FT5: Gay Dudes That Rock
Homosexuality may not always be the easiest subject matter to broach, but it’s one that people often turn away from when discussing homosexuality in modern rock n’ roll. However, some of the greatest inspirations for modern music all have their gentle touch. So in honor of these brave souls, who bared it all, we give you our Top 5 Gay Dudes That Rock.
I almost didn’t include Freddie on this list although he was the first person most of my friends suggested when I began to toss around the idea for this list. It’s not that Freddie didn’t rock, it’s just that it wasn’t really wasn’t his M.O. For every slightly rocking Queen song there is a totally vaudevillian counterpart. For every We Will Rock you there is a Bicycle Race and for every Another One Bites the Dust there is a Killer Queen. Ultimately though it was the power of one song that kicks out the jams and goes for the jugular enough to earn Freddie a slot on the list. Stone Cold Crazy is 2:16[audio:http://cdn1.libsyn.com/radiofreeokc/08_Stone_Cold_Crazy.mp3?nvb=20090306000926&nva=20090307001926&t=061a488e49ef694ca41dd]
It doesn’t take too much to realize that Rob Halford is probably one of the gayest metal dudes of all time. First, he was pretty open about it, sharing with fans some of his intimate details, but then you have to take into account his whole persona as the frontman of Judas Priest. Not everyone pulls off the male dominatrix outfit in an openly gay fashion while fronting one of the more in your face hard rock acts of the time, but Rob pulled it off, both on stage and in the bedroom, one can assume. Then you have to throw in that operatic voice, which reached notes most ladies can’t even hit. For your open homosexuality, support of the S&M culture and your operatic voice, we salute you.[audio:http://cdn3.libsyn.com/radiofreeokc/04_04_-_Hell_Bent_For_Leather.mp3?nvb=20090306001017&nva=20090307002017&t=034b80691b334135a0373]
While Little Richard didn’t invent rock and roll, he did make it his bitch. It’s hard sometimes to imagine just how over the top and insane Little Richard must have sounded in 1956. Kids were out of control, parents were scared, Little Richard was a dangerous man. This flamboyant black man is making your cracker ass kids dance in improper ways and I think little Sally smelt like cigarette smoke when she came home from her glee club meeting the other night and I’m pretty sure Johnny had whiskey on his breath.
Power in the Darkness the debut album by Tom Robinson should have ended the debate over gay rights with one fell swoop when it dropped in 1978. There are no mixed metaphors about sexuality and discrimination; it’s an all out call to arms for equality and it kicks out the jams harder and with more passion than 95% of the other schlock that came out of the British punk movement. While not exactly the cookie cutter punk sound that began to emerge in England after the Pistols and the Clash, it’s more hard rock with an edge and a kick ass organ. Kind of like the Hold Steady if Craig Finn could sing and was gay. Unfortunately the rest of his catalogue doesn’t meet the standard set by his debut but it’s so essential that it earns Tom a spot at #2.[audio:http://cdn1.libsyn.com/radiofreeokc/04_Aint_Gonna_Take_It.mp3?nvb=20090306001043&nva=20090307002043&t=01db6218bfa6f8f99ab08]
As a founding member of SST Record stalwarts Husker Du, Bob Mould spat in the face of mainstream American music, as he himself lived secretly in the underground world, both musically and sexually. After the break-up of Husker Du, rumored to be a lover’s quarrel between he and drummer Grant Hart, he formed Sugar–and the name just says it all. But, his steps into electronica and dance music only cemented his status as a creative genius who helped support the local gay community, as an outstanding citizen of the gay rock pantheon of America. He even used a bit of his songwriting skill to the Wed-Rock album which was meant to promote same-sex marriage. His influence is all over the map in the indie canon, going from Nirvana to Green Day to Dinosaur Jr. Without our number one gay superhero, where would our musical landscape be?[audio:http://cdn4.libsyn.com/radiofreeokc/12_Whats_Going_On.mp3?nvb=20090306001054&nva=20090307002054&t=0bba768cfe3298a263fd3]