Jobriath A.D.

Released in 1973 on a wave of industry hype, Jobriath’s self-titled debut LP on Elektra Records anticipated Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell in its grandiose, operatic rock; it was also a resounding commercial flop that sank the singer-songwriter’s career. Documentary maker Kieran Turner attempts to rehabilitate Jobriath’s reputation, presenting him as a gifted musician and a gay-rights pioneer (he was one of the first openly gay rockers to hit the mainstream). He also presents a critical portrait of Jerry Brandt, the New York promoter who tried way too hard to make the singer into the next big thing. Jobriath desired fame and self-respect while Brandt just wanted money; Turner suggests that neither would have attempted such an outlandish kamikaze act alone.