Adam Lambert: The ultimate interview, Part Three

It’s time for Part Three of this four-part interview. Here, Adam talks about his time in “Wicked,”  being in a long-distance romance, and his audition for American Idol.
The Citizen Vein Pictures, Images and Photos
So you left “Wicked” to become a rock star?I came back [to Los Angeles] and took some promo shots and started rehearsing. We had a handful of songs. I don’t know if any of them were great, but it was a start. At the time, we believed in them. We did a couple gigs here and there. The band was called the Citizen Vein. We performed at the Knitting Factory one night, the Cat Club on Sunset, and a club in Hermosa Beach. We did three gigs and that was it and we recorded a couple things, like rough recordings, and I don’t know, it didn’t quite click. We kept writing and doing things, but then I got into my first relationship and I fell in love and I was going out a lot. I was dressing up, just living my life and having a great time. Falling in love was major. It changed everything, because up until then, I was 25 and I hadn’t been in love. I felt like there was a part of me that was like, “I don’t understand something about life, like a big thing.” I listened to these songs on the radio or CDs or I’d see these musicals about people being in love with each other and what that feels like and what heartbreak feels like and the joy of what love is and I had sex but I’d never been in love and just didn’t get it. It was really interesting because during and after that relationship, everything changes. It’s like, “Oh, that’s what they were talking about.” I thought that was so corny before and now I am crying because I totally identify with what that feels like. So that was a big turning point for personal growth. 

I went to Burning Man… which was another big eye opener. People living in this utopian society and how beautiful that idea is — and after Burning Man, I looked for social outlets here in L.A. that were part of that underground scene, not the typical bar scene but more of a neo-hippie movement.
Adam Pictures, Images and Photos
Adam is on the left and Cheeks is in the middle
You know, these underground clubs downtown. That was a really fun community to become a part of. Then I did a production of “Debbie Does Dallas” in Lake Tahoe. It was a topless revue at Harveys Casino. I was desperate. I could not find a job. It was going to pay me. They were going to put me up. It was with Anita Mann, the woman who did the cruise ship. I went up there and I was missing the person I was with and I was miserable because I was in a long-distance relationship and the show, when it was pitched to me, sounded like it was going to be a different situation and it tuned out to be not the most professional situation in the world. There was hardly an audience. They wanted to see boobs. They didn’t want to hear me sing, so they would talk. It was not a good gig.

I heard they were rehiring for the Los Angeles company of “Wicked,” and it had been about a year since I had been out of the touring company. They were going to form a new company and I thought, “I don’t know why I left. That was so stupid. I need to get that job.” And so I begged. They said, “Why did you leave? We don’t know if you’re just going to leave again. It’s a liability for us.” I told them, “No, no, no. I was stupid. I was lonely on tour. I wasn’t satisfied and had outside opportunities. I really want to be in a sit-down company and then I can work on all my outside stuff and still work on the show,” and they said fine. So I came back and I opened the L.A. company of “Wicked.”

As Fiyero again?

The understudy, yes. Exactly the same thing.

For the same actor?

This was a different guy. He was out a little more often, so I got to go on more, during the almost two years we were open here.

So you stayed for the entire Los Angeles run?

I stayed. I lived right down the street from the theater, and I really enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great job, and it was nice to have money again in the city and live my life. There was a producer I started working with. He was forming his own publishing company for placement in film and TV and advertising campaigns, so they hired me to be a songwriter. And so I would go down there a couple days a week during the day and lay stuff down and write and really started to build a nice collection of music and I felt like it was at a much better level. I’d learned more about writing, about pop hooks, how it all works. Through trial and error, we got some good stuff. I was doing some session work here and there, so I was really starting to move toward, “I really think I should go for this now.” I felt more confident and I started getting frustrated with “Wicked.” I felt they weren’t promoting me and it wasn’t satisfying. I started performing at clubs, just to get my name out there. I was going to release music. I really got into the idea of becoming a solo act. I think a couple years before, the idea of that really scared me because I was concerned about, “How are people going to think of me?” and “I’m never going to have a private life if I do that.”

I didn’t think I was ready for that. I didn’t think I could handle it and then I really got into the idea of it. I had turned 26 and felt, “I’m getting old and I still haven’t been to New York yet.” I knew there was work for me in the theater and I could move to New York and probably work there, but I’m particular and I never really considered myself the best actor in the world. I wanted to be myself, so I was less and less enchanted with the idea of musical theater. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interesting to me musically or conceptually. I wanted to do my own thing. So I started experimenting, doing club acts and the pop/dance thing.

I sang and I had two dancers and we were wearing really wild clothes and then I was doing stuff with Upright Cabaret. It was like the New York tradition of having all the show actors and people in town come together and sing, like Joe’s Pub [in New York]. I met a lot of great people through that and got a lot of attention.
Upright L.A. Cabaret Pictures, Images and Photos
Where did you think this was all leading?

I put my faith in the producer that I was working with, Monte Pittman, that when all this music was finished, he was going to do all the work to get it out there, and he did do a lot of work. But he had just come from New Zealand. He was really established there, but he was new here, like an outside player. So I didn’t know how quickly that was going to happen, and I wondered, “What are my other options?” And last year when “Idol” was on, we were all watching it at “Wicked” and everybody would discuss their opinions of who did better and why, and then somebody said, “Adam, you should audition for that,” and I thought, “Yeah, maybe I should.”

 This happened during Season 7?

Yes, but I watched a lot of the seasons. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

When did you first watch the show?

I watched the first season. I remember Kelly [Clarkson] was on and she was great. I was really excited, but I didn’t think they were going to like me. I thought I was too out there.

You are a little out there!

I am a little out there, but I’m kind of a strategist in that I knew what I could get away with and what I probably couldn’t get away with, so I tried to dumb myself down for the first couple auditions. You know, look a little more normal, dress a little bit more low key.

Where did you audition?

In San Francisco. I drove up with two of my best friends. The next morning I had gotten an hour’s sleep because I was really anxious, and right as I auditioned, I reached this epiphany where I thought, “You’re about to be 27. What do you have to show for yourself? You’ve done a couple shows. You’re working. You know you can pay your bills but do you want to do something great? Do you want to do something major and launch yourself? Yeah, I do,” and I knew that “Idol” was going to be, if I could get it, such a platform. I’d seen people that had been on “Idol” and were eliminated playing leads on Broadway, and I knew that’s the way New York is now. If you’re on TV and you’re a celebrity, you can get a lead in a Broadway show. I thought that’s what I should do because they don’t seem to want to promote me at “Wicked.” The worst-case scenario is that it would enhance my career in the theater and the best-case scenario is that I could do really well — and I didn’t know what it was going to be.
Adam Lambert Audition Pictures, Images and Photos
You knew the odds were against you, but that was OK, right?

Yes. I walked into the first audition with the judges, and Simon and Kara said, “You’re theatrical.” I had a feeling it was going to go down like this. They’re going to be, “Oh, he’s too Broadway,” even though I don’t feel like I actually am when I sing. I’m theatrical, but I don’t think that it’s necessarily musical theater.

What did you sing at your first audition?

I sang “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and then “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and they said, “Don’t sing ‘Crazy’ at the next audition because they can’t get the rights to it and everybody tries to sing it.” I sang [“Rock With You” by] Michael Jackson and they wanted to hear another one so I sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” and that’s the one they ended up showing on TV.

Were you a Queen fan?

I’m a huge Queen fan. Freddie’s the man. He’s the voice. Just the musicianship required to sing that kind of music is really high. It’s very melodic and rangy and dramatic and I appreciate all that.

Could you ever have imagined while auditioning with “Bohemian Rhapsody” that a few months later you’d be on stage singing lead vocals with Queen?
Adam Lambert Pictures, Images and Photos
Weird. It’s weird full circle stuff all around. It’s thrilling, but it almost loses its impact in a funny way, like, “Oh, of course I’m onstage with Queen.” What the hell’s going on? “Of course, KISS.” I can’t believe it. This can sound very pretentious if taken the wrong way but I almost feel like I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I do feel this is what I’m supposed to be doing and I have a fatalistic view on life that things happen for a reason. I feel like everything that’s led up to this point has prepared me for this. It’s the whole “Slumdog Millionaire” thing, where it’s like his whole life like leads up to that moment and the only way he gets through that moment is because of all of his experiences. I went to see “Slumdog” as this was all happening and I was just in tears because I was so touched by the concept of that movie. And I wouldn’t have done what I did on the show had it not been for what I’ve gone through and my experiences in my life and what age I’m at. I wouldn’t have been that confident. I would have been second guessing myself. I would have been really busy people-pleasing as opposed to just doing what I do. It was meant to be now.

–Fred Bronson

About Carol

I started writing on this site back in May 2009, not knowing what I was in for or where it would take me. I had no idea of the joy and personal satisfaction I'd find here. I never dreamed that I'd get to meet Adam, but that dream came true! The bonus of becoming such great friends with Lila and the other fans is what keeps me going. Music gets me though every day. In addition to Adam, I love Muse, Linkin Park, 80s and finding newer bands and supporting them by attending everything that's within 350 miles. With Adam, the boundaries are farther! Thanks for joining us on this ride! :)


  1. The pic. of Adam and the neo-hippie movement gang as he calls them well, he looks wayyyyyyyyyy to thin and needs to grow a butt other than that he is perfect!

    • Oh Rose, Rose, Rose,

      The man totally exposes his heart, soul and body (except for a couple of strategically placed leaves) and all you can do is criticize his body,,, say is he needs a bigger butt?

      This beautiful man has followed his heart when lesser would have given up and joined the “real” world. I can feel the bravery in his efforts, conquests and rejections. What a joy to see such a deserving son “make it”. He is the boy next door and he has made it. He is my idol. And I think his skinny ass is beautiful.

      • Well said Medley, how tall he stands in that picture, he looks like a GOD, he is absolutely beautiful, in body and in soul, I have great respect for Adam for facing the real world and been true to himself. I watched AI because of Adam, he is fearless, he overcame all oposition and came through it a winner, the people’s winner. Adam we love you for who you are.

      • adamtastic1877 says:

        grrr the strategically placed leaves!!!haha!!

  2. AdamAddict says:

    After I read it again, I think Adam broke up with Cheeks because of long distance relationship. I wonder who dump who? Poor Adam, I hope that his new love,Drake end up with happy ending! I’m glad “the citizen vein” didn’t work out. I’m glad that they’re not smart enough to see how talented Adam is, otherwise Adam now will be in that band and probably will not be on the top like he is now. How I’m glad Adam think he’s 27 and old (27 old??!! Now I’m sad, I’m 5yr older than him so what makes me??!!) and start to think what to do next in his life and he wants it big! Thank goodness he tried A.I! THANK GOODNESS!!
    P/S: The picture on the beach,the guy next to him, is that Neil??Looks like him though!!

    • Yes, everything happens for a reason.
      And, yes, thats Neil alright to Adams left, a little behind.
      At first I thought he was Adam too.

      • AdamAddict says:

        I know exactly which one is Adam,never mistake Neil is Adam! I just shocked Neil dress up like that to join his brother! hahaha! That’s just too sweet!!

  3. AdamAddict says:

    I don’t know if you guys have watch this yet. As we all know he sang “Crazy” and there’s more than one vid in youtube.Above,there’s a picture Upright Caberet with him in brown cloth,he sang “Crazy” in different version. I like when he have trouble to put the mic in the mic stand hole.And I know you don’t want too but if you can,look at that piano player,I find it kinda funny! Wassup with him? Got panic attack when Adam in front of him??!! lol!!

    • AdamAddict, the pianist looked as if he was having hot flashes. If Adam is standing infront of me I would probably be reacting in exctly the same way.

  4. I love this man for his honesty that comes through so clearly in everyone of his interviews, he hides nothing, he is open about who he is, his life, his feelings, his dreams. He says what he thinks, he is completely open to us and I have huge respect for Adam. He is quite right in stating that this was the right time for him, he had to go through all the previous experiences to develop spiritually and mentally to this moment. Reading the interview I could visualise Adam speaking, visualise his expressions. This is why he is such a great performer who brings meaning to each and every word of his songs, I believe that this guy will become an even bigger artist then we have seen before. Adam we love you, don’t ever change, be yourself.

  5. janet lawson says:

    The beauty of Adam…there are no suprises…he is who he is…he speaks from his heart…he is genuine..he truly understands the dynamics of everything that is happening to him since idol…he has a great support system,from what he has said, in his family and friends…he is a man who is comfortable in his own skin…a man who can sing and perform on a whole different level…and a man who when all things continue to lineup for him in the universe will become one of the greatest talents we have ever seen…adam is a shining star burning brightly…he draws you in with all of his energy…adam was put here for a purpose and that is to do what he loves doing…entertaining the world…

  6. I think one of the reasons people love adam so much, including myself, is because his confidence’
    glows from the inside out. He is very confident in his performances and singing but speaks
    with great humility. When one posess confidence/humility, freedom of self exist.
    At that point, one can take chances and be different and really express who you are because
    now you have selfacceptance. one can live in their own skin happily. This is so different from
    get enough of Mr. Adam Lambert. He is so exciting to watch and listen to.I still wonder what is
    he going to do next. I hope the higher Adam rises, he never loses his humility and sense of
    humor and love for his brothers and sisters.
    On a lighter note, I hope and pray ADAM NEVER STOPS HIS PELVIC THRUSTS. HAHA

  7. AdamAddict says:

    Have you watch this vid?There’s so many pictures where Adam & Cheeks making out! It’s weird,before I know Adam,I will cover my eyes with my 2 hands when I see boy kissing boy.I was like “No,no, don’t, DON”T DO IT,ewww!!” And when I see Adam kissing guy, I was like “Yes,yes, do it, PLEASE JUST DO IT,yessss!” hahaha! I’m horny,I know!! lol!!

    Cheryl Norman going to love this because it’s Adam in silver pants! He so HOT!! And when U get to 2:50, PAUSE for a second! That’s the guy that I said Adam will look good with. Hahaha! I’m a matchmaker in the making! He’s Matt Dallas and he is also a gorgeous gay man! Dark hair with beautiful blue eyes and his voice is really low,seexyy! Matt was in TV series called “Kyle XY” but they cancel the show after 3 season! Urgh,and they end it with cliffhanger!! Aargh!! But Drake is cool too! I’m just saying.Adam is too pretty,all of his friends also pretty!

    • cheryl norman says:

      AdamAddict, Soon as I saw those magical words ‘ADAM IN SILVER PANTS’, I was off looking for that link!!! Oh, baby!! Adam is the ‘biggest’ thing in silver pants that I ever need to see!!!! Adam, the lord has truly blessed you in more ways than most!!
      Emili, thank you, little one, for posting that scrumptous lilnk!!! You KNOW what I like!
      I just can’t see anything that ‘Cheeks’ has that Adam would ‘love’, unless he posesses something tht isn’t visual. Drake is so similar to Cheeks! I agree w/you Emili, neither of these two boys is outstanding to the ‘eye’. Maybe Adam’s ‘needs’ will have moved up, and he’ll stop ‘looking’ for love, and let love find him!!!! Oh, how I hope that is the case!! Adam is in love with ‘love’. Why is he so needy in that area? I understand wanting to someday finding the right person, falling in love, and living happily ever after, but, he’s only 27! He has so many more ‘loves’ to encounter before he finds just the right one! Most of us change so much between the ages of 18-15, and 25-30, etc. So, Adam, live a great, fun life, and don’t ‘worry’ about ‘finding’ love. LOVE WILL FIND YOU!!!!! I can asure you of that!! Adam has so much to offer another, he just needs to slow down and see how wonderful he is, and ‘BELIEVE IT!’ I’m afraid Adam sees himself in a light that the rest of us don’t see!! He’s his worst enemy, in that respect. He’s confident about his vocal skills, but not so much about his being a man worth loving. God, I want him to get over that! I think only ‘time’ will conquer that for him. I wouldn’t want him to settle down with ANYBODY until he has a more positive feeling about his worthiness. Hate to be so analytical, but this kind of feelilng is directly the result of something from his childhood. Maybe a girl who really wasn’t as nice to him as he was to her, maybe someone with just a ‘slip of the tongue’ said something he shouldn’t have heard, maybe the old ‘dad’ issues, who knows? But, I wish he would get some therapy and find out. Don’t think that will ever happen, tho. Maybe as he mautres, he’ll get to know someone who can have an important role in helping him understand himself more. Now, to me, he’s PERFECT. How would he be if he were as ‘happy’ as he could be in his personal life????? OMG! If all things work for a reason, then there must be a really good ‘reason’ why Adam hasn’t found the ‘right’ one yet!

      • Iyleneidol09 says:

        (sigh!!!!!) what a waste of a great male species!!!! ( sorry! my selfish instinct is in the works!!) Sigh again!!! Sooo sensuous!! I bet there’s so many women feeling sorry that our world is lacking supply of a perfect male form like that!!!!

        • cheryl norman says:

          IYLENEIDOL09 Oh,,,,isn’t that so true (sigh) (sob) (sniff) whaaaaaa!!! We need men like Adam. I don’t care if they are gay. We can make special arranfements for that. We could work something out! (sob ,sniff)

  8. i too heard adams voice and saw his expressions during this intervew….this is the reason adam is so phenomenal. he is honest and true, gorgeous, NOT too skinny at all…but hes not conceited although he is confident…but most of all i love his musical genius and his spectacular voice and vocals…what can i say? i LOVE
    ADAM LAMBERT!! super star!!

  9. Cheryl, you’ve hit on a few points. I’ve often thought about Adam’s confidence in the realms of love.

    To go back to this section of the interview, we can tell that Adam was raised well. Most parents’ dreams are that their child will grow up to be a good citizen, a hard worker, responsible and loving. Adam seemed to always have had that desire for financial independence. His mom was told by a doctor while young that he was not hyper but precocious, that he was very self-aware and aware of the world around him. He is using that talent now to prepare himself for a successful career. Adam has shown above that he is astute enough to develop his stage persona based on what will make him accepted by his public, to a point, without giving up who he is. He is actually doing that on the AI tour, think of how he has added to his performance over the weeks.

    Regarding matters of the heart, we all know we do not choose with whom we fall in love. I am glad Adam has had that happy yet painful experience and I do not fear for him giving too much of himself for love at this point in his career. Sure, he will need to have long distance relationships for a long time if he is going to tour, but so do many actors and singers and they, at least some of them, manage to stay with someone either in marriage or other. From the info I’ve gleaned and the impressions I’ve picked up Cheeks/Brad is a bright, funny and seeming kind young man, judging by his website and he is always showing support for Adam, Kradam etc.. mostly in a spirit of gay fun.

    I think Adam’s present sense of self and esteem is developed enough now for him to make the right decisions for him. And if not, then he’s like a lot of us, fallible!

    • cheryl norman says:

      THERESA, You know, you mentioned that Adam was not hyper-active. I remember him saying that that was why his parents put him into musical theatre. Then, his Mother said in an interview, that no, he was not hyper=active at all. I wonder why he insists he was hyperactive? This surely wasn’t the first time he’d said that about himself, and I would think his Mom has corrected him before. He evidently believes he was hyper. Just wonder why, or what makes him hold onto that assessment.

      Adam has said, and I believe him, that he pretty mulch knows how much he can ‘get away’ with w/regard to his performances on stage. He showed that years before idol when he performed in other venues. I don’t doubt that he knows how much sexuality he can show based on his audiance. Of course, years ago he wasn’t particularly interested in showing a gay side of himself as he is now, since idol. One thing is for sure. He does ‘push the limits’ while performing on this tour! He knew that the mic massaging could be taken only so far, but he kept trying to push it a little more! Kind of like a little naughty boy, who wants to show he’s not afraid of what he’s doing! Then, we saw him not using the mic at all for a couple of shows when he was told to ‘calm it down’, possibly after some complaints. He complied, but, gradually he stepped it up in another way. He’s just having fun! I think he ‘loves’ being what he considers a ‘little naughty’ on stage!! He has waited so long for his lilfe to take him this far!

      As far as Cheeks/Brad, I don’t know a thing about them. Emili, Mary and a few others and I have all mentioned that we would like to see him with someone closer to himself in the ‘hottness/looks dept. That’s not hard to understand, I don’t think. Whatever they possess that turns him on, I wonder if it is the same thing that will turn him on a year or two from now. Don’t know, just throwing the question out there.

      I don’t know whaere Adam’s ‘self-esteem’ is. He is confident in his singing ability, for sure. As far as him being self-confident in himself, he may be getting better, but, I think he has a lot of growing yet t do. If you
      remember, he said he thought of himdelf as being ‘fat with a bad complextion’ just a couople years ago. We really cannot say that he is a totally self-confident man, very sure of himself. We also only know what we’ve been allowed to know about his family life and childhood. That is such a complicated issue to say that we ‘know’ this or that about his life. I’m often surprised at how one member of a family views their family vs another family member! Kids view different things in their lives different ways as they mature. Today, at the age of 20 I may say I had a great Mother. At age 30 I may say something else all together.
      And, I’m NOT talking about Adam’s Mother, just giving the example. Actually, tho, for me that is true! Didn’t make me love my Mother less. I just became more aware of what is a good Mother and what a good Mother would or wouldn’t do. It’s all relative. As we mature, our view of our lives, our familiy life, and ourselves will usually change a great deal. Thus, I say Adam may have a number of ‘loves’ before he can be as sure as he can on the type of person who he could be happy with for many years. It’s the same for me, you and most people, I think. I can be wrong, but I think I’m on the button here. I just have many, many years of studying the psychology of people. Actually, never stopping the learning process. It is my true great interest in life. Why we are the way we are, and why we do what we do, etc. So, I realize that others will always disagree with me, and others won’t. Tlhat’s the way it is, and probably should be. You’re probably not surprised I’m always so analytical! Sometimes to my detrement! I try to keep it under control!
      But, that’s a lot of who I am. Absolutely, b/c of where I came from, and where I went to from there! More people than I can tell you wonder how I ever made it thru life. Many wonder how I made it without being so much more harmed physically, and, of course, emotionally. Therefore, I am a product of my enviornment.
      Always asking ‘why’ or ‘why not’. So, this is the best response I have for you. I hadn’t seen this post by you before you emailed me, so I’m not sure when you typed it. Let me know how you feel about it. Take care,
      and by the way, are you wearing ‘sparkles’ or anything like that to the concert?! Lotsaluv, Cherry

  10. WOW!i wish i met adam way before idol and was his friend.he is so together and interesting.when he was younger his sensitivity is so touching not many people feel so deeply.

  11. Great post. Have a Happy New Year


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