How gay are we? Gay enough to believe that a hairdo inspired Findlay Brown’s U.S. debut album, which the classic-pop crooner told Out.com recently. His James Dean cut, though, wasn’t exactly the catalyst for the neo-soul sounds of “Love Will Find You,” released at the beginning of the year. It was a broken leg. No joke this time.
“I was just doing the ol’ iTunes surfing and one track led to another and I found myself in this web of early rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop and soul,” the dapper British musician, a former bare-knuckle boxer, tells us from his Brooklyn, N.Y. home.
Three months of that, while playing his sister’s old guitar, and he was off and running. Song after song unfolded, and within that immobile period after a taxi hit him, he finished three-quarters of the album.
He says, “I just want to make the perfect pop song” – a feat that, if he hasn’t already, he’s come pretty darn close. His ’60s Motown-pop stylings have prompted Amy Winehouse-with-a-cock comparisons, and with little to say about them, he’s still adamant on calling that period “the strongest for music.”
That Elvis is one of his heroes shouldn’t be a surprise, then. Wondering what he’d do if he could live in the rock ‘n’ roll god’s body for a day, he generalizes his response – laughing and coming off as a real charmer: “I’d eat as much hamburgers as I could because putting on the weight the next day wouldn’t matter, would it? Really, to be in anyone else’s body for a day would be a good excuse to do things I shouldn’t be doing in my own body.”
Like any of the things he alludes to Boy George doing. Signed to the pop star’s label about six years ago, when he lived in England and was part of a band called Boedekka, Findlay recalls hanging with him as “pretty mental.”
Feel free to elaborate, we coax. Still mum, he says everything by saying almost nothing: “I don’t want to go into it too much but he still definitely likes the late nights. Let’s put it that way.”
As one of Boy George’s buddies, we knew Brown, who spoke endlessly about his album, wasn’t weirded out by some of our gay questions: How do you feel about your gay following? “I’d be happy with anyone taking a liking to me, to be quite honest. Bit of a weird question, really.”
Brown just wasn’t informed of how gay we were. You know, so gay we believed hair could trigger a CD.
In addition to the Out interview, the musician, who’s married to a woman, also appeared in Attitude, the U.K.’s best-selling gay magazine. His first show on his upcoming tour with Shelby Lynne, which stops on May 3 at the Ark in Ann Arbor, was in West Hollywood.
He also does non-gay gigs, like his network TV debut on “Late Show with David Letterman” recently.
“It was like jumping out of a lift without a parachute,” Brown remembers. “Some flocks of birds, though, swooped under me and let me land gently.”
That’s one lucky leg.
Shelby Lynne with Findlay Brown
8 p.m. May 3
316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor