At long last, some videos of forgotten 70’s gay glam rocker Jobriath have been uploaded to YouTube. Initially marketed to be the American version of Bowie, (though a Bowie if he stuck to sticking it to dudes), he ended up rather sadly closer to Brian Slade, the Bowie manqué character from Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine. (It’s one thing to allude to, and dabble in, being a freewheeling omnisexual alien rock star, but to actually walk the walk, well, it may have been too much for mass consumption — even in the hedonistic 70’s.)
His albums a commercial flop, Jobriath (née Bruce Wayne Campbell), began performing cabaret songs at parties, restaurants and boîtes under the moniker Cole Berlin before eventually succumbing to AIDS. Depressing! Though he managed to garner some lifelong fans, like one Steven Patrick Morrissey, who oversaw the posthumous release of a Jobriath compilation album in 2004. And now clips are on YouTube, so maybe others will discover him. I suppose that’s something.