martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Entrevista a Rob Halford

Halford concedió una revista a The Advocate poco después de anunciar su homosexualidad. La podéis leer en Pegamin2000 en 5 partes (si no queréis leer todo, más abajo resumo un poco el asunto):
Parte 1
Parte 2
Parte 3
Parte 4
Parte 5

Leyendo esta entrevista entreveo una persona que necesitaba cariño y que vivió encerrada en sí misma por los condicionamientos sociales de su época. Un ser frágil tras la máscara de rudeza que transmite un grupo como Judas Priest. Me ha conmovido ver ese aspecto de su persona. Halford siempre ha sido un tipo misterioso y ahora lo comprendo un poco mejor. Me gustaría darle un abrazo.

Os dejo un resumen de las partes que más me han llamado la atención (en inglés):

How did you hide your homosexuality from Judas Priest all those years?
Everybody in Priest always had an awareness that I was gay.

How amazing that they weren't afraid to have a gay man lead their band.
I never experienced homophobia from anybody in Priest. I think that if I'd sensed that they had a problem with it, I would not have joined the band--even though obviously it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

From my own experiences traveling with metal bands on tour buses as a journalist, I remember that often a band member would fall in love with a girl and bring her on the road.
That's exactly what I did.

With a boy?
Yes. Absolutely. That's exactly what I did. The guy I've had a relationship with now for the last three years will be going out on the road with me on this current tour--although we've gone beyond the sexual thing now; we're just platonic friends. But we live together, and we don't want to really let each other go. I've had only a handful of serious relationships. Fortunately, I could to take these individuals on the road.

Tell me about feeling isolated with all those straight-arrow rockers.
It's horrible. The show ends, everybody goes to the titty bar or the nudie bar, and they all pick up a bunch of chicks and go up to their rooms. That's not me. I'm a gay man. So it was a very isolated, lonely kind of experience. You do this great show in front of thousands and thousands of adoring fans...

And so many of them are men!
Yes. Isn't it crazy? All those guys, and I'd go back to my room alone. It's 11:30; you close the door and watch The Tonight Show and fall asleep while everybody else is banging away down the hallway, doing orgiastic rock-and-roll things.

You never picked up any men?
Yes. You know, I had a few of the rock-and-roll groupie experiences with other gay men who were hanging out backstage. My gaydar would go off. But that was very isolated.

Were you aware of other closeted gay rock stars? Did you know Freddie Mercury [Queen's lead singer, who died of complications from AIDS in 1991]?
Well, Freddie... I just sometimes have these real emotional experiences and feelings about him, especially when I listen to his music. I worshiped him as a performer and as a musician. I just wished that we could've become friends. We came so close. I remember going to Mykonos [Greece] one time, and the plane stopped over in Athens. I was with a bunch of my gay friends, and we went to this gay bar in Greece. Freddie was there too. He was in one corner, and I was in one corner, and we kinda smiled to each other and waved, "Hey, hi, how are you?" He was in Mykonos for two weeks on his huge yacht, which he'd festooned with bright pink balloons. It just kept going around and around the island. I wished there would've been an opportunity for us to get together. I was devastated like everybody else when he passed away.

What made you create the leather look for Priest?
The imagery I created was simply out of a feeling that what I was doing before the leather and studs and whips and chains and motorcycles didn't fit me. Priest was going onstage in very flamboyant saggy pants. It was very extroverted and fluffy in its visual tone, but I didn't feel right. I've got great videos of me wearing outfits that I stole out of my sister's closet. I couldn't figure out what to wear. How do I dress with the music that sounds this way?
So I said, "OK, I'm a gay man, and I'm into leather and that sexual side of the leather world--and I'm gonna bring that onto the stage." So I came onstage, wearing the leather stuff and the motorcycle, and for the first time I felt like, God this feels so good. This feels so right. How can I make this even more extravagant, because this music is so loud. It is so larger than life.

What sent you on your spiritual journey?
Going through my sobriety stage, because I'm a recovering alcoholic. I've been through 12 years now. I know what makes me tick, whereas before I was clueless.

What made you stop drinking?
It was a cataclysmic event. Most of the men I'm attracted to [even now] are straight men. The boy I was dating back then had a cocaine problem. We had one of those bombastic physical attractions, and there was a tremendous amount of violence. We used to beat the crap out of each other in the drunken and cocaine rages that we had. And one day we were fighting, and I left for my own safety and called a cab. As I was getting in the cab, he came up to me and said, "Look, I just want to let you know I love you very much." And when he turned away, I saw that he had a gun. Moments later he put the gun to his head and killed himself.

What's your biggest devil?
Jealousy. And yet I'm the classic dysfunctional jealous person because it's OK for me to mess around but don't you mess around.

You mentioned being in a long-term relationship today that is no longer sexual. Do you want one that is sexual?
Sometimes I feel like Boy George: "I just want to have a cup o' tea." I tell you, I'm so over it. And maybe I'm getting close to middle age. We all know that part of our sexuality changes.

You sound bitter. I believe you can't be bitter without having once been a dreamer. Did you once believe you could have a long-term romantic, sexual relationship?
[Laughs] I tell everyone I'm not bitter, but I think maybe I am. Yes, part of me wants that, and part of me doesn't. A good portion of my relationships were with essentially straight men who suddenly went off and got married. They were just experimenting with me.

But you still want love?
Yes, that evil four-letter word, love. I think love is God's trick.

But maybe being completely out of the closet will change all this for you.
Yeah, I've been thinking it might come from that wonderful moment when you walk out of the closet. Now I've done that, and I've freed myself. Maybe that special moment is yet to happen, because I do believe that we are destined to find that one person. [Starts to cry] I admit it.

So do I.

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