martes, 18 de diciembre de 2007

Get Real

Debut director Simon Shore's gay-themed coming-of-age drama Get Real is based on Patrick Wilde's play What's Wrong With Angry?

Get Real follows the fate and fortunes of a group of teenagers as they pick their way through the minefield of adolescence. Sixteen year old Steven Carter is finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile life at school with the pressure of his parents' aspirations and his own inner state of hormonal overdrive. There's one thing Steven is completely reconciled to, however: he's gay and has known it for years. His only confidante in such matters of the heart is Linda, the girl next door, currently on her 48th driving lesson in the hopes of one day getting her way with driving instructor Bob.

While Steven spends his life at home telling his parents what they want to hear, school is the setting for romance and intrigue. Steven's best friend Mark is trying to win the attention of Wendy, the feisty new editor of the school magazine. Meanwhile, Wendy's best friend Jessica is trying to avoid the attention of her ex-boyfriend Kevin. She's still wounded by their recent break-up, and when Steven offers a sympathetic shoulder, she takes it as a promise of more to come.

The centre of attention for the entire student body is John Dixon, sporting superstar, academic achiever and all-around dreamboat. John's life comes complete with an assured place at his father's old Oxford college and the enviable accessory of local "supermodel" Christina Lindmann. Such accomplishments make him the idol of one half of the school and an object of desire for the other half - including Steven.

Steven's fortunes take an unexpected turn when he discovers that his feelings for John are returned. But while Steven wants to shout their love from the rooftops, John insists on keeping it firmly in the closet.

At the end of term prize-giving ceremony, where John is to be honored for his sporting prowess and Steven is to receive an award for his essay on "growing up as we approach the new millennium" the time for intrigue and evasion comes abruptly to an end. It's time to get real, and Steven becomes the conscience of them all.

Directed by Simon Shore and produced by Stephen Taylor, with Anant Singh and Helena Spring as Executive Producers, the film features performances by Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton and Charlotte Brittain. Get Real was released on May 14th, 1999 in the UK and Eire.

domingo, 16 de diciembre de 2007

Maldito by Alvaro Prado

Latter days

Latter Days was written by C. Jay Cox after the success of his previous screenplay, Sweet Home Alabama, gave him the financial resources and critical credit to write a more personal love story. Cox based both characters—Christian and Aaron—on himself. He was raised as a Mormon and served at a mission before coming out as gay, and had wondered what the two halves of himself would have said to each other if they had ever met.

Latter Days was filmed in 24 days on an estimated budget of USD$850,000. All funding was acquired from private investors who wanted to see the film made. It was distributed through TLA Releasing, an independent film distributor, who picked it up through its partnership with production company Funny Boy Films, which specializes in gay-themed media.

Latter Days is a gay romantic drama released in 2003. Set in Los Angeles, California it portrays the seduction of Aaron Davis, a Mormon missionary, by Christian Markelli, a party animal who falls in love with him. The film, written and directed by C. Jay Cox, stars Steve Sandvoss as Aaron, Wes Ramsey as Christian, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Elder Ryder, and Rebekah Johnson as Julie Taylor. Mary Kay Place and Jacqueline Bisset have supporting roles.

Latter Days premiered at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on 10 July 2003. It was released across America over the next 12 months, and was released, mostly at gay film festivals, in a few other countries.[1] It was the first film to openly show the clash between the principles of the Mormon church and homosexuality, and its exhibition in some states was polemic. Various religious groups demanded the movie to be retired from theatres and DVD stores under boycott threats.

The movie was not well received by film critics, although it was popular with most film festival attendees. In 2004 T. Fabris made Latter Days into a novel, which was published by Alyson Publications.


sábado, 15 de diciembre de 2007

Good Soldier II by Deadlee

Deadlee is a gay hip hop artist and rapper based out of Los Angeles, California.

He released two albums since his career began in 2000. The music video for his song "Good Soldier II" has been played numerous times on the MTV-owned network LOGO.

Known for his "in your face" approach, he is one of the homohop subgenre's most controversial figures.

The lyrics of his songs confront hip hop's biggest allegedly awful rappers (who happen to hate gays), such as Eminem and 50 Cent.

Deadlee appeared as himself in the short documentary Hip Hop Homos, which was aired on the LOGO network. He was also one of the rappers profiled in Alex Hinton's 2005 landmark documentary on the "homohop" genre entitled Pick Up the Mic.

In 2007, Deadlee was the subject of mainstream entertainment news (Rolling Stone,, CNN) after he announced a Spring Tour called "HomoRevolution Tour 2007" and attacked Eminem, DMX, and 50 Cent as "homophobic." The tour was covered in the British Guardian newspaper and Deadlee appeared on The Tyra Banks Show along with Tori Fixx and Foxxjazell.

domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2007

D'Geyrald & TanéO' - I'm your man

Garth Brooks Interview

To see Garth Brooks in concert is to love him. Whether you're a country music fan or not, you can't help but be won over by the warmth and sincerity his stage persona. Obviously, some of Brooks's charisma has translated onto disc: since releasing his self-titled debut CD in 1989, the singer more than thirty million albums. In May, NBC will air Brooks's second prime-time special, an in-concert program filmed over four sold-out nights at the 65,000-seat Texas Stadium in Irving last September. Credited with revitalizing country music and new respectability within the music business at large, Brooks has also caught some flak away from the good-old-boy mainstream and singing songs that deal with such "taboo" subject as wife beating and homosexuality. A very patient, extremely friendly Brooks sat and talked with me in New York about such disparate topics as his admiration for the rock group Kiss and his fervent patriotism.

PETER GALVIN: I used to be a big Kiss fan, and I know that you were, too. You contributed a song to the upcoming Kiss tribute album. How did that come about?

GARTH BROOKS: The guys in Kiss had read in an article that they were very influential to me as a teenager. So they flew to L.A. to see a show of mine. After the show I came backstage. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were there. I reached out to shake Paul's hand, and he didn't say, " Hi, nice to meet you." He just said: "I see it. I see it in your show. I see it in your clothes. I'm flattered. " Man, I was beaming. My whole chest was out. I was like, "Wow, thank you." And the great thing, too, about Paul Stanley standing there with Gene Simmons is that these guys are not small people. They're huge. In real life Paul and Gene are well over six feet. They're bigger than life.

PG: Did you get to choose the song you wanted to do for them?

GB: No, they chose it for me. It's called "Hard Luck Woman." I kept telling them I really wanted to do "Detroit Rock City" or "God of Thunder," or something like that.

PG: At least they didn't ask you to sing "Christine Sixteen."

GB: [laughs] Right! [sings] "Chris-tine...!"

PG: I want to talk a little about the rounding the song "We Shall Be Free" on your album The Chase [1992]. You took a lot of flak from some homophobic fans who had a problem with the line "We shall be free ... when we're free to - "

GB: [starts singing the line]" . . . love anyone we choose."

PG: Right. Seldom do popular songs and films have anything in them that gay people can directly relate to, and, whether it was intentional or not, I think you probably connected with a lot of gays and lesbians because of that line. What is your own personal experience with gay people? I know that your older sister Betsy, who plays bass in your band, is gay.

GB: I'm trying to think about when I was growing up - I'm talking mid-'70s. It wasn't a period when people talked about being gay. I mean, we're still in a period when people don't talk about it that much. You also got to remember, man, growing up, I thought that everything was fine in my life. I could have been in the middle of a war all I wouldn't have seen it because I had everything fixed on my dream, and I was running as fast as I could. But where the gay issue has hit me the most is my sister. I've lived with that forever. And the thing is, the longer you live with it, the more you realize that it's just another form of people loving one another, so it doesn't become something special to you, something that's extreme or odd to you. But the line from that song isn't so much about people dealing with "it" as it is about people dealing with themselves. In that song I was talking about relationships between all kinds of people - interracial stuff, Jewish people with people from other forms of religion. But all the reviews focused in on gay. It's like, hey, imagine anything and its opposite coming together. Or anything that seems the opposite of how life has been, coming together. It's all about love.

PG: The negative stereotype of a country music fan is of an ignorant, beer-swilling redneck. Obviously, there are many country fans who don't fit into that category. I'm one of them, although I do like beer. [GB laughs] But I think it was interesting to have that "we shall be free" lyric in a country song because it shows that country music isn't only for people who fit that stereotype.

GB: Sure. But if you're wondering if we have the same fans now as we did before "We Shall Be Free" came out, I think the answer is no. We gained some fans that never knew our music, and we lost some fans that followed us very closely. My thing is, the longer I'm around, the more I'm going to reveal to people what I am. I have never been ashamed of what I am. I wasn't ashamed of singing "Friends in Low Places"; that's where I came from. But I'm also proud of "We Shall Be Free." In fact, in that song, the line I really thought I'd catch the biggest flak for was "When we all can worship from our own kind of pew. . . . " Nobody said jack about that.

PG: Does your acceptance of homosexuality conflict with your belief in God?

GB: That's a tough gig. I know everything I've got I owe to God. And I do believe God exists, but if I'm going to find out later on, you know, at the final day, that you were supposed to love a certain type of person or that one sex could only love the other sex, well, then, I guess I missed it. Right now, if you're asking me to tell you what I honestly believe in, it's that love is love, whoever shares it. It's just important that it's shared.

PG: Have you ever had a man come on to you?

GB: No guy has ever pulled the shitty guy thing by grabbing my ass, if that's what you mean. But I have had women with a lot less class than the worst man I've ever seen, come up and grab me and say, "How ya doing?" It's like, "Get away." No, I've never had a guy hit on me, but I do have a story that, for me, really relates to my feelings about this.

There's a guy back home that I sincerely love. He works with us - I'm not going to mention his name, and I'm not going to mention what he does for us. Rumor has it - and I've never talked to him about it, and it really doesn't matter - that he's homosexual. I ran into him one night in a club. I went there with my manager, and he was sitting at the bar, and I went up to say, "Hey." We always hug each other, so I'm hugging him, and I'm standing there talking to a bunch of people, and he sits down next to me. We're talking, and all of a sudden I feel this - what he's done is reached down and grabbed my hand. So we're sitting there actually holding hands at the bar. And there're people watching me, making me feel real uneasy about it. Then, all of a sudden, I think: Which is going to bother you more? People seeing you holding this guy's hand, or how he's going to feel if you pull your hand away? Not breaking that guy's heart or insulting him in any way meant so much more to me than anybody's opinion about me. So I just relaxed. Then we went to dinner, and it was cool. I thank God that moment happened to me because since then, I've been real cool about that kind of thing. People that you care about, you try to take care of, and the image takes a backseat. PG: My next question kind of has to do with what we're talking about. Do you think that all men have a feminine side? GB: I can only speak for myself. I think I have a huge feminine side. I've always hung around my mom and my sister a lot. And I find myself being able to work with women very easily. But some guys are real uncomfortable around women. If their wife is pregnant, they're praying she's going to have a boy, 'cause they're not going to know what to do if it's a girl. When my wife was pregnant, I prayed for a girl.

PG: Well, I always thought that what got the world so screwed up was too much masculinity, and that what we need over time is for a more feminine side to be recognized and appreciated. The world needs to know more about what women know. We need less warfare and more understanding.

GB: Yeah, but that's a real hard concept for me, 'cause I come from a very patriotic way of life. My father was in Korea, he was a marine, and I believe that peace is one thing worth dying for. That's probably the biggest paradox there is, that you have to kill for peace. I have the utmost respect for our fighting men and women in the service, and if it came down to there being a draft today, I would bust my ass to get there and to sign up as quickly as I could. That would be a priority for me.

PG: This idea of patriotism relates to a song on your most recent album, in Pieces [1993], called "American Honky-tonk Bar Association." You have this line about a "hardhat, gunrack, achin'back, overtaxed, flag-wavin', fun-lovin' crowd." To tell you the truth, in my experience, flag-waving people are often very narrow-minded and prejudiced about who they allow in their country and in their neighborhoods. To me, that's not a very "fun-lovin'" attitude. What I guess I'm saying is that I'm wary of patriotism.

GB: What's "wary"?

PG: It means I look at it slightly -

GB: You mean you're leery of it?

PG: Yes.

GB: If it helps, I'm a flag-waver. And I'm hoping that you just like being around me. And I hope we're having fun. [PG laughs] Personally, I would like to see the United States as a very patriotic country, a very proud country - but also a country that allows love and freedom of expression, that allows people to pursue whatever in hell they want to pursue, as long as it doesn't offend the rights of others.

PG: I'm curious about how you think the country music establishment sees you lately. At the last Country Music Association awards you were shut out except for one minor award. Artists who have experienced the kind of phenomenal success that you have often have to deal with a backlash.

GB: I'll be very honest. There was a time when I felt Nashville was like: "Hey, Garth. You're the underdog. Go get 'em." But now I'm not so sure. And I don't know what I need from Nashville, or what Nashville wants from me. The people there are cool, but the industry is different. And for me personally, It's not quite the same now as when I began because I'm in a different position. But I'm still trying to just be myself. The problem is, I'm not sure that on the subjects we talked about earlier, country music isn't going: "Hey! Don't be so much yourself. Jeez!" [laughs]

PG: Well, you've gone out on a limb in a certain way.

GB: Yeah, it's sad. I don't feel like I'm out on a limb; I feel like I'm being honest.

PG: Well, that's the best part of it. You're not doing anything to shock people; you're just being you are.

GB:I get a lot of messages from people who think I do certain things for the shocks and as a marketing ploy. That's not the truth. Not at all. it's like when that line "When we're free to love anyone we choose" caused so much trouble, I looked at myself in the mirror and said: "Man, you are one controversial person. But you're a very plain guy, a meat-and-potatoes guy. How come everything that you do is so controversial?" It's funny how sometimes real life is the odd way to look at things.

COPYRIGHT 1994 Brant Publications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
Bibliography for "Don't be fooled by Garth Brooks's flag-waving - country singer - Interview"
By Peter Galvin. March 1994

Garth Brooks: Biography

When it comes to defining an artist by the number of records they have sold, Garth Brooks is probably the most successful country music star to ever hit the stage. The singer and songwriter has had hit records in the country charts and the mainstream charts too, appealing to a mass audience. Born and raised in Oklahoma, his mother was country singer Colleen Carroll, and she gave birth to Garth in 1962. Garth sang in his local area and was given a record contract in 1988. His first album was released a year later and was a hit. The follow-up was successful too and Garth’s career was secured.

Different musical influences have been cited by Brooks, including George Strait, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Dan Fogelberg, and Bruce Springsteen. Garth’s third album got to the top spot on the pop album charts, a first for a country music act. With his trademark wireless headset, Garth was an international star injecting a contemporary feel to his concerts and recordings. The hit records continued through the 1990s. In 1997, Garth presented a free concert in New York’s Central Park with Billy Joel and Don McLean as guest performers.

Well known for his charity work and fundraising, Garth Brooks made a single in 1991 with other country artists to raise money for allied troops in the Gulf War. The other singers involved were Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, and Kathy Mattea. He also took part in Equality Rocks, a Gay Rights benefit concert where he sang a duet with George Michael.

In 2000, Garth Brooks announced his retirement from concerts and making records. This was a big shock to his fans, but he explained that he wanted to spend more time with his three children and may return in 2015, when the kids are all grown. His last original album came out in the following year.

Garth Brooks was divorced from his first wife in 2001 and re-married in 2005. His second wife is fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood. Garth came out of retirement temporarily in 2005 when he and his wife performed a song by John Fogerty on a telethon to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He also issued a new single, "Good Ride Cowboy," as a tribute to his late friend, the country singer and rodeo rider Chris Ledoux. Garth also took part in celebrations for the 80th year of the Grand Ole Opry, performing with Steve Wariner, Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner, and Little Jimmy Dickens.

Rufus Wainwright: Biography

Singer, songwriter. Born in 1974 in Montreal, Canada. With melodies and instrumentation more reminiscent of Cole Porter than Britney Spears, Wainwright has managed to carve out a unique space for himself in the world of contemporary pop music.

Wainwright was raised by his mother, Canadian songstress Kate McGarrigle. His father, sardonic crooner Loudon Wainwright III, and McGarrigle divorced when Wainwright was 4 years old. Even before he had picked up an instrument, Rufus had been immortalized in song. The dubious honor came when Loudon Wainwright composed the song “Rufus is a Tit Man,” a ballad about his failings as a new parent.

Wainwright began playing the piano at the age of 6. By his early teens he had already joined the family ensemble, an act billed as “The McGarrigle Sisters and Family”. When Kate McGarrigle was given the opportunity to compose music for a children’s film, she encouraged her son to make a contribution. Wainwright’s inaugural effort, “I’m Runnin’”, earned nominations for both Juno and Genie Awards, Canada’s equivalents to the Grammy and the Oscar.

After a stint at a boarding school in upstate New York -- at his father’s insistence -- Wainwright entered McGill University to study music composition. However, the strictures of college life and the academic study of music proved contrary to his goals. Wainwright dropped out of school and his mother agreed to support him while he pursued a professional music career.

He began by performing at local Montreal nightspots. He self-produced a demo tape of his work and, through family connections, managed to put the tape before record executive Lenny Waronker, who had just established the music production wing of DreamWorks Studios. Impressed by Wainwright’s unique vocal style, he partnered him with a series of record producers. Throughout 1996 and 1997, Wainwright pared and polished his material. The net result, 1998’s Rufus Wainwright, is a piano-driven work backed by complex string arrangements. Wainwright’s dry wit and plaintive, world-weary singing style set him apart from the mainstream of pop music.

The album was an immediate critical success. In Canada, Wainwright was awarded with a Juno for “Best Alternative Album”. Across the border, he was named “Best New Artist” by Rolling Stone magazine.

With his sophomore effort, Poses (2001), Wainwright expanded on the themes and styles of its predecessor. The characters that populate Wainwright’s songs comment self-deprecatingly on their excesses, creating dark comedy without delving into the petty angst that tends to permeate contemporary pop. Although still piano-focused, Poses incorporates varying types of instrumentation without losing the charm and simplicity that has critics likening Wainwright to musical greats like Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin.

Plata quemada

Burnt Money, which premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival, is set in Argentina in 1965 and is the fourth film by director Marcelo Piñeyro.

This true story follows the tumultuous relationship between two men who became lovers and ultimately ruthless bank robbers in a notoriously famous footnote in the annals of Argentinian crime history.

Nene (Leonardo Sbaraglia), Angel (Eduardo Noriega) and Cuervo (Pablo Echarri) are bank robbers who flee from Argentina across the border to Uruguay after a large-scale hold-up that turns bloody.

Angel is hurt and the three must lay low until Angel recovers. Nene and Angel are known to everyone they know as "the twins" because of their resemblance, but the two are not brothers at all - they are involved in a steamy homosexual relationship.

To get back to Argentina, the group must first wait for Fontana, the brains behind the robbery, to arrange for passports. Anxious from hiding, Cuervo decides to break curfew and go party.

After Nene and Angel also decide to take off, Nene meets a prostitute named Giselle and Angel ends up getting in a fight. The group is forced to abandon their refuge and Angel and Nene decide to move in with Giselle.

However, the sexual attraction between Nene and Angel burns too strongly and when Nene gets hostile with Giselle and kicks her out, she goes straight to the police to snitch on the group. It's not long before police are surrounding the building and the fate of Nene and Angel appears to be sealed.


Yossi & Jagger

Based on a true story, Yossi & Jagger portrays the love affair of two Israeli officers in an IDF position on the Israeli-Lebanese border. They are commanders, they are in love, and they try to find a place of their own in an oppressing and rigid system, which sends them to defend a cause they do not necessarily believe in.

Yossi, the company commander, is an introvert guy and largely a man-of-the-system. Jagger, the platoon commander, is an open and much more liberated guy. He is the star of the company. Yossi is determined to keep their love in secret. Whereas, Jagger, who is about to finish the service, believes that Yossi should leave the army with him. Shortly before departing for a dangerous ambush, the tension between the lovers gets high almost explosive.

Yossi & Jagger portrays the tragic structure of life of young Israelis today. The film presents an enchanting ensemble of young men and women that were supposed, in this time of their lives, to dance, study and love. Instead, due to the mandatory army service and the complicated situation in the region, they have to devote their most beautiful years to their country, to be soldiers, to kill and get killed.

In Yossi & Jagger you can find a chef who finds comfort in cooking a gourmet cuisine, a soldier who believes in reincarnation, and two young women who try to survive in a men's world. By showing the apparently small details of the commanders' and soldiers' lives, the film creators emphasize the distorted situation in which these men and women are forced to live and die.


Beautiful Thing

Juste une question d'amour

Presque Rien

'Come Undone': Growing Pains, Without the Psychobabble.

With the movies and television so glutted with psychological jargon that reduces every relationship and situation to the same formulaic banalities, it's almost an event when a serious movie scrupulously refuses to connect the dots with the usual cookie-cutter analyses. "Come Undone," the French director Sébastien Lifshitz's beautifully acted film about an introspective 18-year-old boy's homosexual initiation, first love, suicide attempt and subsequent recovery leaves so much unsaid and unexplained that it captures the uncertainty and emotional turbulence of late adolescence with a poignancy that a more clinically articulate movie never could.

The film, which moves abruptly and freely back and forth through time over a span of a year and a half, is hardly at a loss for words, since its characters' often evasive, unpredictable musings sound like actual overheard conversation. Although several scenes bring in a sympathetic psychiatrist, the movie still refuses to label the inchoate emotional forces running rampant in its central character. By suggesting that these forces have as much to do with just simply being young, the movie takes you back to that uncertain age when the future looms like a huge out-of- focus lump of uncertainty and indecision.

Much of "Come Undone," which opens today at the Cinema Village, is set in a seaside town on the western coast of France near Nantes. It is here that Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm), a slender, handsome, serious young man on a summer vacation with his troubled family, meets robust, sensual Cédric (Stéphane Rideau), who catches his eye on the beach one day and follows him home. Mathieu's family, which he describes as hell, has more than its share of upheaval. His mother (Dominique Reymond), separated from his workaholic father, who has stayed in Paris, has been clinically depressed since giving birth to an ailing baby that died of cancer three years earlier. His teenage sister (Laetitia Legrix) is bitterly withdrawn and sarcastic. A family friend, Annick (Marie Matheron), who serves as part- time housekeeper and cook, has become a kind of surrogate mother to the teenagers as well as a caretaker to Mathieu's real mother, who spends much of her time in bed, heavily medicated.

While Mathieu expects to attend college, Cédric, who lives in Nantes and comes from a working-class background, works in a waffle shop and has dreams of attending computer school. Early in their relationship, Cédric admits that for a short time he hustled for a living.

The movie's vision of a Gallic seaside summer is as shimmeringly beautiful as it is in the films of Eric Rohmer. The camera's sensitivity to atmosphere and climate is so finely tuned that shots of the sea, sand and sky at various times of day and different seasons powerfully synergize with Mathieu's emotional life.

The depiction of Mathieu and Cédric's intense affair, whose ecstatic interludes are interrupted by angry spats, feels utterly real. While the movie has abundant male nudity and one hot sex scene, the camera never seems voyeuristic because everything is seen from Mathieu's essentially innocent perspective.

Although the movie opens with a flash-forward, it still comes as a shock when, in the middle of Mathieu and Cédric's idyll, it leaps ahead to discover a drawn, haggard Mathieu in the hospital having a tube forced down his throat after a suicide attempt. Exactly what triggered the act and how it was done are never stated. Had the movie ascribed the suicide attempt to anxiety about coming out, romantic betrayal, homophobia, family disapproval or genes (an inherited tendency toward depression, perhaps), it wouldn't register with the bittersweet resonance that it does.

For ultimately, "Come Undone" isn't a movie about homosexuality, depression or family dynamics. For a gay coming-out story, its sexual politics are extremely muted. Mathieu's affair with Cédric and his eventual unexpected connection with a former boyfriend of Cédric's are presented as the experiences of a sensitive, sheltered youth awkwardly grasping at a tentative independence and self-reliance. You feel his growing pains.

Directed by Sébastien Lifshitz.
Written in French by Mr. Lifshitz and Stéphane Bouquet.
Director of photography, Pascal Poucet.
Edited by Yann Dedet.
Music by Perry Blake.

With: Jérémie Elkaïm (Mathieu), Stéphane Rideau (Cédric), Dominique Reymond (Mother), Marie Matheron (Annick), Laetitia Legrix (Sarah) and Nils Ohlund (Pierre).

Sigur Rós - Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa

"Viðrar vel til loftárása" spawned a cinematic and controversial video. Set in 1950s Iceland, it features a kiss between two young boys which is broken up by the father of one of the boys and a local priest during a football (soccer) match. Jónsi makes a cameo appearance in the video as the soccer team coach, and the fetus from the Ágætis byrjun album cover is shown on a bottle from which one of the boys drinks.

Production for the music video began in the fall of 2001. A general casting call was held in the town of Reykjavík, Iceland, which was also the place of principal photography. The video was directed by Icelandic directors Stefán Arni and Siggi Kinski. The video has won numerous awards.

Is a song from Sigur Rós's second full-length album Ágætis byrjun. It was also released as the B-side of the single Svefn-G-Englar.

The band named the song after a quote spoken by an Icelandic weatherman during the war in Kosovo: "í dag viðrar vel til loftárása" (meaning "Today, it is good weather for airstrikes.")

Ég Læt Mig Líða Áfram
Í Gegnum Hausinn
(Hugsa) Hálfa Leið
Sé Sjálfan Mig Syngja Sem

Fagnaðarerindið Við Sömdum Saman tyooo...
Við Áttum Okkur Draum
Áttum Allt
Við Riðum Heimsendi
Við Riðum Leitandi
Klifruðum Skýjakljúfa
Sem Síðar Sprungu Upp
Friðurinn Úti
Ég Lek Jafnvægi
Ég Dett Niður
Ég Læt Mig Líða Áfram
Í Gegnum Hausinn
Ég Kem Alltaf Niður Aftur Á Sama Stað
Alger Þögn
Ekkert Svar
(En) Það Besta Sem Guð Hefur Skapað
Er Nýr Dagur

Good Weather For Airstrikes

I Slide Forward
Through My Head
I Think Half Way
See Myself Sing
The Anthem We Wrote Together
We Had A Dream
We Had Everything
We Rode To The End Of The World
We Rode Searching
Climbed Skyscrapers
Which Later Exploded
The Peace Was Gone
Balance Leaks Out
I Fall Down
Slide Forward
Through My Head
I Always Return To The Same Place
Total Silence
No Answer
(But) The Best Thing God Has Created
Is A New Day

The man that I am with my man

The man that I am with my man
his warm coals heat toes
A shower cleans the surface and holes
Water, soap and hands
I sit while he stands
over me I can hardly see
that he is peeing on my shoulders and knees
a warm, wet, yellow breeze
He towels my head until dry
And leads me to his bed opened wide
For my penis, nose, fingers and feet
Body worn and set for sleep

Taking out my hand
he lifts me up and we both stand
We could be in the army or the klan
'cause when we're brothers in blood then we are brothers in band

Solid is the rock of my man
Solid is the rock of my man
Solid is the rock of my man

The man that i am with my man
Tamed but feeling no blame
Taking my red wishes in hand
Until my eyes have closed
The man that i am with my man
Pulled, poked and probed
His tongue licks my armpits and chest
Warm, red, salt and wet

Making a cut with a knife on my hand
Then he uses his tongue, licks, swallows and grins
On my knees I do the same to my man
Blood juices loosen me up, in me I feel man in man

Taking out his hand
he lifts me up and pets my head
We could be in the army or the klan
'cause when we're brothers in blood then we are brothers in band

Solid is the rock of my man
Solid is the rock of my man
Solid is the rock of my man

The men, they are men with their men
Raised in an army camp
They spit on my tarnished hands
and pull at my underpants
I'll be the man who I am with my man
Dressed in borrowed clothes

He softens my deep blues with his thighs
The fear of ocean underside

Taking out their hands
they lift me up and we all stand
We may be in the army or the klan
'cause when we're brothers in blood then we are brothers in band

Taking out his hand
he lifts me up and we both stand
We could be in the army or the klan
'cause when we're brothers in blood then we are brothers in band

Gay Messiah

Rufus Awaits the Gay Messiah
By Brian Orloff (February 26, 2004)

Rufus Wainwright's latest release, September's Want One, was conceived as a double album. Instead, per the singer's bargain with his record label, the work was broken into two volumes. Want Two is finished, and Wainwright hopes to get it to listeners by fall.

"My personal goal is to have it out before the presidential election," Wainwright says. "Want One very much deals with my own personal battles, whereas Want Two turns around and tries to tackle some of the earthly troubles that we're in right now. And I'd hate for the Democrats to win the election," he adds with a boisterous laugh, "and then have that sound weird."

Wainwright describes Want Two as an ambitious affair. "It's a bit darker, a little more operatic," he says. Wainwright has been playing several of the album's tracks, including "Little Sister" and "Gay Messiah," on his current tour.

Wainwright has always been colorful and up front about his sexuality, but -- with The Passion of the Christ and gay marriage dominating the headlines -- is the world really ready for the unleashing of the gay messiah?

"I don't know," he says, laughing. "I'm just taking orders from heaven. So, it's really out of my hands."

Since he finished Want Two, Wainwright has been working on new material, some of which he may try to squeeze on the album. "I'd love a huge tootsy radio hit," he says. "So, I'm aiming to have that radio bomb on the record. I'm just trying to cover every single damn base."

Aside from recording and touring, Wainwright has been busy with a new venture: acting. He has a small role in Martin Scorsese's upcoming film, The Aviator, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn.

"I'm sort of like a Bing Crosby-esque kind of nightclub singer," Wainwright says. "I'm in the background."

Wainwright, an unabashed opera fan, has mixed the genre with pop throughout his career, beginning with his 1998 self-titled record. Fans wonder when he will write his first great opera.

"I'm cornering the market," Wainwright quips. "And soon will devour it. But that's a slow and arduous process that I wouldn't hold your breath for anytime soon."

Gay Messiah lyrics

He will then be reborn
From 1970's porn
Wearing tubesocks with style
And such an innocent smile

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
'Cause the gay messiah's coming

He will fall from the star
Studio 54
And appear on the sand
Of Fire Island's shore

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
'Cause the gay messiah's coming

No it will not be me
Rufus the Baptist I be
No I won't be the one
Baptized in cum

What will happen instead
Someone will demand my head
And then I will kneel down
And give it to them looking down

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
'Cause the gay messiah's coming

To see a video
Live at Coachella, April 2007

sábado, 8 de diciembre de 2007

Tom Robinson Interview


Now on to the main focus of this show. Tom Robinson has long been a musical hero of mine, dating back to his 1978 anthem "Glad To Be Gay" and many wonderful songs and albums since. He was one of my dream interviews, and that came true in June when he hosted the Outmusic Awards in New York City. I was able to arrange some time with him, and captured about 70 minutes of wonderful and thoughtful answers, to questions about his music and his struggles with being gay, and then, bisexual. Naturally I cannot fit 70 minutes of talk into this hour show, but for those who want to hear the complete interview, I've uploaded it to my website for this month, where you'll also find lots of photos of Tom. On to the interview.

How would you describe your career to someone who has never heard of you?

I'd have to say that my career as a queer musician really started with a suicide attempt, where in my early teens I fell in love with somebody, as you do in your early teens. It was somebody of the same sex and at that time if you were queer you went to prison in the UK for four years. It was an imprisonable offense. So that meant that there was not role model one for a gay teenage anyplace in England or Britain. And I would rather have died than admit to anybody else that I was in love with this other boy at school, and that was the option I chose. I took an overdose of pills and had a nervous breakdown as a result. And it was really…although I recovered from that, and was saved by a very great teacher and healer called George Lywood, it wasn't until my early twenties, when David Bowie turned up and sang "You Are Not Alone." And suddenly on the bush telegraph you knew what that meant. "Oh You Pretty Things," "John, I'm Only Dancing"…you heard songs suddenly, for the first time, instead of being almost about your life, reflecting an emotional experience that you felt except all the pronouns were wrong, suddenly it was actually about your life, and I resolved to myself that if ever in the future I had an opportunity to do that for somebody else, to pass it on so the idea could spread, then I would do my damnest to do it.

David Bowie had an incalculable effect on my life, because for the first time, at school, or among young people, you could be queer and you could be one of the good guys. Up until that point in Britain that had never, ever happened. That meant that when I first got into a band, even though it wasn't my band, I did my best to do my bit, and on the side from the band's main music career, I started at gay benefits, writing queer songs and turning up for gay liberation front dos, and eventually appearing at Pride, and at Pride '76 I got up and wrote a song called "Sing If You're Glad To Be Gay," specifically for that occasion. And when I quit that first band that I was in, Café Society, I was able to form a band of my own and do whatever the hell I liked. And I'd just seen the Sex Pistols performing, and it was clear that you could do whatever the hell you liked, and get away with it for the first time, and that confronting the audience was not necessarily going to be a problem. So, I thought I'd try out "Sing If You're Glad To Be Gay" in pubs and clubs and scummy dives and places around London where we were playing. And bizarrely, instead of throwing bottles at the stage, people went "yeah, that's alright." And it was a great lesson really, that people will treat you if you're honest, and straight with them, so to speak, they will often respect you more than if you're trying to conceal yourself.

Can you tell us a little more about the writing of that song?

The reason I came to write "Sing If You're Glad To Be Gay" was because there were little yellow badges that said "Glad To Be Gay" on them, that were in wide circulation in the London gay scene around 1975, 1976. They were particularly popular among the Campaign for Homosexual Equality supporters, the CHE. CHE ran an assimilationist campaign where it was kind of gradual change through due political process, and not rocking the boat too much. And it meant that at those discos that they ran people would be wearing their "Glad To Be Gay" badges, and then they'd come out into the streets and take them off again and put them in their pockets. And at the same time police brutality against gay people had been upped in the long hot summer of 1976, and the police began raiding gay pubs, and people were taking it, too. There wasn't any kind of Stonewall reaction against that. And so I was infuriated by the fact that on the one hand the organizations that should have been campaigning for that were running little low-key discos in town where you could wear a "Glad To Be Gay" badge. Then you'd come out, hide the badge, and not do anything about what was going on in the streets to your brothers and sisters further down the road. So "Glad To Be Gay" was a bitterly ironic attack on the complacency of the gay community at the time, rather than a proclamation that one was glad to be gay.

Glad To Be Gay (1978) Stand Together /  Glad To Be Gay, (Dutch 45)

What were the influences on the Tom Robinson Band?

When I left my first band, Café Society, and wanted to form something that really reflected my own concerns about the political situation in the country and indeed about the musical concerns of punk rock, which were basic and a lot more tough than Café Society could be, I wanted it to be real, heartfelt and sort of heart on the sleeve, really, I mean as you found it. I was profoundly influenced by the Kinks because I'd been signed to the Kinks' label and Ray Davies had signed Café Society and produced its first album. So there was always a strand of music hall running through the Tom Robinson Band, which sat ill at ease perhaps with the more rock and roll direction which the band took with the acquisition of the other members, and the general musical direction we took alongside Clash, Sex Pistols, Jam, Stranglers, Elvis Costello, Ian Drury, the other kind of artists who were emerging at that time. I always felt that the music had to come first, because nobody gives a toss what your political opinions are, or what your sexual politics are, if your music's rubbish. You have to get the music right first. Nobody would ever have asked me any questions about "Glad To Be Gay" at all, let alone sign me to a record deal, if the band hadn't delivered musically, and on the basis of entertainment when people paid their money to go into a pub and see us play if we hadn't done a great show, and left people with songs that they sang when they came out of the door, then my political opinions or whatever other work we did would have been irrelevant.

I've got an article from a 1978 Advocate, that talks about your first hit, "2-4-6-8 Motorway" and has you describing the inspiration for the 2-4-6-8 part…

I have certain strengths as a songwriter I guess that have come to the fore in the course of thirty years and some areas that aren't great strengths. I've never had huge strengths as an innovator. I'm good at putting ideas together and articulating them, and pulling together and making things work, but in all honesty I'm not the most musically original or lyrically original writer of my experience and I've tended to borrow from sources and put things together in a way that someone hasn't bothered to put together before, that seems to work. And with "2-4-6-8 Motorway," the hook came straight off the gay and lesbian marches that I'd been on as an activist during the early 70s. People were chanting "2-4-6-8, gay is twice as good as straight, 3-5-7-9, lesbians are mighty fine." So when I was trying to put together a chorus for that song I just thought well I know that, I happen to know first hand that large numbers of people can chant that, and enjoy it, and that it works with a kind of stomping beat. So, I freely acknowledge that's where the chorus for that song came from.

2-4-6-8-Motorway (1977) 2-4-6-8 Motorway

In the late 80s you faced a backlash when the British media has a field day over your living with a woman. Can you talk about that?

Having enjoyed a period of notoriety as an out gay pop singer in the 70s, shock, horror, he sleeps with men, I then bizaarrly had a further brush with the tabloids, where, shock, horror, man sleeps with woman, and two years after I'd openly talked in the Pink Paper and Capitol Gay about the fact that I was, to my surprise, found myself living with a woman suddenly one of the tabloid papers got hold of it and thought, oh what a great story. It was some years since my last hit record in the
UK. I had really no idea that anyone gave a toss about what my, about what I would be doing at all, so it was a complete shock when somebody from the Sunday People called up my manager and said, "can we do an interview with Tom about his sex life?" She said, you know, "sod off." So they came around to my house and battered on the door and shouted through the letterbox, "Can we do an interview with you about your sex life?" And I said no. And then they waited outside the house until my partner came home from work on her motorbike and they snapped a picture of her and said "Can we do an interview with you about your sex life?" And she said no, so then they tracked down my father on holiday in France and said "can we interview you about your son's sex life?" And he said "sod off."

And I thought that was the end of it, but then that Sunday I was in the news agents and I saw a copy of the Sunday People and it said on the front, "Inside, Exclusive Interview With Tom Robinson." And it really went against the grain, but I had to buy a copy. So I got it home and opened it up and on the center pages, in color, there was a double page spread, which had the headline "Britain's Number One Gay In Love With Girl Biker: My Passion for Blond," by Rocker Robinson. It was all made up. It was just creepy, just really, really creepy. "A friend says he's so happy now he's not gay anymore." And, you know, how dare they? How dare they presume to know how our relationship worked or what went on behind our closed doors.

For the record I've never claimed to be anything other than gay. And it's only with reluctance that I came to about ten years later say, oh, sod it, you know, if living with a woman makes me bisexual, okay, I'm bisexual. If that makes it easier for you to understand, how I fancy men and happen to be living with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with who happens to be female, then, okay, I'm bisexual. I'm proud, and I started going to bisexual pride events and said, look, I'm not the only one this has happened to. And, why the hell not?

And I had a kind of homecoming with the bisexual community around the late 90s, around '97 or so, where for the first time in ten years Pride in the UK invited me to attend, at Pride, but it wasn't Pride main stage, it was the Pride Bisexual Tent, and I just walked out onto the stage with a guitar in my hand and people shouted "Hey, Tom, where you been?" I said, "Making Babies," and they all cheered, and it was like great, because I was at a queer event with people with whom I could say, "Yeah, I've been making babies." And they said, "Yeah, so have we. It's cool" And it was like a second coming out all over again, to be welcomed back into the arms of the queer community, fully validated. And so I've been appearing at Pride events and events like Outmusic and Glamma, and things with a new kind of assurance that I'm not a freak, that I'm not an oddity, or somebody…or a traitor, or something. That this is just human experience, that sexuality is a wide and many splendored thing that deviates from the heterosexual norm in all kinds of ways, and I just happened to be experiencing one of them.

It sounds like you're not entirely comfortable with the label bisexual.

I was quite reluctant in the first instance to come to use the word bisexual with regard to myself because I didn't feel any different inside from the way I had always felt. I always found men attractive. I still find men attractive. I figure out of, you know, every 200 men that pass on the street, I'm going to go, 100 of those are nice looking guys. Now, with every 200 women that pass on the street, maybe one is going to turn my head. It's hard to find a way to put this into words. I've had sexual relations with many, many men, in common with most gay men of my generation. The numbers, well, after a while you lose count. That's just the way it is. It's not a gay thing, it's a male thing. Men are not particular about having to have an emotional rapport…you know, it's not the same for women, particularly heterosexual women, like to have some idea of who it is they're having sex with, and some kind of relationship with the person in my experience. I hope I'm not maligning anybody by saying that. But in my experience heterosexual men would like to be promiscuous but they aren't able to find enough women to be promiscuous with. A promiscuous heterosexual man will boast that he's had 80 partners in the last ten years, and you know they think that's really a big deal. And gay men tend on the whole to laugh at that, cause it's men seeking men and suddenly that constraint is removed, and so of course you have a great deal more partners. It's to do with being male, it's not to do with being gay particularly.

So the vast majority of my sexual experience has been with other men. I sleep with one woman and suddenly I'm a bisexual, the difference being that the one woman that I slept with is the one I fell in love with and wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

There have been artists, who I won't name, who have lost credibility when they, quote, switched. I think your approach kept you your credibility.

Part of the trouble that I experienced with people who read about my living with a woman via the straight press was that we had had some disappointments in the past, where people like Lou Reed and David Bowie who had been iconic for us in our coming out, and who had made a huge difference to us in reflecting our experience in their lyrics, publicly and vocally backtracked from their position, disassociated themselves, said "I never really meant that. Oh, it was all just for publicity." They distanced themselves from that earlier experience and made us feel kind of dirty by them disassociating themselves in that way. We didn't feel dirty because we felt proud of ourselves, but they made it seem like they felt we ought to…and that was such a disappointment. I guess then when the guy who had sung "Sing If You're Glad To Be Gay" appeared via the press to be announcing that he had turned straight, too, then they thought, "Oh, not another one." As I say, I've never claimed to be straight or to have turned straight, or to have stopped being queer in any sense whatsoever. It's merely an expansion. In addition to my repertoire I had added a further experience. Hey, all my lesbian friends had been telling me for years and years about how fabulous women were, and I found out in this particular instance they were dead right.

Gay Switchboard Jingle (1978)

That was Tom's Gay Switchboard jingle, recorded in 1978, and that phone number is still good. And this is a good time to invite you to visit my website, at, where you can view the play list, and see photos of the artists and recordings, and listen to the show anytime. And also, be sure to listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Saturday night from midnight to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.

What is the first song you think of when I ask of what song are you the most proud?

My flip answer to the question of what song am I the most proud is actually "(Wish I Had a) Grey Cortina" because it had a simple message to put over, and did it very, very succinctly in very few words and conveyed quite a detailed idea: "wish I had a grey cortina, whiplash aerial, racing trim, cortina owner, no one meaner, wish that I could be like him." It was a piece of pop nonsense which I was able to just kind of put together and throw out, and no other song that I've ever written is quite as succinct as that.

But the true answer is "War Baby" is the song that I'm most proud of. The genesis of "War Baby" came at a low ebb in my life when I had run out of money and got massively into debt, particularly with the British tax authorities, and I had to flee the country and go and live on a friend's floor in Hamburg. And I really didn't know what was going to happen to me but I was there and I started writing some new songs. And he used to roll the most ferocious joints, large conical things that would sort of remove all semblance of reality and I used to somehow drive through the streets of Hamburg in my second-hand 20-year old car, ah, with the steering wheel on the wrong side, and make it to the gay sauna in that state, and kind of salve my soul through experiences there. And one particular evening I made it back to the flat somehow particularly stoned, after a particularly harrowing experience at the sauna, and just came back and wrote straight down "only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof." And the rest of it poured out onto the page, eight, ten pages of the stuff, just hand-written, stream of consciousness stuff. And it took about a year to get those ten pages down to something that you could actually sing in four minutes, but it came from a very, very deep place within me. I think it's the most truthful song that I've written, because I didn't think about it at all. The great artists are able to connect with a very deep part of themselves spontaneously, and I think that's the closest I ever came to doing it.

War Baby (1984) War Baby

Please tell me about the song "more lives than one"

"More Lives Than One" was kind of prophetic in a sort of way, because I was asked to write some music for a BBC Play for Today in the early 80s while I was in the middle of a passionate love affair with the big gay love of my life. It was to him I dedicated the whole "Still Loving You" album and we wrote the music together for this particular play on the TV and it needed a theme song to run through the credits, so I put together "More Lives Than One," because it was about a closeted bisexual man who was having sex on the side, unbeknown to his wife. And so the lines "sitting in the middle and it's hitting more lives than one" was about that. And then I resurrected it as a live performing piece in the early 90s, because it just seemed a kind of ironic reflection on my own situation, except of course that the woman I lived with, and eventually married, knew me as a gay man in the first place, liked me as a gay man in the first place, and found my gayness a huge part of the attraction and turn-on, which first threw us together, so there wasn't the element of hypocrisy that there was for the guy in the song

More Lives Than One (1984)

Tell me about the song "blood brother"…the song's an award winner

When you write songs, most writers I know have a little black notebook, well, it could be any color, that they put fragments of ideas in, as they occur to them. The fragment that started "Blood Brother" was "walking with your brother, your sister, your mother, so well behaved," which didn't sound like anything, but it was a vision of a teenaged boy, who's just got like a bit too old to be dragged along by his mother on a shopping expedition, and kind of imprisoned by being told by his mother he's got to go down into town on a shopping expedition. And that was all contained in this idea of being so well-behaved, but the inner life is at total odds with the outer life, and this kind of outwardly conformist idea for this teenaged kid. So, I started trying to work out what this was, how this could be a song, what was this about. It didn't sound like a line from a song. As I started writing this whole story poured out, again just in prose over ten pages or something, about this boy. I just wrote down everything about him I could think of. He was red haired, that he was freckled, lived on a farm with his family, he was the youngest kid…and again it didn't sound much like a song but I ended up with a whole story and then I managed to condense that into something I could sing. But there was much more detail in the original story then made it to the final song, but there are resonances of the original story in the song…

The song's an award winner.

The song eventually won a award, because at the end of the first draft it came to the line "open your eyes, here I am, I'm your blood brother." And suddenly I realized that wasn't the end of the song, that was the actual hook of the song and it gradually emerged that this was not a song about teenagers growing up. This was a song about bisexuality and a song more specifically about the specter of AIDS, and it's all very understated, although much clearer in the original story, and I think the resonances make it work. And again it's a song that means a lot to me personally.

Blood Brother (1990) Blood Brother

From the album "Cabaret '79," tell me about "Good To Be Gay" Cabaret '79

"Glad To Be Gay" had a precedent that while I was working in Café Society and keeping my gay activity compartmentalized as a little side activity in a way the eventually proved untenable. My first side project was writing a little sing-a-long morale booster for the troops for an earlier gay conference called "Good To Be Gay" and the CHE organization, Campaign for Homosexual Equality, paid to press up 500 copies of it on vinyl, and then sell it at the conference as a fundraiser. [sings] "so it's the same old story all over the world, when a boy meets a girl" [and the lesbians come] "and a girl meets a girl, we all sing"….is it "we all sing together cause we're happy to say it's a natural fact that it's good to be gay." So that song was actually called "Glad To Be Gay" and initially when I got up and sang the song we now know as "Sing If You're Glad To Be Gay" at the Pride event it was "Glad To Be Gay, Part 2." So having started out with naïve optimism, it was then the bitter, the savage disappointment of the second song took over.

"Good To Be Gay" was more optimistic

It was Pollyanna. "Good To Be Gay" was just kind of Pollyanna. I was still learning my chops as a songwriter, and it didn't have any kind of depth to it. But I was just trying to write something people could sing along with. At that time we didn't have any kind of gay music that was written specifically for our community so anything was better than nothing. I'm not particularly proud of it as a piece of writing in the long run except that it enabled me to learn how to write songs and gradually get better.

Good To Be Gay (1975)

I also loved your version of "Mad About The Boy" from that album

[laughs] Yeah, I loved "Mad About The Boy." It is a marvelous song. What's poignant about "Mad About The Boy" was that apart from "Matelot" where he came very close to revealing his true self, {Noel] Coward had to sublimate his gay sexuality in terms of public expression because simply it was an imprisonable offense at that time in the UK. You couldn't declare your homosexuality in the way that we can now. These are different, different times in the UK. So one senses rightly or wrongly in "Mad About The Boy" a sublimated yearning and that Coward himself had felt very much like that, and so in performing it I tried to kind of put myself in his shoes

Mad About The Boy (1979)

One of my favorites of your songs is "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" Can you talk a little about it?

In many ways one of my favorite gay songs of all the ones that I wrote that had a specifically openly amorously gay theme, I like "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" because I sent the lyric to Elton John and he came back with the music for it, and so it was a collaboration between two gay artists. And he is a great songwriter, there's no question, so it's got good changes and a decent melody. And his version of course was a slow ballad and…a bit drippy to be honest. And although he sent me back a demo which had all the pronouns as I'd written them, when he recorded it himself he kind of slurred them a bit, so where it's "I wish he didn't make me rabid" his is "I wish-he didn't make…" you know it was just a little bit on the ambiguous side. Ah, but that's all right. That's where he was at the time and what Elton has done (A) for the gay movement, and (B) in the fight against AIDS, with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, you know, is fantastic and we owe a huge debt to the man, so I think he's allowed to slur a few of his pronouns here and there

Never Gonna Fall In Love Again (1988) NGFILA

I've got one more question to ask Tom, but before I get to it I want to thank you all for listening, and to especially thank Tom Robinson for the very special interview. And, as always if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me at And I wish you would. My website, logically enough, is at This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the fourth Monday of next month with the next installment of Queer Music Heritage.

In recent years in addition to his music Tom has been taking on an additional role, as he's been hosting his own radio show on the BBC, and he tells me he's thoroughly enjoying learning about and sharing the music of many of today's artists. I want to highly recommend Tom's own website, I think it is about the perfect example of what an artist's site should be. It's packed full of information about his music and career, and his bisexual activism. It's very organized and graphically excellent, a wonderful site.

Last question.
Tom, how do you think the song "glad to be gay" has fared over the years?

I asked a gay activist in London, Eric Presland, to help me with updating the lyrics once. I had periodically updated them from year to year. And he wrote back repeating an old joke where a businessman drives through the country and pulls up beside a farm laborer who's leaning on a gate and says "how do you get to Liverpool from here?" And the laborer says, "Oh, if I were going to Liverpool I wouldn't start from here." And in a way that's right. I mean "Glad To Be Gay" is a period piece. It is of its time and updating it isn't going to make it a modern song. I don't know. There's something probably to be said for singing it again with its original lyrics and it's original context and just leaving it at that, rather than trying to bring it up to date. And yet you know you can't help putting Matthew Shepard in it, or putting AIDS in it, or George Michael in it when these events happen, it seems daft not to go on a stage and drag them in.

Has the version with the Matthew Shepard verse been recorded?

There's no recording of the Matthew Shepard version, no, that's only been added in the last 12 months.

Well, at the end of our interview he graced me with singing a little bit of "Glad To Be Gay," with the new verses, done very acoustic, just with his guitar and an audience of one. What a treat that was. How often does one of your musical icons sing a major gay anthem, just for you. Well, I'm pleased to share it. Tom Robinson's "Glad To Be Gay."


By JD Doyle


No se puede mostrar la imagen “” porque contiene errores.

Tom Robinson: Biography

Born June 1st 1950 in Cambridge, Tom Robinson was a choirboy until his voice broke, and everything else broke along with it. At a time when homosexuality was still punishable in Britain by prison, he fell in love with another boy at school. Wracked with shame and selfhatred, Tom attempted suicide at age 16. An understanding head teacher got him transferred to a pioneering therapeutic community for disturbed adolescents in Kent.

There at Finchden Manor, Tom was inspired by John Peel's Perfumed Garden on pirate Radio London, and a visit from old boy Alexis Korner. The legendary bluesman and broadcaster transfixed a roomful of people with nothing but his voice and an acoustic guitar. The whole direction of Tom's future life and career became suddenly clear.

In the early seventies Tom joined the acoustic trio Café Society with two friends in London. They impressed Ray Davies of The Kinks enough for him to produce their debut album, though it sold only 600 copies. Meantime he discovered London's emerging gay scene and embraced the politics of gay liberation, which linked gay rights to the wider issues of equality and justice in society at large.

Inspired by an early Sex Pistols gig, Tom left Cafe Society and formed the more overtly political Tom Robinson Band (TRB) in 1977, aged 26. His band had a hit with "2-4-6-8 Motorway", quickly followed into the Top 20 by a live EP despite a BBC ban on the controversial lead track "Glad To Be Gay". Swept along by a tide of music press hysteria TRB's debut album "Power In The Darkness" went gold. But the band fell from favour equally quickly and broke up - demoralised and squabbling - in 1979.

As the '80s arrived, Tom ploughed his remaining earnings into a new band, Sector 27. They recorded a critically acclaimed album with Steve Lillywhite and took New York by storm (playing Madison Square Garden with The Police) before they too split up and left Tom technically bankrupt.

Fleeing the taxman, he packed his few possessions into his Austin A40 and headed for Hamburg. Living in a friend's spare room - Tom began writing again and ended up working in East Berlin with local band NO55. He returned home with fluent German and a song that became his Top 10 comeback, 1983's 'War Baby'.

Tom's continental exile had given him a fresh perspective on pop, and his return to the charts was marked by with a string of shows - not at regular rock venues - but performing late night cabaret at the Edinburgh Fringe. His career enjoyed a resurgence in the mid 90s with a trio of albums for the respected folk/roots label Cooking Vinyl.

He has become an advocate for a wider sexuality than his earlier potrayal as only a homosexual campaigner allowed - marrying a woman and starting a family. Having kickstarted his musical career with the notoriety of "Glad To Be Gay", Tom rounded it off twenty years later with an album cheerfully titled "Having It Both Ways" (Cooking Vinyl, 1996). In 1998 his bisexual epic "Blood Brother" won in three categories at the Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards in New York.

Over the past two decades Robinson has gradually become better known as a broadcaster than as a musician. In 1986 a radio producer offered Tom him his own series on the BBC World Service. Just like his heroes Peel and Korner, he soon found himself broadcasting his favourite music to a worldwide radio audience.

Unusually, Tom has presented programmes on all the BBC's national stations: Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5Live. He fronted The Locker Room, a series about men and masculinity, for Radio 4 in the early nineties and later hosted the Home Truths tribute programme to John Peel a year after the latter's untimely death in 2004.

With producer by Matthew Linfoot he won a Sony Radio Award in 1997 with the gay music documentary You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, and currently hosts his own show on BBC 6 Music on Monday and Tuesday nights, while freelancing on Radio 2 (Mark Radcliffe show) and Radio 4 (Something Understood, Pick Of The Week).

Tom remains an active supporter of Amnesty International, The National Assembly Against Racism and The Samaritans along with Peter Tatchell's Outrage! campaign among others.

From an original biography by Sylvie Simmonds.

Marc Almond: Biography

Marc Almond as an international artist is both critically acclaimed and hugely successful as a singer, songwriter and performer. With Dave Ball he established the first successful British electro-duo: Soft Cell and had a string of international hits, the most successful being their multi-million selling version of the northern soul song 'Tainted Love'. The song is as popular today as it was in 1981 and is regularly aired with the duo's other hit singles Bedsitter, Numbers, Torch and Say Hello Wave Goodbye. The single Memorabilia was the first ever techno record and set the pace for a whole musical movement. Soft Cell notched up in excess of 10 million record sales worldwide and established a style that was to influence several generations of musicians that followed.

An offshoot project called The Mambas followed, recording two double albums, Untitled and the seminal Torment and Toreros, an important turning point in Marc's career and one that imbued his artistry with further credibility. The Mambas featured an orchestra both in the studio and on-stage, establishing another first in the 80's - orchestration becoming a main feature of his sound throughout much of his career. This, too, was to influence so many musicians and bands. It was during this period that he was affectionately referred to by the press as the 'Jim Reeves for the bedsit generation' and 'The Judy Garland of the Garbage Heap'. The transition from group to solo artist proved a major success as he produced a series of diverse albums, always surprising and leading his audience in a new direction. Retaining a sense of humour and a touch of bitterness, combined with a strong sense of irony, his themes are perhaps best reflected in the hymns to the 'Saints of the Underworld'; the brilliant and audacious Vermin In Ermine and the reflective cabaret of Stories Of Johnny; the romantic and personal Mother Fist and his most successful solo album of the eighties, the lush and sparkling The Stars We Are which also spawned the international hit Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart, a duet with Gene Pitney.

The nineties were another prolific and successful decade for Marc with the albums Enchanted, the Trevor Horn produced album Tenement Symphony, Fantastic Star, and the mature and acclaimed Open All Night. Further top 30 hits followed; A Lover Spurned, Jacky, My Hand Over My Heart and the top 3 hit The Days of Pearly Spencer. In the latter part of the decade Marc undertook a project that would take almost three years to complete. An album of Russian Romance songs called Heart On Snow, recorded in St Petersburg and Moscow and featuring a cross section of Russian singing stars and musicians, the St Petersburg Naval Choir and the Orchestra Russia. The album was a groundbreaking work, held up to critical acclaim and found a home in Moscow and a place in the hearts of many Russians who refer to him as 'an adopted son'. As well as all this Marc found time to release an anthology of poems and lyrics entitled 'A Beautiful Twisted Night' and his autobiography 'Tainted Life'.

In March 2001 Marc Almond and Dave Ball reformed Soft Cell to play their first series of concerts in 17 years to rapturous welcome. Commentators called it not a revival but a rebirth. The response was ecstatic and resulted in a brand new album, Cruelty Without Beauty, and a tour of Britain, Europe and America followed. The album received glowing reviews from the music critics and the tour was not only welcomed by hard core fans but a whole new young audience that was now listening to the new electro clash sounds from Europe and America that had in turn been influenced originally by Soft Cell. The single The Night, taken from the new album, was a Top 40 hit and saw Soft Cell perform together on the British chart show Top Of The Pops for the first time since the eighties.

Marc Almond has collaborated with a wide range of artists throughout his extensive career which includes working and recording with the likes of Gene Pitney, Nico, Nick Cave, The The, PJ Proby, Antony Hegarty and the iconic Siouxsie Sioux. In 2001 it was two different collaborations that gave Marc two European hits, firstly with a dance record entitled Soul On Soul with the trance producer Ferry Corstan; the track reached number one in many dance charts across Europe including six weeks at the top of the dance chart in Holland. The second collaboration was with the German band Rosenstolz and created a Top 20 hit in Germany with the song Total Eclipse. Further collaborative work has included recording tracks with British garage/hip hop producer Mekon, a single Baby's On Fire with T-Total and several recordings with Punx SoundCheck. Since 2001 Marc has toured extensively with Jools Holland and recorded a big band version of Say Hello Wave Goodbye for Jools Holland's double platinum album Big Band Small World.

2004 was an important year in the life of Marc Almond; first there was the publication of his book In Search Of The Pleasure Palace - a humorous travelogue and a journey through a mid-life crisis in search of inspiration, then the summer brought a limited run of shows at London's acclaimed Almeida Theatre. The performances, entitled Sin Songs - Torch and Romance, were a huge success with fans and critics alike. Marc received some of the best reviews of his career and the show was recorded for a DVD that went Top 10 on release. As the year unfolded a diverse array of engagements were undertaken, including an appearance performing with the Pussycat Dolls for New York Fashion Rocks and, in complete contrast, an acoustic show at Leicester Cathedral. It looked like the year was proving to be one of the most successful of his career but then, on 17 October, it all stopped when Marc was involved in a near fatal motorcycle crash. He remained unconscious for over two weeks whilst sustaining critical injuries.

All work was put on hold from that point and for the next two years Marc underwent a slow and difficult process of gradual recovery. The injuries sustained to his head, hearing and voice were extremely traumatic yet his determination not to be beaten carried him through and, after working with his physiotherapist and vocal coach, he made a remarkable recovery which included returning to the stage for full shows and recording a new studio album in 2007.

His own song writing apart, over the years Marc has received acclaim as an interpreter of other people's songs. He recorded a tribute album to Jacques Brel, entitled Jacques which received unparalleled critical acclaim in Europe, with Brel's estate praising him as the greatest living performer of Brel's work. He went on to record a twin album called Absinthe of French songs by writers as diverse as Baudelaire, Greco and Barbara. As well as this love of the French Chansons Marc Almond has always had a passion for the 'great voices' from the 50's and 60's and this love proved to be the inspiration for his first studio album since the accident. During his recovery, a time when he found song writing difficult, he recorded Stardom Road a collection of cover songs (plus one original song) that embodied all the diverse influences that shaped much of Marc's musical life. The choice of songs, some standards delivered with a subversive twist and some unusual choices that represented a part of Marc's musical journey, also included the first song writing since the accident - Beauty Will Redeem The World.

Overcoming all the odds Marc Almond has fought back and regained his previous status as a singer and songwriter and his reputation as a premier torch singer. In 2007 he returned to the London stage performing three intimate shows at the historic Wilton's Music Hall, followed by a sell-out full band concert at Shepherds Bush Empire on his 50th birthday. An emotional event for both the audience and Marc himself and one which he later cited as being one of his best shows ever.

Marc Almond is a survivor and since the accident, although he realises that many aspects of his life will never be the same, he retains his unique way of looking at life, through his humour and optimism. The legend lives on.