By Dustin Fitzharris
For the past 10 years Bronx native Ari Gold has been rewriting the rules of pop music. He's been credited as the first openly gay pop star to be out in his music from the beginning of his career. He's won numerous awards, sold out concerts, graced the covers of magazines around the world, and has been declared a sex symbol. So imagine how Ari Gold felt when he suddenly became a household name -- only because actor Jeremy Piven stepped into the role of a wise-cracking Hollywood agent with the same name on the hit HBO show Entourage.
'The character is somewhat homophobic and fits certain Jewish stereotypes,' Gold says. 'Meanwhile, I've spent my career trying to challenge those stereotypes to show that Jews can be gay and can rock.'
Gold will prove it on June 28 when he performs at Joe's Pub in New York to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Stonewall. We caught up with the singer to chat about the upcoming show, Adam Lambert, and singing with Diana Ross back in 1984.
Out: We know your music is important to you, and we'll get to that. But with summer here, we have to know your secret to getting your that body.
Ari Gold: It's a combination of good Jewish genes and eating healthy.
So it's all real -- no photoshopping your photos?
I'm a naturally hairless Jew, so I haven't had to shave for photographs or anything.
Your show at Joe's Pub is a Pride concert to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Stonewall. I heard a rumor that Sasha Allen from Broadway's Hair and singer Kendra Ross will be your special guests. Is that true?
Yes. I also have my hot dancers.
How do you describe the show?
It's a theatrical experience. I'm working with a new costume designer, and it's more than just a concert. I think I can safely say that there really isn't an artist out there right now who has a show that epitomizes what pride is. I take people on a journey of what it's like being a gay man in this important moment of history. The show goes from really sexy to romantic to scandalous.
I have a song I sing about having an affair with a married man with children called 'Mister Mistress.'
You said the show 'epitomizes' what Pride is. What is Pride to you?
People always say, 'Why do gay people need a day to celebrate? Why don't straight people have a Pride day?' I say, 'It's really obvious -- it's straight pride every day.' It's a day for us to celebrate ourselves in all of the different ways that we know how and that we are. We can be free and wild and colorful without having to mute ourselves to become more acceptable to the mainstream.
Do you think with all the parades and the floats and dances it's gotten away from its true meaning and become too commercial?
Sure. It has become commercial. But so has Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. We live in a commercial and capitalist world. I think, however, if we're going to have this commercial day for gay people, it's important to try and remember what it's about. There are so many messages we get on a daily basis that say we're not supposed to be proud of who we are. We need to take this one day to remind ourselves that not only are we equal, but we contribute so much beauty to the world. That beauty doesn't just come from artists, but everyone from doctors to accountants to servicemen.