Salon Talks: Jake Shears of "Kinky Boots"

For the better part of his career, Jake Shears was known for his soaring vocals and iconic image as a member of the multi-platinum selling Scissor Sisters. But after moving to New Orleans and taking some time out of the limelight, he's back this year with a three-pronged entertainment attack: co-starring as Charlie Price in Broadway's Tony-winning "Kinky Boots," getting ready to release a solo album of all new material this summer and publishing a memoir called "Boys Keep Swinging."

It's an appropriately glamorous title for a book that delivers on the sex, drugs and roll and roll front, but if look past the cover, you'll find a candid account of coming out, a bittersweet exploration of grief and depression and an elegy for New York City in the period immediately before and after 9/11. "Right after the towers fell, I thought I was going to get a job doing magazine stuff," Shears told Mary Elizabeth Williams on “Salon Talks.”

“My friend Scott [Scissor Sisters' Scott "Babydaddy" Hoffman] and I were writing music and just decided to go perform one night. It was ten days after September 11. We went to the Slipper Room and did a song, a really stupid song. That was the start of our performing. We were just doing it for fun, and ended up writing some pretty good songs."

Watch the video above to see why Dan Savage gives better career advice than Anderson Cooper — and why "Kinky Boots" will make you cry. Tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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