Long before there was Britney Spears there was Deborah Gibson. This week OutFront Colorado published the story we did together. Ms. Gibson had so much personality and beautiful thoughts to share that I wanted to give you the opportunity to read what she had to say in its entirety.
Dustin Fitzharris: Deborah, we are all very excited about your performance at Denver Pride.
Deborah Gibson: Me too! I’m doing some new stuff I’ve never done at Pride performances before. I’m bringing a couple of hot men with me.
DF: You’re in LA now, right?
DG: Yes. I’m driving, and I forgot my earpiece. So, if I suddenly say, “Oh my, hold on,” it’s because I see a cop, and I can’t be on my cell. This is the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done!
DF: You have been doing Pride concerts for many years now. What is it about you that you think gay audiences gravitate toward?
DG: I’ve always tried to figure that out. I think as an audience it seems like the gay community is very discriminating and they want a quality show. But on the other hand, they just want to have fun. It’s a perfect blend, and it’s what my shows are all about.
DF: When did you start realizing that you had a gay following?
DG: I started playing gay clubs when I was 16. The gay community has always been a part of my life, and they have always been loyal. I used to play three clubs a night, four nights a week while going to high school to get my first record off the ground because at the time we didn’t have the Internet. I would do a teen club, a straight club and a gay club, and I always couldn’t wait to get to the gay club.
DF: Have you ever been—
DG: Hold on! Wait … a cop. I hope he didn’t see me. Good, he’s not even in the car. Okay.
DF: Have you ever been to Denver?
DG: Yes. I did the national tour of “Cinderella” with Eartha Kitt in 2001. I have fond memories of the city.
DF: What was it like working with Eartha?
DG: She was so cool, but she definitely had her diva qualities. She tried to train me to act more like a diva. She’d say, with her great voice, “Darling, you don’t have to stand out in the cold and sign every autograph. You can just give them a wave and a smile.” I was like, “You can, you’re Eartha Kitt. If I did that people would just think I was being incredibly rude.” I feel grateful that I have an audience waiting outside the stage door for me, and I will stay and sign every last autograph.
DF: And speaking of learning to be a diva, do get upset when people call you Debbie instead of Deborah?
DG: That’s so funny! I don’t know what planet I was living on thinking that the name change thing wouldn’t be a big deal and no one would notice. I wasn’t trying to be sophisticated; I just always preferred Deborah. Growing up everyone called me Deborah. If someone called the house looking for Debbie, we knew it was a fan and not a friend or family member. On my next pop album I may just go back to Debbie because that’s what people like.
DF: At PrideFest will you perform your old songs?
DG: Absolutely! I’m always amazed when people disown their past and don’t do the songs that put them on the map. I jokingly say I’ll be performing “Electric Youth” till I’m 83 with a walking stick. If I wrote the songs “Lost in Your Eyes, “Foolish Beat” and “Only in My Dreams” yesterday and was just debuting them, I would feel just as great about them. They have stood the test of time.
DF: I know you’re a fan of “American Idol.” If the show was around when you were starting off, do you think you would’ve won?
DG: That’s a good question. I’m not sure. Simon would probably say I belong on a cruise ship because I am a theater girl.
DF: What’s next for you?
DG: I have no strategy. It’s like when I was starting out. I’m letting the music lead the way. I’m writing and recording, and I hope there is label interest. It’s my job to make the best music I can, and then it’s up to the label to decide if they are going to launch the big comeback.
Gibson will perform on the Main Stage on Sun., June 28 at 3:00 p.m. For the latest information on Deborah Gibson, visit www.debbiegibsonofficial.com