What do fabulous gay men want for Christmas or a late Hanukah gift for that matter? Here are some great ideas to create fierce moments under the mistletoe this holiday season. I’ve opted not to buy gifts this year since we’re heading to Las Vegas and need our coins for the Slots. Sorry, people. Next year. Go talk to Santa! However, I do know a thing or two about what to get the gay man that has everything. Holidays are so damn joyful. Let’s go shopping! Grab your new iPod filled with the Ultimate Christmas Holiday music before reaching in the fridge for some yummy eggnog to really spice things up!
Amber hit the club scene in the late ’90s on massive dance floors with explosive hits like “This is Your Night,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sexual (Li Da Di)” and “One More Night.” I had just pulled her CD out the other day to listen to it before hearing from her team letting me know that she was hitting the road again on tour very soon. I was hoping to get Amber here on the website for an interview sharing what life has been like for her since then, her inspirations, what’s in store for the tour, and when and where fans can find her. And who she’s voting for in November. Here’s the grounded one in her own words…
Steven Michael – Amber, thanks for the few moments we have together! Big fan of your music here! I also have a Gay Dance Music Blog I’ll contribute this to in some form. Always brings back great memories of a fun past. When did you realize that you were beginning to have a delicious taste of fame? Was there a pinnacle moment that made everything appear to be happening for you?
Amber – “I never had the ‘taste for fame.’ Fame to me is more of a nuisance, which comes with this profession. I could have hired publicists and could have hooked up with other famous people for fake pictures but that just isn’t me.”
“I happen to enjoy my privacy very much. I am a very grounded girl at heart and just love making music and the joy I can spread with it. Not a media whore at all… lol. That ‘moment’ that you are referring to was probably really around 1999 where the hits just kept hitting. But I am a firm and also realistic believer that what goes up, eventually also will come down. I believe in staying humble and not think of myself on an alternate universe. And I am pretty sure, that this is the key point that in the end, I am still a working artist after 15 years.”
You seem very grounded. It’s always refreshing and comforting to know that there are celebrities who can live with humility after major success. How does it feel having fans still wanting more from you? Tell us about your upcoming tour and will there be any new music you’ll be performing?
“I have a very close connection with my fans and actually was one of the first, that decided to set up a message board on my then website. I give them a glimpse of myself as a person and want them to see beyond the false glamour of it all. And it is nice to see that many have followed with the social media evolving. After all, they are the ones, that have supported me and helped me to get to where I am today.”
“I have 2 dates confirmed right now in the US: 12/15/12 @ Nu Club in Richmond, VA and on 12/31/12 @ the Parliament House in Orlando, FL. There will no new music be performed at this time.”
Ah, spent many a crazy weekend in Orlando at the Parliament House. Love that place! Always a good time to be had by all. What do you find to be your fans’ favorite song you’ve done? It’s hard forme to decide, if asked, which is my most cherished. Nah, I could do it. “Above the Clouds,” by far.
“Sometimes hard to tell. I had a moment in time, where I wanted to cut certain songs out of my performance repertoire but got instant complaints about it. I believe, that every fan of mine has their individual favorite song of mine, which they connect to let it be through memories or a personal break through moment at some place in time. However… ‘Sexual’ still gets people to act crazy.” (laughing)
Who has been the biggest inspiration in your career? And in your personal life?
“I listen to an array of artists and genres. Funnily – not really Dance Music or Hip Hop. I would say that Barbra Streisand is one of my all time favorites. But I can also appreciate music by Coldplay, Sting, Jonathan Butler, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Adele, Oleta Adams, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel or classical music by Chopin. So as you can see, very diverse and the list is endless really. It always comes down to that magical moment where the right voice collides with the right song with the right emotion and interpretation really.”
“In my personal life, I am a family girl and my Mom is my biggest inspiration.”
Biggest misconception about you, Amber?
“Probably that people think I am leading this perfect glamorous life and am insanely rich. People are easily fooled by the Top 10 highly publicized artists out there. They flash all their cars, houses and designer clothes, and people tend to reflect that on everyone that sings or acts in the limelight. I lead a very regular life and my family and my son, and their health is my priority. I do not even have a car… so there. But why is that? It is because I do not see ‘things’ as a priority in my life. And yes… others have taken advantage of that in my career. But at least I can have and live with a clear conscience.”
What’s private time with you like? Are you a homebody or do you find yourself out and about?
“I am an absolute homebody. Like to go for walks in nature and just enjoy the simple things in life and most of all… do not take them for granted. What a disappointment this must be… Ha-Ha!”
No, please. I love it. We (partner and I) live very public lives during the day at our jobs so when we’re at home we lock the doors and don’t leave, as well. I understand. Who have you always wanted to record with but haven’t had the opportunity?
“I would love to work with Annie Lennox, Sting and Peter Gabriel. They strike me as very decent and critical thinking individuals.”
I must admit that Above the Clouds is the song that my partner and I consider “our song.” It nails home our first year together perfectly. After 12 years going strong, we’re all good. Plus, when it was featured in the episode of Sex and The City, I just wept. The music made that final scene magical and the helped the touchy storyline brilliantly. Have you have fans express stories of how your music affected them?
“Oh yes, all the time. That is what makes music so beautiful and universal. People relate them to their own stories and moments in time. Although after the many stories that were shared with me through many fans, I am getting the strong impression that my music actually turns people gay.” (laughing)
That is hilarious! High-larity… Will you be making it to Palm Springs? We’d love to see you! Maybe at one of the few circuit parties we actually do have.
“I have been in Palm Springs a few times throughout my career. I remember a White Party many years back. Reality though is that it is up to the venues to want and book me. So if they do I guess I will be seeing you!”
What do you enjoy about performing and does it ever give you nerves or anxiety? I’m a choreographer and simply love the stage.
“I am always a bit anxious and think that is normal and comes with the territory. And I ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom just before the show. But once you go out there and receive a lovely welcome by the crowd and see them participating feeling a positive energy, it blows over fast.”
What and/or who makes you feel beautiful?
“Real beauty comes from character and how you live your life and by what principles. We are all unique and special in our very individual ways. I do not comply with the stereotyping of beauty standards forced upon us by media. I feel beautiful by being independent and being loved by my son, family and friends.”
Loving it! What and/or who makes you laugh until you cry?
“My mother and my brother are best at that.”
Other than the tour, what’s the future hold for you?
“We never know for sure. I am definitely planning on more music and am working on some ideas. But when it gets to that point, I will let everyone know.”
And finally, what have you always wanted to be asked in a interview but haven’t yet?
“The question here is… What have I not been asked throughout the countless interviews over years so far?”
“I leave that up to the interviewer always and if feel the need to get something across, I will find a way to insert it anyway. Like this one: OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!! Thanks for your time, Steven!”
Find Amber at the links below and support her tours if she comes to a town near you. Let her take you back to another place in time where carefree nights led into shameless mornings. Thanks to Amber for her honesty and gracious time. I’m truly looking forward for big things to come her way!
I lived in Ft. Lauderdale from August 1996 through October 1999 after moving from Atlanta following the Olympics. I became immersed in South Florida beaches and happening queer nightlife even beginning my brief stint into the leather contest scene while go-go dancing and stripping in almost every bar placed in Florida it seemed. Where? Hmm… The Saint, Mineshaft, 825, Copa, Ramrod, Chaps, Sea Monster, Splash in Miami, Numbers, Bourbon Street Pub and Saloon #1 in Key West. But yes, the book…
Every here and there I would catch wind of these infamous sex parties that were happening called South Beach HardBodies. It was where if you were invited by receiving a business card by one of the promoters then you would arrive at one place, remove your shirt and prove your physical worth being lucky enough to make it past the grueling audition process towards the actual location of Caligula. I never once was approached to go. I guess I didn’t make the cut. But trust I didn’t lose sleep over it. I got mine just fine. Though I heard stories of the pros and cons of being in there from different ones in attendance, in the end I decided that I was fine not being included.
But I was always interested in what went on at these parties. How hot were the guys? Even if I tried going with a friend would they actually turn me away? Who is up for the possible humiliation? Not me. I assume they hoped that would deter many who don’t belong. Luckily I never was put in the position to make the decision of going or not. Choosing working over partying in the club was always my play anyway. Especially during these years. I had bigger things in mind for myself and living in Lauderdale was helping me get there. The city was wonderful to me and I often miss my times there.
When I received my copy of The HardBody Chronicles I was so ready to find out the real story! Had I missed out on anything? I will be quick to admit that I write more than I read. A book has to really be an interest or I don’t migrate towards it. I read Jake Smyth and Luca Barbieri’s modern-day tale of excessive living and travels of the rich beautiful untouchables from cover to cover. Since photographer and friend Jeff Palmer, who did the cover to my book They Called Him Sterling, provided the fabulous art for their book it seemed like a must read for me. I was right! I really enjoyed the book.
The novel is a fast read for anyone wanting an insight to the lifestyles of a glorious group of gay-somethings living with wild abandonment during the 90s, for the most part. Much of the book felt familiar to me since I lived during these years and times of the circuit party wisdom of “more is more.” The roller coaster read became an interesting game of trying to figure out who the characters were in reality as I lived vicariously through the fictional players’ lives. Some I knew. Some I think I know. Some I thought I knew but didn’t. You see where the quandary lies?
The only thing I would have liked more of was learning about the actual South Beach HardBodies and the circuses of flesh they produced. Perhaps a second book could be the expose, so to speak, from a spectator’s view or fellow character in the novel. Since the strong presence of promotion for the novel on Facebook and the Internet seems to have no signs of slowing down maybe a series of books coming from the different views of the main characters could be exciting. Since readers’ perspectives about what they read varies between them, as well does the characters living the fictional tale they’re reading about. Just an idea… But then again, maybe the magic is not knowing while leaving the fantasy in place.
Need some exciting summer reading? Grab The HardBody Chronicles today and begin the days of living vicariously or enjoy a comfortable walk down memory lane. Visit their Facebook wall or website for the inside scoop about characters, locations, story lines and the soundtrack to the novel.
Oh, the life of a Media Maven. Guest lists here and VIP there. The hottest new music delivered to my inbox months before it actually charts as a new release to a good handful of product that any gay man can not live without! Yes, I’m full of myself today. Well, not really but I am in a very good mood. Happy Father’s Day to ALL the dads and daddies in the world who have made my life more fulfilling. You know who you are… Especially my husband Jacques that has provided not only me but for our two furry little ones. Worship.
As I stuck my hand deep inside the mailbox Friday I pulled out the latest release from Raging Stallion titled High Voltage. This rambunctious romp of rowdy man-muscle stars a brigade of masculine daddy-gods including the gorgeously pouty Charlie Harding, sexy boy Chris Tyler and the late great Erik Rhodes.
As many in the gay community and especially in the adult film industry know we very recently lost Falcon superstar Erik Rhodes who filmed for the studio for eight years. With Falcon Studios and Raging Stallion’s merger a few years ago, Rhodes and many a Falcon model stretched their wings and began shooting for both companies. Erik was very popular and quite famous for his films and antics on the party circuit. However, he was also known even more so posthumously for his openness about steroid abuse, excessive lifestyle, personal breakdowns and other very taboo topics in his private life.
Erik Rhodes (February 8, 1982 – June 14, 2012)
The adult industry encourages their models to look a certain way or have particular attributes to sell the product at hand, as would fashion designers, modeling agents, Hollywood, et al. Not all pornography is perfection but most of it in the gay realm is. However it’s many a gay man who puts the pressure on themselves, I do admit. The classic Falcon man that came to the forefront from the mid-90s and have carried through today have been primarily smooth, untouchable, special and often with an “exclusive” status. Other companies followed suit. Falcon always set the trends. I’ve been watching them evolve for years. I’m thrilled we have a good report.
Not every model working in porn is muscular but the ones that are, are competitive with it and each other. If you’re going to play with the “big boys” you have to be big. Bigger is better, right?! This was Erik Rhodes’ philosophy displayed so obviously on his Tumblr and social networking feeds as he shared the astronomical amount of steroids he was actually on for all to follow or feel sorry for. A tragic ending for Erik Rhodes who was only 30 years of age. I didn’t know Erik, whose real name was James, personally but with his unfortunate death comes awareness about the dangers and misuse of anabolic steroids and the desperate strive for perfection. Before starting a cycle, talk with your doctor. Prior any body modifications, ask people who know. People are going to do whatever it takes to achieve what they want. Be smart in the process.
Rest easy, Mr. Rhodes. Thanks for the beautiful art and happiness you provided your faithful fans. You’re sadly missed by many…
High Voltage is available through Raging Stallion’s popular Monster Bang series.
Working at what I describe in word as THE premiere fitness facility in the valley, World Gym Palm Springs, gives ample opportunity to watch the fierce models work the shiny runway with its red trim which is better known as the track that circles the machines in the middle of the gym. I see some who wear the hell out of their clothes like nobody’s business (Translation: Bitch, whurq!) and others who really, really shouldn’t be gigged-up in what they’ve chosen on a given day (Translation: O, girl. No.)
Nonetheless, gay fashions come and go. And I’ve seen many trends hit hard and then taper off like a pair of perfectly frayed jeans. What’s the hottest gay fashion happening right now? From what I can tell, it’s ALL about soccer socks! I noticed them in San Francisco during Folsom Street Fair at Mr S-Leather and a few guys at the gym have adopted the style for their very own, as well. On muscular legs they look sexy but it’s not for everyone. I prefer a pair of solid black or white with stripes. Classic! But bright colors are fun on the right personality. Thoughts?
It’s the question that has covered all lips who watch intently to the weekly laps of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo TV. Why was cocky and arrogant but experienced beyond belief Willam Belli eliminated from the show last Monday evening? I was just getting in from Dayton, Ohio, where I was judging All American Goddess at Large 2012 so I didn’t watch the drama unfold until Tuesday evening after hearing that it was the show of shows to see this season. After watching the episode, it was must-see-tv!
I took a break from blogging every episode of RDR4 because I became busy with other things and really mostly agreed with how the judges were sending Dolls home. In the latest showdown, the girls worked in teams of two singing duets with one thing in mind, their “frenemy-ship” that was exposed by a Mini Challenge of a answering a personal Q/A strapped to a lie-detector machine. During the Main Stage Challenge, the duos performed their duets and were judged on their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, by Oscar nominee Jennifer Tilly and Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson. Side note about Pammy, when I judged World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual in Las Vegas Ms. Anderson was there with David LaChappelle drinking the champagne and screaming for the contestants. She is very petite in person, even in stilettos! But back to the show…
When it was said and done, Latrice Royale and Willam Belli deservingly took top honors while Phi Phi and Sharon (Gasp!) were knocked wigs first into the bottom two. The girls turned it out during the “lip-sync for your life” round with O’Hara loosing her wig and Needles holding her own. However, this was only after Willam hurled chunks off the side of the stage, twice, I believe. Bad food? Perhaps. But sources tell me differently.
Rewind… Now, to know the show is to know that the real story happens during Untucked which is shown after the show but is filmed backstage during the judges’ private critique session after the girls perform. While the Dolls simmer in the Interiors Illusions Lounge, emotions run deep from a toss under a bus or an onstage read. Or, in this particular episode, numerous accusations of rulebreaking were being tossed towards Willam by frustrated fellow contestants while he sat calmly never once denying anything. In fact, owning up to it.
Obviously, the cameras were there filming. He knew the gig was up or would be soon enough. The Dolls squealing about Willam’s shade knew what they were doing by reading his beads. I believe that when he got back on stage and hurled the swirl, his nerves had gotten the best of him and knew that his time was nearly up and he had blown it. But at what cost and for what real reason?
After Phi Phi and Sharon did their final chance performance, RuPaul dramatically stops and asks Willam to come forth announcing that it had come to his attention that rules had been broken and that Belli would be leaving the contest. Shocked faces plastered themselves across Queen’s faces while Willam was backstage rubbing his bare ass on the mirror in lipstick. Class act. Personally, I’m glad a dose of karma checked her into attitude rehab. Bye-bye! I thought Sharon Needles won the showdown but her and O’Hara both were safe to stand another week of dragtastic drama in heels.
So what happened? Jokes came back to me from the RuPaul’s Drag RaceTwitter Camp that Willam had eaten Jiggly Caliente. Rumors quickly circulated that he was on hormones or it’s because he got sick off the stage. Or was it his fierce Chick-Fil-A parody video on YouTube with Vicky Vox, Detox and gaggle of gorgeous gay men? Well, according to Willam himself, he says this to the Huff Post. He played fairly coy about it all but I’ve heard differently.
Oh, to tell or not to tell. To spill the scoop or to keep the Tea to me. Hmm. Well, sources close to the show tell me that allegedly someone was having their boyfriend come to the hotel where they are on constant lockdown while he was sneaking in their laptop and phone which is against the ironclad contract they sign before coming on board. You do the math. I wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble. Oh, that’s right. It’s already been done. Karma worked that out. Oh, the gossip – the intrigue it creates. Am I right? Am I wrong? Who knows – we may never know. It was a good juicy moment that made for some fierce reality television. I was ready for him to go, honestly. It seems the contestants were, too! Was his shady behavior just a publicity ploy to promote his new single on iTunes? Perhaps. Eh – he’s gone now. The show was good with his character a part of it and even better because he’s gone. Could we be seeing Willam on the upcoming All Stars Cycle, perhaps? Stay tuned!
We’re in the final stretch. Scream your favorites! Go Team ____! (I believe heard every name!)
These winter months have offered us almost every weather pattern possible. From the devastating wind storm that tore through Coachella in January to the cold snap in the premiere of February to our wave of regular warmth that has arrived, seasons change, indeed. It’s always good to keep a few layers near but always know the heat can boil you out of your clothes at any given time.
TOM JUDSON STARS ON STAGE IN PALM SPRINGS
On March 24 at 8 p.m., cabaret star Tom Judson will be at Azul showcasing his newest effort The Tom Judson Show singing songs he’s selected and retooled to celebrate spring. Tom describes his one man show as something reminiscent of the sparkling entertainers once found in Manhattan’s most loved supper clubs. As Tom utilizes the vocal chops and skills that landed him on Broadway and in many touring productions, he croons away dressed in a gorgeous tuxedo singing songbook standards and rare gems Mr. Judson sees well-fitting for this arena. His growing group of fans eat him up in every city and town he plays in as he shares anecdotes and stories of celebrity encounters past!
If Tom Judson looks familiar to you then maybe it’s because not only is he a phenomenal performer and stage actor, Tom is also know as Gus Mattox – GayVN Award winning adult film star and inked-up daddy stud to his masses of fans that lust and love his work for the adult industry and studios. I met him once through a wonderful friend Clark at World Gym who introduced us and suggested I plug him, err, the show “The Tom Judson Show.” Tom was delicious as Gus and glad to see he has been able to return to his talented roots with a life after porn.
I’ve been checking out clips on YouTube of Mr. Judson and know Palm Springs is in for a real treat of entertainment when this man arrives to town on the 24th at 8 p.m. The show is included with a prix fixe dinner, or there is $10 music charge. His blog tells all! Check it at thetomjudsonshow.blogspot.com. And tell him you appreciate what he does!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WORLD GYM PALM SPRINGS
Speaking of World Gym! Happy Anniversary, members! As we celebrate nine wonderful years in this community I’m reminded of where we started and how we’ve grown into the premiere fitness facility for the Coachella Valley and our visitors, alike. As other gyms have closed their doors and basically pushed their members and trainers into our doors, we couldn’t be happier – or busier! We must be doing a lot of something really right!
I’ve worked there for over seven years now and when I tell you it’s still a treat to walk into a place of employment and enjoy the job that you do veery well. Our members are colorful and diverse. The staff is helpful and entertaining. Our intent is to provide fitness to the fabulous! And now we’re heading into another decade still offering an amazing environment for those craving it! Come join us! And ask for me…
THE DINAH 2012 DELIVERS LESBIANS TO PALM SPRINGS
Hey Ladies! The Riviera is calling your name March 28 through April 1 for Palm Springs’ pride and joy, The Dinah. Get your beach-ready body into a bikini and high heels, and find a good electrolysist or waxer and tend to your fuzzy mimosa down south. Just saying. However, if your style is more along the lines of sleeveless tees, cargos and Birkenstocks, pack accordingly. The weather can be tricky in the Coachella so bring choices for every scenario. A fun flannel or sexy thermal will do just fine.
This year’s “vag-travaganza” promises to be scissoring with excitement and entertainment including musical performances, pool parties and rocking until the wee hours of morning. Event performers and celebrities include Chaka Khan, Jessica Sutta (of Pussycat Dolls fame) and CeCe Penniston singing many hits including Finally, to mention a few. For all the dirt, dish and detail – check out thedinah.com and Club Skirts. The Dinah always brings in a great group of gals who want only to feel comfortable celebrating their lifestyle and selves while thankfully driving needed revenue into our city. Everybody wins!
Just a heads up, though. For those hardcore circuit goers, please note that former weekend competitor Girl Bar has smartly branched off and will be holding their Girl Bar Dinah Shore Weekend in Sin City this year April 27 – 29. This gives the ladies even more girl-on-girl action happening across the nation. Rock on, sisters! Party hearty and celebrate life, I say. Whurq!
I love having a say! Inside joke, but basically it translates into “I love judging a drag pageant!” Especially when it’s a national panel for a system that has gained the respect that it deserves, being recognized as contender for THE title to have. I’ve previously sat on panels for Continental, USofA and World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual. This round I’ll be in Dayton judging this extravaganza for my good friend and promoter Scott Gonyaw who asked me to become part of his All American Goddess family. I’m thrilled and honored to take part.
As you can see by the advert above, it looks to be a sickening event for fabulous drag queens and competitive female impersonators. This, of course, is the sister companion to All American Goddess. The call from Scott just came to fruition last week so juicy details will follow but my adventure is right around the corner! Again, so damn excited. Just hope the contestants BRING IT! And a word front he wise… Entertain the crowd, have fun and prove why you stand before me. And own the spotlight! Is it really that hard?! WHURQ IT ♥
I’m watching Untucked and thought I’d blast a quick blog review of last evening’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. Gentleman, start your engines…
Willam and Madame LaQueer win the Mini Challenge of having the best mugshots and become team leaders for casting parts in their sitcoms called Hot in Tuckahoe. The humble but strong Latrice Royale turns the party out as the sassy warden and wins the Main Stage Challenge with Dida Ritz doing a great job acting, as well, but needs to “Lotion up, girl,” according to Michelle Visage. And I agree. Animosity grows between Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara. “Go back to Party City,” quipped Phi Phi to Sharon who responded, “I’m the future of drag.”
The versatile Chad Michaels gave us Florence and the Machine realness on the runway while Madame LaQueer found herself in the bottom spots with Milan. Pink’s Trouble played while LaQueer points a lot and Milan flops around like an under-painted fish out of water across the stage. In my opinion, after the first “death drop” Milan made her desperate point. It went on way too long and so I feel LaQueer was better and should have stayed. Her makeup was painted for the back row and I personally liked her dress. Then the wigs came off. Again, enough. Milan stayed. Madame LaQueer strolled back to paint the mirror with red lipstick and talk to the camera in a confessional. Another lap complete.
I was introduced to Justin Utley through a friend. Not in person but via our close friend the World Wide Web. He forwarded me Justin’s YouTube clips and I thought not only is he talented but sexy, too! I’m looking forward to music from his sophomore album Nothing This Real and will review when I have it in my ears.
Justin is an openly gay singer/songwriter and huge on the Pride circuit. He’s ex-Morman, from Utah, and survived. Mr. Utley also recently won the 2011 OutMusic award for Country/Folk song. Check out his video below and let us know what you think! Introducing Justin Utley…
I consider myself a true connoisseur of everything fierce happening in Gay Pop Culture News and LGBT Trends. Living in Palm Springs provides me generous exposure to what's happening in Hollywood and L.A. through trusted industry insiders. My opinions form here through my published works.
During travel adventures to Las Vegas and beyond I develop stories about what trends are hot and what celebrities are not in Entertainment, Travel, Fashion, Gay Dance Music and Reality TV.