"Rock and Roll is a prostitute, it should be tarted up." - Brian Slade
"There is suffering at the birth of a child just as there is suffering at the birth of a star." - Brian Slade
Brian Slade is the main character of the Todd Haynes' movie Velvet Goldmine. Although his story shows much resemblance to David Bowie and Roxy Music, he is a fictional character. He was played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who also sings in the movie (live) and soundtrack.
Brian represents the ultimate popstar: daring, beautiful, irresistible, ambitious, ruthless, successful... and self-destructive. We meet Brian as a child and, later, as a struggling talented musician without sexual prejudice. He's the perfect glam rock star with no fear of makeup and wild costumes.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays perfectly the daring and slightly tormented rock genius, with his beauty and talent showing in every scene.
Jonathan sings the following tunes for the movie:
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Throughout the film, we find out that Brian falls madly in love with crazy junkie American rockstar Curt Wild (played by Ewan McGregor) and later on breaks up with him, even though they still love each other. The pain drives Brian to stage his own death and disappear from public life, enraging the fans.
Journalist Arthur Stuart (played by Christian Bale) finds out in the end that Brian Slade had in fact assumed a new identity and became cliché 80's popstar Tommy Stone.
During his investigations, he unfolds the love story between Brian and his wife Mandy Slade (played by Toni Collette), who was a big part of his early success as a glam rocker. Also, he revists the debauchery and recklessness of rockstars in early 70's.
Brian Slade's story shows many similarities to the legends that surround David Bowie's Ziggy era, including a relationship with american rock stars (like Iggy Pop and Lou Reed) and a larger than life wife, Angela Bowie. None of Bowie's songs, however, were allowed to be used for Brian Slade's repetoire because it seems Bowie's saving them for a Ziggy Stardust movie.
See also: Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes, Curt Wild, Arthur Stuart, Mandy Slade, Jack Fairy