The first openly gay American popstar– and one of the first AIDS casualties in the music business, Jobraith (who like many glam musicians at the time, went through a bevy of stage names) was working as a prostitute in LA until he David Geffen signed him to Elekra in 1972. Managed by Jerry Brandt, his two album contract made history as the most lucritive record deal at $500,000. The above video, performed on Midnight Special (introduced by Gladys Night) marks his debut performance. Jobraith designed the triadic-ballet style costume, and Joyce Trisler of the Joffrey Ballet choreographed the performance. 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. Sales of the album were poor, and tanked–never reaching the charts.
His second album, released 6 months after his debut, Creatures of the Street was released, featuring Peter Frampton, as well as John Paul Jones. Compiled from the extensive sessions for its predecessor, it was launched without any media promotion and again failed to reach the charts. A US tour followed, during which recordings took place at local studios for a projected third album. Both Brandt and Elektra abandoned Jobriath midway, but despite this the band completed the tour, and continued to bill Elektra for expenses. A final show, at the University of Alabama, ended in five encores and the fire brigade being summoned, due to the excited audience setting off the alarm.
In 1975 Jobriath announced his retirement from the music industry to an uninterested press and moved into a pyramid topped rooftop apartment at the Chelsea Hotel. He attempted to resume his acting career and changed his name to ‘Cole Berlin’ (a play on both Cole Porter and Irving Berlin). He died in 1983 after being sick for two years.
Formed in 1974, the Australian band Supernaut (originally called Moby Dick) had a brief but successful career which yielded two top twenty singles and gold album status from their self-titled debut album.
Supernaut were signed by Polydor and burst on to the Australian charts with a number one hit in July, 1976 with this track, “I Like It Both Ways”. A follow up hit from their self-titled album came in November, 1976 with “Too Hot To Touch”, which reached number 19. In 1978, the band moved to Sydney and changed their name to The Naut. Now a punk/new-wave outfit, the album was received well by critics, but sales were low–leading the band to disband by 1980. Members went on to play in various bands, and work in the film industry. Most notably, Chris Burnham went on to play in The Saints.