Indie gay country song goes viral (video)

Steve Grand doesn’t have a record label, so he spent $7,000 of his own money to produce a music video, put it on YouTube, and within one week his gay-themed country song, All-American Boy, has over 600,000 views, and now is being covered by all the media.

all-american-boy-3The song – which you can download here – is about a topic probably every gay person can fully appreciate: the unrequited love of someone you think just might be gay, but isn’t.  And they become your best buddy, and have not a clue. Or do they?

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It’s a good song, and I say that as someone who isn’t terribly into country.

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And you have to love the top-rated comment on YouTube, which is known for its insanely nasty commenters:

The video is below, but first here’s what Steve wrote about the song on his YouTube page:

July 2, 2013

I fought with who I was for most of my life. In every way a young person can fight with himself.

But starting today, I’m laying it out there. I’m done playing it safe.

I’m fortunate to have smart friends who believe in me, but I don’t have a manager or a label or any sort of funding other than the money I make playing piano downtown at The Joynt, and also, ironically to some, in the churches on Sunday morning.

As far as the ascetic achievements of the video… lets just say I was lucky to have a good friend introduce me to the best team I could have asked for… who held on to the roller coaster that was this project and dealt with all my intensity and craziness as the true professionals they are.

I wrote the song during a drunken piano jam session at a party. I recorded the vocals in my parents’ basement and worked with my friend Max Steger to record and mix the rest of the instruments.

I feel like most music industry people wouldn’t like the idea of me “pigeonholing” myself by telling this story as I have. But I don’t believe the world sees change until it sees honesty.

So I went in on my own.

I went all in. I’m nervous/excited/horrified/anxious about the effect that all of the choices I am making (and have made throughout my journey of discovering myself as a man and as an artist) will have on my future. But then I remind myself that I never really had a choice. This is the story I’ve been aching to tell my most of my life… the universal story of longing to be loved…it is what I hold dearest to me.

BUT my story would never have seen the light of day were it not for the people I have listed above, many of whom asked for nothing in return. I know my passion and intensity for this project were a lot to deal with (that might be the understatement of the year.. ;)) Thank you for doing your best to help me keep my sanity… just barely. And thank you for sticking with me; for your flexibility and patience and for helping to bring my vision to life. And to mom and dad… I know you guys don’t always understand just what the hell I am trying to do, but continue to love and support me nonetheless. It means everything to me…

-Steve

UPDATE: Well this is interesting – apparently the Catty Cathy brigade is already piling on Grand for being a bad gay role model.

Gay men drink too much, feel sorry for themselves, and come on to straight dudes when their girlfriends aren’t around: that’s the message from the music video of newly-minted gay country singer Steve Grand. And gay media is too busy fawning over the young stud to notice.

Maybe Grand figures that his fellow gays will be too distracted by the video’s lascivious preoccupation with his pouty lips and sculpted abs to notice that, as portrayed here, he is one false move away from some serious gay bashing….

It’s not as if Grand isn’t entitled to have a fantasy boyfriend who happens to be straight – who hasn’t? – but if the singer really wants to challenge stereotypes, why the hell is he portraying gay men as sad, predatory drunks?

Oh for the love of God, just stop. It’s a fun little video, and in fact it’s about something every single one of us, straight and gay, has experienced – the unrequited love of the “friend” that means a tad too much to us, alone with the “is he, or isn’t he” game of trying to figure out if someone is into you, or just your “buddy.”  As for sad predatory drunks, again, wtf? He’s someone who’s pining for a potential love they’ll never have.  And yes, there’s liquor in the video.  There are cigarettes in the video too. Call the Church Lady!

What’s next?  An outcry because Grand didn’t choose a more diverse straight guy to fall in love with? Get over yourself, Marys.  Judging by the reception Grand is getting, it appears he did a very good thing breaking some glass ceilings here.  We should be proud of him, rather than giving him the Outrage, Inc. treatment.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • geoffalnutt

    OMFG!!! Check out the new one: “Stay”!!!! Wanna feel really good? There are 100,000 hits in less than 24 hrs. No, it aint the Mona Lisa, but who cares?! Wahoo!!!

  • Chip

    yeah well maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part…. :)

  • RyansTake

    I interpreted the song as the ‘straight dude’ wasn’t really straight, but in the closet… and *almost* came out, but then got really scared at the end and refused, staying in the closet. Am I wrong?

    The song for me was only okay… but I hate country, and I especially hate country songs that include the word “whiskey.” (If only because it feels so cliched.)

  • TampaZeke

    I wasn’t speaking of belirico’s commentary specifically. I haven’t read his/her commentary. I don’t even know who belirico is. I have read some comments on Towleroad and Joe My God expressing, what I think are, legitimate concerns about the storyline and then seeing some people attacking them with angry, over-the-top, venomous diatribes. As I said, I enjoyed the song and the video but I do understand the concerns. We should be able to have a thoughtful and civil discussion without drawing blood and trying to slaughter our own (on BOTH sides).

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    As I think about it, I’ve probably had the least amount of dating experience of almost anyone on this blog. I guess that’s what happens when you spend a long, long time with just one person.

  • Jim Olson

    Well, isn’t that the source of the popularity of Country music? People can relate to it, in a way that makes sense to them. Not fond of Country music either (twangy guitars make me twitch, and this was overproduced corporate Country sounding, as mentioned above…), but boy can I relate to the story. *sigh*

  • Jim Olson

    Yeah. Heartbreaking.

  • Jim Olson

    “Oh”, “oh my”, “oh my God”, and “You want to put that where!?!?!”

  • Jim Olson

    Oh, I remember that.

  • Phil

    Good vid although I’m not crazy about country anymore. However, there is something a little discomforting about this video. Maybe because I, like so many others, have been there, done that.

  • Thom Allen
  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That was masterful :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    So it’s agree: country music, meh; country men, yum.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Chip, you reach a certain age where you’ve had so many dates that ended up not being dates that you sometimes begin to question your assumptions :) Having said that, this is a work of fiction, so gaydar isn’t going to work, you have to rely on the storyline. And the story line didn’t strike me gay except the part where he’s obviously looking down at the guy next to him. Otherwise, could have been a straight curious guy. I’m not sold on the obviously gay thing :)

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I’m not fond of country music either. I do like handsome men though.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Chip, that was my take on it, but personal experience may have colored my reasoning. My high school crush liked doing a lot of things, but always said he was straight.

  • jayboy

    I’m a cranky old queen and I watched this video for the first time today and it brought tears to my eyes and took me back in time to when that classic Pontiac convertible was just another used car.and I was living out that video with similar results i’ts a timeless situation it tells a universal story that should be relate able whether your 19 or 90 gay or straight I hope this song and video open up new doors in the music industry but like they say haters gonna hate

  • Chip

    “might be gay but isn’t “??? You reallyu misread this a lot John. The friend is definitely attracted to the singer, and probably is gay. He just can’t accept that about himself. That is so obvious! Surprised you missed this…

  • Bill_Perdue

    It sounds like he changed it because the original headline was very offensive.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The comments that we deleted are from an anti-gay Islamophobe named Queer Supremacist who’s been stalking me for years.

    He uses several other names and here’s post at Querrty that got him in so much trouble – ““No. 10 · Queer Supremacist @Bill Perdue: There are no “Palestinians”. Just Arab land robbers. You’re nothing but an Arabist pig defending filthy genocidal homophobic Muslim camel fuckers, while perseverating discredited Stalinist tropes like a severely autistic parrot. There is no ethnic cleansing in “Palestine” because there is no “Palestine”, and they keep breeding like rabbits. It’s the worst attempt at ethnic cleansing I’ve ever seen. But because of their genocidal anti-semitism and homophobia, they would deserve it if there were… The land of Israel belongs to the Jews, including the parts illegally occupied by goyische breeder terrorists. … On the other hand, Israel’s founding, in a location where there was a Jewish state before the convicted thief Jesus and the child rapist Muhammad were even born, was to protect Jews from further
    hate crimes from heretic goyim (all gentile religions are heretic)…. … The
    so-called Palestinians” are enemies of gays. Therefore they have no right to a state and even less right to complain about false accusations of violation of their human rights which they forfeit by attacking gays. …. Uganda has no right to sovereignty. Iran has no right to sovereignty. Iraq has no right to
    sovereignty. Afghanistan has no right to sovereignty. Jamaica has no right to sovereignty. Saudi Arabia has no right to sovereignty. Zimbabwe has no right to sovereignty. …. China has no right to sovereignty because despite rudimentary free markets they still pay more than just lip service to a murderous ideology. … If the majority of the gays turn against Jews I will become celibate and actively homophobic. …”
    http://www.queerty.com/jerusalem-mayor-yitzhak-pindrus-plan-to-tackle-gay-pride-20100729/

    He posts under a lot of names and here’s an example of his multiple name postings at JMG http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/05/book-of-mormon-party-bus-edition.html

  • Stephen

    I don’t think any of the bilerico criticisms were valid. Let’s deconstruct the criticism. The video shows an attractive gay man drinking, pining for love (sad), and kissing a straight man (predatory). First, people drink, it’s not a gay thing. Second, this particular story has so clearly resounded with so many gay folk, the story of being in love with your straight friend, that regardless of how many times the story has been told (and really, every story ever has been told thousands of times, so what?), the story was worth retelling, even if it is ‘sad’. Third, if you associate kissing your straight friend because of mixed signals, then you need new straight friends.

    The cheap shot at the kid’s looks speaks for itself.

    The arguments are so problematic on the face of it that they beg for the reader to question the intention of the critic. What was he trying to do here but promote the idea of “not offending the straight people, lest they get violent with us”? When I think of the generation of out gay folks, artists, leaders and activists, who made a world where a young man can sing a song about the unrequited love toward another guy, the ones who actually made a difference: Maupin, Isherwood, Milk, Mixner, the folks from Stonewall to Act Up, and so many more, I doubt they’d criticize Grand for his artistic effort. And they’re not the ones people are referring to as bitter, old queens.

  • Thom Allen

    I never liked country music very much, even the crossover stuff. But I like his voice. Doubt it will make me like country any more than I do. But I might just start looking at country music videos if they have eye candy like this.

  • Denguyfl

    Why would you ever read or take seriously ANYTHING on Bilerico Project? Their panties are in a permanent wad up their collective twats.

  • TampaZeke

    Ironically it was the hard work, blood, sweat, tears and lives of the very people who created the “1975 definition of Gay PC Inc.” who created a world where this guy can be openly gay and even hope to be successful as an openly gay artists. I find it extremely disgusting and shameful for people to denigrate the very people upon whose backs and shoulders they stand.

  • Sweetie

    You rang?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I bet you remember every rejection you ever got. Just because Bill ran the other direction as fast as he could ….. just say’un

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Let’s think of it as broke back boy.

  • So, so tired of Bill Perdue

    Sweetie,
    Although during your Maoist days, you did seem to feel that the keys to love and life were contained in Mao’s Little Red Book. Was it from there that Pol Pot’s ideology finally drew your attention?

  • So, so tired of Bill Perdue

    Yes, I soooo remember you back in the early 70′s in Seattle, running after every straight guy you could find.
    Love ya! (well not really)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bil might have been trying to get an eye-grabbing headline, it’s required nowadays to get social media etc. For all of us. The entire story is judged by the headline.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Thanks for mentioning that, just added the link in the story: http://stevegrand.bandcamp.com/track/all-american-boy-radio-edit

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Exactly.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah that happened to a woman years ago, she was playing piano at her church and at a gay wine bar. They fired her at the church, so we raised like $12k for her or something via the blog.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Sure it does. 50,000 views would be viral. 100,000 even more so. 600,000 tends to be bigger. Though 20 million would be much bigger. You could say viral for each, but that’s like calling your boyfriend ‘big’ – and personally I prefer a bit more precision to my measurements :)

  • ddavid

    The term superviral makes no sense. (Furthermore, the numbers in the article wouldn’t support it anyway.) What’s next super-duper-mega-viral?

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    Not a fan of the song, but the video is cool and the subject matter is certainly familiar. Good for this guy, whoever he is, for putting himself out there. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s hot.

  • Ryan

    Both the radio and album versions are on bandcamp, where he gets a larger share of the money and you can set your price.

  • Ryan

    It’s a great song and video. I really hope he doesn’t lose his job as an accompanist because of it, or at least that the music sales will help offset that. Catholic parishes can be very accepting of their gay members, but all it takes is one busybody complaining to a bigoted bishop for people to get fired.

  • Hue-Man

    He has every reason to ignore the cranky old queens who literally “eat their young”. They have no problem with 35 year old actors playing high school students but expect everyone in their 20s to conform to some 1975 definition of Gay PC Inc. They should be saluting and encouraging gay artists who put themselves – and their money – on the line to create a message that they feel compelled to deliver. If this song and video is so cliche, why aren’t there hundreds or thousands of them?

    I hope he learns to respond to the criticism with something like: “I’m writing for MY generation of gays and guys who are friends of gays. What songs and videos have YOU produced that have 600K hits?”

  • Albert

    Maybe we’ll end up finding his song on iTunes soon!

  • Mason

    I feel like it’d be the unpopular opinion to say that I like the song, but I do. Country isn’t everyone’s interest, and even people who do like it know that there’s a lot of garbage in the mix.

    Other than the song though, this is kinda like the country version of Macklemore’s “Same Love.” His style isn’t for everyone either, although both are pretty good, and it’s most likely going to end up on the radio as well. Another victory for the Equality Movement.

  • benb

    Never thought much of Country Music—just never felt it. After listening to this song…hmmmm….I want to hear more.

  • Bill_Perdue

    There’ not much support for it at Bilerico and Bil cut the original title of the post.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The gist of it seems to revolve around him not being PC. There are no politically correct rules to cover who we fall in love with.

  • Josh

    This song is really crappy— don’t care if it is gay or not… it sucks.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yep, just saw, added it to the post, and responded :)

  • Aubrey Haltom
  • quax

    First whiny country song were I actually feel sorry for the dude (really don’t like country music).

  • keirmeister

    It’s actually not a bad tune…I kinda hear some Bon Jovi in there.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Though that could be funny :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Why are they giving him a bum rap?

  • Indigo

    See there? It’s the grass roots American gay journey. Good job, Steve Grand!

  • Bill_Perdue

    It’s a terrific video and it’s about a subject we’re all too familiar with. Straight (?) guys. I went through a period when I fell in lust every few weeks (at a minimum) and sometimes it was with straight (?) guys. That was during the radicalization of the 1960′s and 1970′s, a period of almost required sexual experimentation. Soon I’d had my fill and gave up on them.

    They’re too hidebound, too frightened and they don’t know squat about how to live.

    Steve Grand is getting a bum rap on more than one LGBT blog and it’s undeserved. There are no rules telling us who we can and cannot fall for and the end of the kind of relationship Grand describes so well is just another in a long line of lessons that teach us how to be gay.

  • cole3244

    well done, of course the homophobes will see nothing good in a simple love story that complicates their narrow minded view of the world.

  • Sweetie

    That’s a good thing for his career prospects. Corporate is today’s music.

  • rerutled

    Brace yourself: The parodies are coming.

  • Will

    yawn, sorry but it’s got that corporate-country sound that I can’t stomach

  • Sweetie

    He reminds me a bit of Ralph Macchio.

    The song isn’t my cup of tea, but as mainstream country pop/rock goes, it sounds very well done. It sounds indistinguishable from a lot of the stuff I hear on the radio, so the production values aren’t lacking. The video is also well-done, although the narrative is pretty rushed.

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