heavily into Bowie, Kiss, Rush and the Dolls at the time (16-17) and missed him. I’m hoping someone’s got a torrent going because I lurv that '70’s glam proto-punk

1 Like

I appreciated this paragraph of yours:

That said, there’s something too easy about a conceptual keystone often placed in the arch of Jobriath’s rise and fall: the idea that Jobriath’s ostentatious homosexuality was not just a failed gambit against the times’ homophobia, but that he was somehow betrayed by the inauthenticity of pop culture’s contemporaneous pretensions and transgressions. That he was too glam for glam.

I could go on further but I’d just start ranting about my problems with the movie Velvet Goldmine again, and who needs that?

Or you could, you know, actually pay for music.

1 Like

I almost brought up Velvet Goldmine in the post, but I figured it would just confuse people.


Ooh! I want to know your critique (or, actually, any intelligent critique of that film that you would care to point me at). I’ve really enjoyed it a few times, but was only passingly aware of the internal logic of the scene it was satirizing.

Man I love that painting of Marilyn Monroe in Eddie Izzard’s character’s office, that is really a painting of Eddie in drag as Marilyn.

It’s too late at night for me to figure out any way to respond to this that doesn’t make me sound like a hipster douchebag.

HAHAHAHAHA pay for music woo good shit man

Well (and stipulating that, yes, I am a big and chronic Bowie fan), it’s not enough of a roman a clef to not be about Bowie, and the arc of the Brian Slade/Maxwell Demon character–simply disappearing until he reappears as the Let’s Dance Bowie–ignores what is to me the artistic zenith of Bowie’s career, the Berlin albums, and since the film further suggests that Maxwell Demon is Slade’s “true” persona, Haynes’ premise goes beyond wrong to simply broken. IMESHO.

I was being a bit cautious above because, in the past, people who knew that I was into Bowie wanted to talk about the movie and thought that I would love it as much as they did, and to say that I disappointed them would be putting it mildly. And the thing is, Haynes is a great director and the actors are good and I totally get that it’s really about Christian Bale’s character and how he experienced the era and how it affected him, and if Haynes had made just a couple tweaks to Slade, I probably could have accepted it. But, as it is, it reminds me of something that Bowie said in a Rolling Stone interview (ironically, done around the time that the “present” frame of the film is set), when the interviewer asked Bowie about the numerous unauthorized biographies of him floating around, and Bowie’s take was that they all tended to be based on interviews with the same group of people–the ex-wife, the ex-groupie, etc.–that had a fun time with him back in the seventies, and were more than a little bitter when the party was over. That, to me, is the film in a nutshell.

whew. Better out than in, eh?

Ok, Fair enough. I have a real admiration and affection for Bowie and Bowie’s work from the 70s and 80s, but the film was much bigger than Slade/Bowie to me… so that’s probably why I got more of a kick out of it. I really like the “bitter when the party was over” metaphor. Thanks for entertaining my query.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.