When does an inspiring celebrity interview become a rude inquisition? If you’re Clay Aiken, it’s just about the time you’re asked about your sexual orientation.
Last week, during a “Good Morning America” interview with Diane Sawyer, Aiken bristled at Sawyer’s questions about his sexuality, saying the issue was “a waste of my time.”
He also added that the pesky and ubiquitous question was “really rude.”
Aiken previously denied being gay in a 2003 Rolling Stone interview. But this time around, he sidestepped a full denial insisting that his personal life was out of bounds and wondering aloud why anyone would be interested in the sex life of a popular singer.
When it came to other personal issues, however, the suave North Carolinian wasn’t nearly as circumspect. Discussing his recent struggle with panic attacks, Aiken confessed to taking the antidepressant Paxil, and added that he was not currently in therapy. Presumably, a discussion of his sexuality would have been less inspirational than knowing what medication he’s on.
Last week also marked the release of Aiken’s third album, “A Thousand Different Ways.” The record largely consists of covers of some of the singer’s favorite love songs, including the Harry Nilsson hit “Without You,” the Hall and Oates favorite “Every Time You Go Away” and Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Earlier this year, Aiken’s clean-cut rep was rocked when a former Army Ranger named John Paulus recounted a sordid hotel hookup with Aiken. Paulus sold his story to the National Enquirer. Though the GMA interview didn’t specifically mention the incident, Aiken did describe recent tabloid stories about him as “lies.”
With a sly, folksy groove that sometimes slides into full-on rock, local lesbian duo Bandmates charm with toe-tapping goodies. Fronted by singer and songwriter Kimberly Cody, and bassist and backup singer Susan Carson, the busy Bandmates are giving North Texans two chances to catch them on stage this weekend.
On Saturday, Cody and Carson join crafters, designers and other local acts for an acoustic show at the Urban Street Bazaar in Uptown, near the intersection of Thomas Avenue and Boll Street. On Sunday, they’ll make the short drive to Hubbard, Texas (South of Dallas, north of Waco) to take part in the Earful of Texas Music festival, playing a plugged-in set with their full band. The gorgeous North Texas fall is all too short, so make a point of getting out this weekend and enjoying some local flavor with these underground faves.
Urban Street Bazaar, Thomas Avenue at Boll Street. Sep. 30 at 7 p.m. Free.
Earful of Texas Music Festival, City Lakes Park, Hubbard. Oct. 1 at 11 a.m. $19.95. EarFullofTexas.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 29, 2006.