The name Roddy Bottum might not mean much, if anything, to you. To some, he’s most notable as the co-founding keyboardist in legendary metal trailblazers, Faith No More. To criminally few others, he may also be known as the guitarist and vocalist in power pop offshoot, Imperial Teen. In July 1993, however, Roddy found himself in the spotlight in the rock world as its first openly gay star.
Despite what social media or current events might suggest, we live in comparatively enlightened times in 2018. LGBTQ issues are at the forefront of culture and media more than ever before, and as each successive generation grows more open-minded in its understanding of sexuality, repressive, heteronormative attitudes increasingly become a thing of the past.
In the summer of 1993, however, there was a sum total of zero openly homosexual stars in the rock or metal world. That was until Roddy Bottum spoke to U.S. journalist Lance Loud for a piece originally published by San Francisco magazine The Advocate, which was later adapted for print by Kerrang! in the UK (K! issue 444). Hard as it is to fathom in these liberal times 28 years later, the then 28-year-old Faith No More man’s revelation came as a major shock to the scene.