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Bruce Wayne Campbell (December 14, 1946 – August 4, 1983), known by his stage name Jobriath, was an American rock musician and actor. He was the first openly gay rock musician to be signed to a major record label, and one of the first internationally famous musicians to die of AIDS.

Jobriath
Jobriath Elektra.jpg
Jobriath, 1973
Background information
Birth nameBruce Wayne Campbell
Also known asJobriath Salisbury, Jobriath Boone
Born(1946-12-14)December 14, 1946
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
DiedAugust 4, 1983(1983-08-04) (aged 36)
Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • actor
  • record producer
  • arranger
  • painter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1965–1975
Labels
Associated actsPidgeon

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early life and careerEdit

A native of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Houston, Texas, he showed early musical talent for playing the piano, and soon played organ in his local church.[2] It was during this time his talents soon led him to being introduced to Eugene Ormandy as a child prodigy.[3] While he was a high school student, he became further interested in classical music, and favored composers (such as Sergei Prokofiev), and he wrote the first two movements of his first symphony by his senior year in high school, but for reasons unknown chose not to complete it.[4] After graduating from Upper Merion High School (in King of Prussia, PA) in 1964, Jobriath took an interest in folk music, partly inspired by seeing Peter, Paul and Mary, in concert several times.[5] and he briefly formed a folk group with the help of his music teacher who arranged for two identical-twins, Marty and Grace, to join him. As a trio they named themselves "The Last Three", and played several regional shows in the PA area before Marty and Grace soon departed for college. While Jobriath briefly attended Temple University for one semester in the music program,[6] he soon dropped out before he was drafted into the military in the mid-1960s, and then soon went AWOL within months.[3] Renaming himself Jobriath Salisbury, he relocated to Los Angeles.

After accompanying a friend to the audition for the musical Hair as a piano player, he impressed the producer and director with his singing and talents on the piano, and was soon cast by the director Tom O'Horgan into a leading role as 'Woof', an implicitly gay teenager.[7] He appeared in the legendary West Coast production at the Aquarius Theater on Sunset Boulevard. Despite receiving positive reviews in his performances, he was fired from the production for "upstaging" the other actors.[8][9] After leaving the production in 1969, he joined the folk-rock band Pidgeon as their lead singer and guitarist, which was then signed to Decca Records. The band recorded a debut album originally titled "First Flight From the Forest" which was re-titled by their label as the self-titled 'Pigeon',[10] and—shortly after the album's release—the band released the single "Rubber Bricks" b/w "Prison Walls" before disbanding.[11] Both were produced by Stan Farber. At this time he was traced by the military police and arrested, spending nearly six months in a military psychiatric hospital after suffering a breakdown.[7] During this period he began writing the songs that would lead to his next musical incarnation.

Jerry Brandt, the hype and Jobriath BooneEdit

In mid-December 1972, Jerry Brandt, Carly Simon's former manager, overheard a demo tape being played by Clive Davis at Columbia Records. Davis rejected the tape as "mad, unstructured and destructive to melody", but Brandt was quick to step in. Jobriath later remarked "that coming from a man who discovered both Patti Smith and Barry Manilow...so much for sanity and structure!"[12] Brandt located Jobriath in California, where he was living in an unfurnished apartment and working as a prostitute. Brandt:[clarify] "In walked this beautiful creature dressed in white. I said, Why don't you come out to Malibu and hang out?"[12][additional citation(s) needed] This became a feature of the mythology used to promote Jobriath, and helps to explain the acrimony that followed the dissolution of their professional and personal relationship.

Brandt signed Jobriath, now calling himself Jobriath Boone, to Elektra Records for a reported $500,000, in what was allegedly the most lucrative recording contract of its time.[13] The label's president David Geffen signed Jobriath for a two-album deal.[14] A huge marketing campaign and media blitz ensued, including full-page advertisements in Vogue, Penthouse, and Rolling Stone magazines, full-length posters on over 250 New York City buses and a huge 41' by 43' billboard in Times Square. All featured the forthcoming debut album sleeve design by noted photographer Shig Ikeda, which featured a nude Jobriath, made to resemble an ancient Roman statue.[15] Plans were announced for a lavish three night live debut at the Paris Opera that December, at a cost of $200,000 and a subsequent tour of European opera houses. Jobriath informed the press that the show would feature him dressed as "King Kong being projected upwards on a mini Empire State Building. This will turn into a giant spurting penis and I will have transformed into Marlene Dietrich."[16] Elektra, concerned about spiraling production costs, postponed the Paris Opera shows until February, later canceling them due to expense.

Amidst this barrage of promotion, the debut album Jobriath was released, garnering mostly positive reviews. Rolling Stone stated that Jobriath had "talent to burn", Cashbox called it "truly one of the most interesting albums of the year" and Record World hailed it as "brilliantly incisive", referring to Jobriath as "a true Renaissance man who will gain a tremendous following". Esquire disagreed, calling it "the hype of the year". The album was co-produced by Eddie Kramer and Jobriath, featuring string arrangements by Jobriath, recorded at Olympic Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra.[17] Kramer described Jobriath in Mojo as "a romantic soul, really. He wanted orchestrations like old film music, though he knew nothing about scoring. So he bought a book on orchestration and within a week he'd come up with scores of a haunting quality". Peter Frampton is also credited on the album, though his contribution is unclear.[18]

During this period, Brandt continued making extravagant statements such as "Elvis, the Beatles, and Jobriath" and declaring that both he and Jobriath had booked flights on Pan American's first passenger flight to the moon. Meanwhile, Jobriath declared himself "rock's truest fairy", a comment that did little to increase his popularity at the time but has since confirmed his status as the first openly gay rock singer to be signed to a major record label.[19][20]

Jobriath's debut public performance was made on television, when Brandt secured him an appearance on the popular show The Midnight Special. The costumes were designed by Jobriath and the choreography was by Joyce Trisler, of the Joffrey Ballet.[21] Two songs were performed: "I'maman" and "Rock of Ages", the latter substituting for "Take Me I'm Yours" which was pulled after the producer objected to its overtly sado-masochistic theme.[citation needed] The long-awaited live performance finally came in July 1974 with two sold-out shows at New York's The Bottom Line club.[7] Sales for the album however, were poor and it failed to secure a chart placing.

Six months after the release of the debut album, Creatures of the Street was released, again featuring Peter Frampton, as well as John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.[22] The costumes were by Stephen Sprouse. The photography was by Gered Mankowitz. Compiled from the extensive sessions for its predecessor, it was launched without any fanfare or media promotion and failed commercially. A US tour followed, where Jobriath and his backing-band (called 'The Creatures') did several residencies around the US (in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles & Memphis) during which recordings took place at local studios for a projected third album. Despite the tour having several well-attended shows and/or several sold-out nights, both Brandt and Elektra stopped financing the tour midway through. Despite this, Jobriath and the band completed the tour, continuing to bill Elektra for expenses. A final show, at the University of Alabama, ended in five encores and the fire department being summoned when the excited audience set off the alarm.[23]

Cole Berlin, cabaret and The Chelsea HotelEdit

In January 1975, Jobriath announced his retirement from the music industry and moved into a pyramid topped rooftop apartment at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. He attempted to resume his acting career, and was invited to audition for the role of Al Pacino's lover in the film Dog Day Afternoon.[24] According to keyboard player Hayden Wayne, Jobriath had the script for 'Dog Day Afternoon' backstage at a concert at Nassau Coliseum, and claimed he didn't want to do the film due to the character's wearing of a dress. [25] Calling himself "Cole Berlin" (a play on both Cole Porter and Irving Berlin), he worked as a cabaret singer[26] at a restaurant called The Covent Gardens, as well as clubs and cabarets, augmenting his income with occasional prostitution.[7]

DeathEdit

By the time his 10-year contract with Brandt was finally up, Jobriath was sick with AIDS. He began to feel ill in late 1981 but still managed to contribute to the Chelsea Hotel's 100th birthday celebrations in November 1982. He died on August 4, 1983, one week after the end of his original 10-year contract with Jerry Brandt expired. Jobriath was found at his beloved white piano, three days after he died.[citation needed]

LegacyEdit

In December 2018, Morrissey announced a new covers album that would include as the first track Jobriath's song Morning Starship.[27]

In November 2004, long-time fan Morrissey oversaw Jobriath's first CD re-issue, a compilation called Lonely Planet Boy.[28] It was produced by Eddie Kramer. Morrissey had previously attempted to secure Jobriath as a support act for the tour in support of his Your Arsenal album, having been unaware that the singer had died some years previously.

Both Jobriath's original studio albums were officially reissued on CD in Japan in late 2007, remastered and issued in mini-vinyl replica sleeves. They were released in the U.S. in standard jewel-box packaging in 2008 by Collectors' Choice Music.[29]

The group Balcony released a semi-tribute track entitled "Jobriath" as a free MP3 anonymously on the internet in 2000[30] that was later included on their second album Before Needs.[31] He is referenced using his legal name by the indie-folk band Okkervil River on the final song of their 2008 album The Stand Ins, entitled "Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979".

Def Leppard released a cover of "Heartbeat" on some versions of their 2006 album Yeah!.[32]

"Morning Starship" was sampled by hip-hop artist Ill Bill on the title track to his 2007 mixtape album "Black Metal".

Filmmaker Kieran Turner (24 Nights) has created a feature documentary about the late singer called "Jobriath A.D."[33][34]

Ann Magnuson is working on an EP featuring four Jobriath songs and a spoken-word narrative.[35]

On October 29, 2013, Eschatone Records released three 1971 Jobriath tracks digitally and on 10" vinyl as the EP Amazing Dope Tales.

On May 6, 2014, Eschatone Records released the full-length As the River Flows album of never-before released Jobriath recordings from 1971–72 on CD, limited edition vinyl and in digital format.[36]

On December 5, 2018, singer Morrissey released a statement that his next album, California Son, will open with a cover of Jobriath's "Morning Starship".[37]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

CompilationsEdit

  • 2004 – Lonely Planet Boy – Attack / Sanctuary (ATKCD010)
  • 2014 As The River Flows – Eschatone (ESC018)
  • 2015 "Popstar: The Lost Musical" – Factory25

SinglesEdit

  • 1969 "Rubber Bricks" / "Prison Walls" (with Pidgeon) – Decca (832545)
  • 1974 "Take Me I'm Yours" / "Earthling" – Elektra (EK-45878)
  • 1974 "I'maman" / "Rock Of Ages" – Elektra (EK-45888) / Barclay (620 062)
  • 1974 "Liten Up" / "Ooh La La" – Elektra (E-45210)
  • 1974 "Street Corner Love" / "Rock Of Ages" – Elektra (EK-12146)
  • 1974 "Ooh La La" / "Gone Tomorrow" – Elektra (K-12156)
  • 2004 "I Love a Good Fight" + "Scumbag" – Attack / Sanctuary (ATKXS012)
  • 2013 "Amazing Dope Tales" + "As The River Flows" + "City Freak" – Eschatone (ESC1001a)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Pidgeon – Pidgeon". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ https://www.amoeba.com/jobriath/artist/142244/bio
  3. ^ a b Windham, Ben (February 25, 2005). "REVIEW: Album of the late glam-rock great reissued". Tuscaloosa News.
  4. ^ http://larecord.com/interviews/2014/06/17/jobriath-a-d-movie-kieran-turner-interview-reissue
  5. ^ http://jobriath-space-clown.tumblr.com/chronology
  6. ^ http://jobriath-space-clown.tumblr.com/chronology
  7. ^ a b c d Lonely Planet Boy liner notes by Robert Cochrane
  8. ^ http://www.thefilmcollaborative.org/films/img/dialoguelists/JOBRIATH_Dialogue_List_10312.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.furious.com/perfect/jobriath.html
  10. ^ https://www.last.fm/music/Pidgeon/+wiki
  11. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "( Pidgeon > Overview )". allmusic. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Rob Cochrane. "Jobriath: I'm Ready for my Close-Up". Crap from the Past. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  13. ^ The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia Of Rock And Roll edited by Jon Pareles and Patricia Romankowski, Rolling Stone Press, 1983
  14. ^ November 1998 issue of Mojo Magazine (pp. 69–70)
  15. ^ "Original Jobriath Unretouched Album Photo". Locationny.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  16. ^ Ron Gerber. "Jobriath: the Mojo article". Crapfromthepast.com. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  17. ^ Hayden Wayne. "A Pictorial History of Sexual Indulgence". Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  18. ^ Ron Gerber. "Jobriath: The 1st Album, Jobriath (1973)". Crap from the Past. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  19. ^ "Classic Rock » Blog Archive » Cult Heroes No. 4: Jobriath". Classicrockmagazine.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  20. ^ Metzger, Richard (March 30, 2009). "Jobriath Boone: Rock's Fairy Godmother". Boing Boing. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  21. ^ Hayden Wayne. "A Pictorial History of Sexual Indulgence". Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  22. ^ Ron Gerber. "Jobriath: The Second Album, Creatures of the Street (1974)". Crap from the Past. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  23. ^ "Hayden Wayne on Jobriath". Newmillenniumrecords.com. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  24. ^ "allmusic". allmusic. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3E1dAheYe0
  26. ^ Thompson, Dave (December 14, 1946). "( Jobriath > Biography )". allmusic. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  27. ^ "Morrissey announces new covers album 'California Son'". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  28. ^ "Twisted Tales: Glam Rocker Jobriath - The Man Who Would Have Been Queen". Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  29. ^ "Jobriath's Elektra Albums Reissued On Collectors' Choice (August 13, 2008) : News". PlugInMusic.com. August 13, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  30. ^ "balcony". mont records. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  31. ^ "balcony op MySpace Music – Gratis gestreamde MP3's, foto's en Videoclips". Myspace.com. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  32. ^ "Joe in Jobriath documentary". DefLeppard.com. January 24, 2010. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  33. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  34. ^ "JOBRIATH: Resurrection". Championstudios.net. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  35. ^ "Ann Magnuson's The Jobriath Medley: A Glam Rock Fairy Tale". Kickstarter. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  36. ^ http://jobriath.eschatone.com
  37. ^ ""California Son" track listing posted on Morrissey Central". Morrissey-solo. Retrieved 2018-12-12.

External linksEdit