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Published on June 28th, 2012 | by Wild Gender


A Glam Rock And Roll Fairy Tale: “Jobriath A.D.”

During (arguably) the most glittery, gender-riffic period in pop music history,  Jobriath was a rising star. Dubbed “the American Bowie,” his look and sound seemed a likely catapult to stardom. But, after coming out as openly gay, his reign was cut short—two years and two albums. Sabotaged by a publicity machine run amok, shunned by the gay community and dismissed by critics, Jobriath was excommunicated from the music business, and became an early casualty of AIDS.

Now, new generations of fans have discovered him through acts like the Pet Shop Boys, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Siouxsie Sioux, and Morrissey, all of whom cite Jobriath as a groundbreaking influence. Through interviews, archival material and animation, a group of documentarians hope to revive his legacy in Jobriath A.D., “A Rock And Roll Fairy Tale.” 

“Over the years, I had periodically come across Jobriath in a very snide way,” said Kieran Turner, producer and director of the film, in a press release. “Both in reading about rock and (LGBTQ) history. He was always treated as the punchline to a very derogatory joke.”

Almost three years ago, Turner came into possession of Jobriath’s compilation CD that Morrissey put out on his own label.

“To my amazement, the music was fantastic and beautiful and haunting,” he said. “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 be unacknowledged by that same community for so many years.”

Beyond that, Turner was fascinated by how many times Jobriath reinvented himself in and attempt to make music–as a hippie, glam rock creature, to Weimar star.

“And he’s been forgotten, which is criminal because you couldn’t have anyone from Rufus wainwright to kd lang to Adam Lambert without first having had Jobriath pave the way.”

Upcoming screenings:

Saturday, July 14th, 2:30pm & Sunday, July 15th, 9:30pm

Los Angeles
Friday, July 20, 10:00pm (director appearing)

Sunday, July 22, 2:15pm

Saturday, July 28 & Sunday, July 29 (Times TBD) (director appearing for the July 29 show)

New York City
Saturday, July 28th, 10:30pm at Lincoln Center (director appearing)

Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
Monday, July 30
Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar
Tuesday, July 31 (director appearing)

Past Screenings

26th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
insideout Toronto
Fairy Tales Film Festival
Out Film CT
NXNE Film Festival
Provincetown International Film Festival
Frameline36: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Twitter: @jobriathdoc

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About the Author

Wild Gender

is an online magazine and creative hub born out of gratitude for the gift of full expression. We are dedicated to creative practices that celebrate gender fluidity, identity and expression. Wild Gender prioritizes visual art, creative writing, and journalistic work by trans/gender-variant individuals who have never before been published in a public venue. Run entirely by volunteers,we are always in search of writers, thinkers, and creators hoping to participate in our growing community.

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