The year 1975 yielded one of the earliest rock operas that touched gay topics, “Everyhead,” an ambitious project inspired by the medieval play “Everyman.” It tried to cover the ills of mankind (at least American) all over the map, perhaps a bit too symbolically as the cast wore elaborate masks. According to the show’s very active website the masks were “worn to hide the identities of the cast so as not to be recognized and to be possibly arrested by the Hollywood vice squad for performing ‘obscenities’ in public. And the cast recording was immediately banned from radio, which of course is always good for sales. The show was written by Kenneth Cottrell (who sang lead) and David Maverick Lane. Stan Zipperman produced the LP, which included lead guitar work by Michael Monarch, of the band Steppenwolf.
Of course, I’m taking you right to the “gay stuff,” mainly in Act IV, “Winter,” (each act has a season). As part of the ten-minute “Ballet of the Deadly Sins” three of the seven songlets (totaling five minutes) get down and dirty, starting with “The Chicken Song.” Was this the first time this subject was broached in a rock opera?