Gay Times May 12 - Issue 405
Queen for a day
American Idol? Second album? Pah. Adam Lambert’s only gone and joined the biggest rock group ever.
More from Gay Times May 12 - Issue 405
When it was announced that Adam Lambert was going to front Queen at this summer’s Sonisphere festival at Knebworth, there was a little sniffing, but also a hefty chorus of approval. The handsome, shiny American Idol refugee had proved himself a durable enough rock star already. He has a voice that could pull it off. And when he joined Brian May and Roger Taylor at least year’s MTV Europe Music Awards, he proved himself a more adequate replacement for the late, great Freddie Mercury than his predecessor, Paul Rodgers.
If we needed another qualification, there is the small matter that Adam is openly and loudly in the gays. So when we caught up with him after news broke, the first question was obvious – does he feel like his sexuality qualifies him any better to play Freddie?
“I don’t know, I don’t think I’m playing Freddie, I think I’m me, and the tricky thing that people need to realize is that I’m doing it my way. But I think the coincidence that we’re both gay men – the best thing about it is that I can identify maybe with some of his writing. Especially when I listen to the lyrics of The Show Must Go On, from what I’ve been told, Freddie wrote that about dealing with his secrets and dealing with his illness and facing the world. I can only feel for him because I on the other hand have been openly gay and I’m very healthy, so I’m not dealing with those issues. But I can understand and empathise really closely. I have friends who have dealt with those types of issues, and I know what the struggle is of being in the closet. I know what it feels like, and I know what it is to be an openly gay man, or a closeted gay man in the music industry. I think the good thing about the coincidence that we’re both gay men is, I can understand where he was coming from. It’s a kindred thing and I get it.”
You would have needed a pretty shonky gaydar not to have worked out Adam was in our club from his theatrical performances on American Idol. But even compared with Marcus and Craig on X Factor last year, he didn’t discuss it openly until the show was over. Freddie, on the other hand, never came out completely publicly. Are we now approaching a world where this could be a non-issue?
“In an ideal world I think it should be a non-issue,” he says, “but unfortunately it’s not for everybody – it is an issue for people. Freddie was pretty private about it, I think he made the decision because he felt like he had to. That’s not mine to dispute or argue with, but at the time I think he did what he had to do, for the good of his band.”
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Words: Daniel Martin