Scissor Sister Jake Shears talks Atlanta junket

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imageBefore his concert at the Tabernacle Friday night, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears signs copies of his new photo book with “One Day In The Life” writer-photographer Tim Hailand at Outwrite that afternoon.

Having the band in town would be enough for rabid Scissor Sisters fans, but Friday’s 2 p.m. Outwrite appearance comes because the singer is the subject of the latest celebrity photo-bio by Hailand, and the two have known each other for a decade. Hailand shot Shears for VMan magazine and thought it would be a good idea to include him in the series of books.

First up was “One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe,” and in February Hailand released “One Day in the Life of Rufus Wainwright” in addition to this one. Shears was happy when he saw the final product, which literally follows him from the time he wakes up in the morning until he goes to bed as he prepares for the band’s “Night Work” concert tour.

Shears and Hailand picked that particular day because Shears knew a lot was going on—costume fittings, interviews, getting ready to perform.

Shears is not shy and calls himself something of an exhibitionist. He even has a butt shot in the book (top photo) that has become an Internet sensation. The singer says he offered almost unlimited access to Hailand, save for when he had to pee.

“I’ve embraced that, and I am not scared of it,” he says. “I am comfortable in front of a camera and with Tim. I just went about my day.

But he does draw the line. “There are limits to that, and there always have been,” he adds.

image“One Day in the Life of Jake Shears” (bottom photo) also features an introduction from Elton John, who Shears calls a friend, notes by Shears himself, and an afterword by Kylie Minogue. Proceeds from the book benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

According to Shears, he loves Atlanta and always has a great time when here.

“It has always been a blast,” he says. “We tear it up. At our last show in Buckhead, the crowd went wild. An elderly woman passed out.”

While in town, he has also visited Swinging Richards and had fun there, he says.

Later this season, the musical version of Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” opens in San Francisco. Shears is writing the music while Jeff Whitty of “Avenue Q” is doing the book. Shears has been involved in the project for the last four years and calls the upcoming show “funny, sweet and mysterious.”

He laughs because he has never scored a musical before and “doesn’t know what the hell I am doing.” Yet he is having a blast and has a great feeling about the production, especially the creative team.

“In four years, we’ve never had friction.” Shears says. He says the music for “Tales of the City” won’t be period, but not exactly contemporary either.

For a while, Betty Buckley was attached to the role of Mrs. Madrigal in the stage version, but now it will be done by Judy Kaye. Shears praises Buckley and says he even wrote a song for her that is still in the show.

As someone who has been out since he was a teenager, Shears likes the fact that he can be a role model to young people. The Scissor Sisters recently performed with Lady Gaga, and Shears marvels at her support for LGBT issues.

“I live life with a lot of freedom,” he says. “I try to be different, and I don’t like to assimilate to the norm. If I can be a role model, great. If I can do that and inspire someone, and maybe one day reach another Lady Gaga in the audience, it is so worth it.”

imageJim Farmer is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and public relations professional specializing in film promotions. He has been a theater and pop-culture critic for more than a dozen years and is the director of Atlanta’s annual Out On Film gay and lesbian film festival.


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