Gay Games organisers initially asked Jimmy Somerville to fly out to Sydney to perform just one song for the opening ceremony, perhaps not realising that he wanted to do more.
I thought to myself, -˜I’m going to be buggered if I’m going to spend a whole bloody day travelling to Australia to sing one song.’ That’s kind of mad, he says.
The result: Jimmy will perform the song Tell Me Why during the Struggle segment of the opening ceremony, and do a half-hour set later in the night at the official Welcome party.
Jimmy says his opening ceremony outfit has also been a source of some contention.
There have been a few changes to it, he explains. Initially it was a kind of leather kilt with a harness. I was trying to imagine myself in it. Maybe if I was six foot tall and six foot broad it would work. I’m very Kylie-esque in the size department.
Jimmy’s not saying what he will be wearing, but offers this much: There’s more covered than there is exposed, thank God.
That’s a far cry from what Jimmy wore the last time he performed in Sydney, when he appeared on the Mardi Gras stage at 10 in the morning, dressed only in a rainbow flag, to perform Never Can Say Goodbye. It’s a performance that’s still talked about, three years on.
The Gay Games people got in touch a few months ago and asked if I would like to do (the opening ceremony), I think because I had given my all when I did the Mardi Gras party a few years ago, he says.
Jimmy’s Mardi Gras performance is also remembered for the stories that have circulated in Gay Sydney ever since: rumours that suggest he had to be found minutes before he was due on stage; whispers that he was a little carried away by Mardi Gras magic.
They didn’t have to search too far, because I was in the dressing room, he protests. I was actually in the shower room having a horny session with a couple of lovely men. But like Maria Callas is rumoured to have said, there’s nothing better for opening the vocal chords than a big cock.
So I was just following in that great tradition, he explains.
Whether Jimmy will try the same warm-up method for the opening ceremony is unclear, but you can fully expect him to be in fine voice.