Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Quelle Surprise!

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Quelle Surprise!

Article excerpt

Rockers Bernadette Colomine and her gay ex-husband, Terry Durbin, are raising a ruckus with their sexy band, Shoofly

French-born Bernadette Colomine, Shoofly's sultry song-stress and frontline moody brooder, has led some fans to trumpet the Los Angeles--based band as an ooh-la-la version of the legendary rock troupe X. And if Colomine is the Gallic form of X's Exene Cervenkova, then her whiskey-voiced collaborator, Terry Durbin, an Oakland, Calif., native, is the gay version of John Doe. But it's the sexual conundrum of Shoofly's two core members that really puts a tweak on the parallel. Like Cervenkova and Doe, Colomine and Durbin were married. Yes, married. For 11 years. Until September.

Despite the freshness--and unusual circumstances--of the breakup, Shoofly thrives. The group's recently released debut, Dirty White Town (Cool Records)--which boasts guest appearances by celebrated gay chanteur Rufus Wainwright and former Concrete Blonde front woman Johnette Napolitano--has been racking up rave reviews for its sexy Velvet Under-groundesque rock. (BAM magazine, for one, deemed it "intoxicating.") And Durbin, 41, doesn't flinch when he declares his sexual orientation in the presence of his ex-wife. "I'm not straight," he says easily after "idol" chat about Andy Warhol and Nico one sunny day. "Bisexual sounds obnoxious. I'm gay." As if to prove his point, he asks dryly, "Would you like a nude photo?"

Wainwright, who befriended the duo on the Los Angeles music scene two years ago, says he isn't surprised by Durbin's trademark nonchalance but does admit to raising a brow when Durbin told him last year that he liked men. "He's this gruff rocker," says Wainwright. "He just doesn't seem gay." Despite the denouement, Wainwright figures that the twosome "kind of makes sense. She's this twiddly woman, and he's this grump. They're like Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg, which is the style of their amazing music too."

Although both say their union was loving and sexual while it lasted, Durbin has also been torn by the call of men. "I've always been in that circuit, that community," he says. "Queer, straight, who gives a shit? …

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