Adam Lambert’s “If I Had You” Video: Blood Sugar Sex Magik Like Burning

by alex & riese

Today Adam Lambert’s “If I Had You” video premiered and WE FUCKING LOVE IT, obviously. It’s basically a wild Burning Man-esque vampirey forest party of ecstasy, love and FIAR. The video features many of Glambert’s friends from his days in L.A.’s “Zodiac Show” as well as Allison Iraheta from American Idol and reminds us of lots of things, like Boy George and Vampires!


All You Need is Love

Although we personally like to believe that “If I Had You” is about how Adam Lambert would give up his ipad (or a similar piece of gadgetry), fame, fortune, etc. to be our boyfriend, Adam Lambert told MTV news that it’s actually about loftier things: “no matter what color your skin is, no matter what religion you are, no matter what your sexuality is… we can all party together. All this other stuff– money, success, fortune, fashion, glam — it’s all great but it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not connecting.”

Mhm. For example when Adam Lambert wears white pants, we connect.

Burn Baby Burning Man

Adam Lambert had his big eye-opener about trying out for American Idol at the yearly Burning Man festvial, where Lambert saw “people living in this Utopian society” and found that idea “beautiful.”  This sentiment is reflected in the If I Had You video, where we learn that Maseratis (a type of car apparently) and stripper heels (which are impossible to walk in) are unnecessary when you have the “neo-hippie movement,” bicycles and Love Love Love.

Adam Lambert, Karma Chameleon

Adam Lambert is clearly channeling Boy George in this video by dressing exactly like him and donning Boy George hair. Even the makeup! It’s so perfect.

If you’re like 12 and live under a rock that was put over your head at birth, preventing you from knowing things about the past, Boy George is a British pop star (best known for “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”, “The Crying Game” and “Karma Chameleon”) who, like Adam Lambert, was influenced by David Bowie and Iggy Pop and was gaaaaay. However, unlike Adam Lambert, Boy George reached a level of prominence in the 80’s when people weren’t really “out.” For example, Boy George’s boyfriend Jon Moss, the Culture Club’s drummer, was never comfortable being in a same-sex relationship with Boy George and had been married to a woman when the two first met.  This under-the-radar relationship, among other destructive forces, made the inner workings of Culture Club really tumultuous and all this terrible stuff happened and Boy George became a heroin addict and his friend/co-writer OD’ed in Boy George’s apartment and Boy George was arrested and the whole thing was all quite sad & messy and the band broke up.

In many ways it was artists like Boy George who paved the way for artists like Adam Lambert to thrive unencumbered by the homophobia and conservative discomfort that made George/Moss’s relationship so difficult. (Well that wasn’t the ONLY thing that made it so difficult, you’ll have to watch Behind the Music for the full scoop) It’s awesome that Adam is paying tribute to him in this video. ‘Cause whereas Boy George was like “you’re making me cry, now I’m gonna do heroin,” Adam can be like “Holler look at my codpiece!”

Adommy ‘Shippers, Your Boat Has Arrived

Also, um, this song is (maybe) about how if Adam had the man he loved, he wouldn’t need money, fame, fortune or twitter. Everyone knows Boy George’s songs were often about Jon. Obviously this would have to be subconscious as this song was written eons ago in Glambert-Time but MAYBE JUST MAYBE Adam is channeling Boy George here because of the secret love burning between Adam Lambert and Tommy the (“straight”) bassist! You know, you saw them kiss at the AMAs (our Second-Favorite Moment of 2009) (Adam sticking that guy’s head in his crotch is our First-Favorite Moment of 2009. Same night, same place.). YEAH AMIRITE? Probs not. But I expect at least ten angry comments. Any less than that and I’ll be disappointed.

Mainline my Heart

Furthermore on this Boy George tip, Adam’s saying that “there’s a thin line between a good time and a flatline,” which Riese thinks means “sometimes you have so much fun, you have to be careful not to accidentally die!” but everyone else thinks means, “all we need is love, there is no need to OD and die.”

The Illuminati

Also Adam is giving us the sign of the Illuminati:

Sleep All Day. Party All Night. It’s Fun to be a Vampire.

This video is everything our music editor Crystal loves about the world: Vampires and excessively studded leather.

Q: Crystal what do you think is the “right amount of leather”?
A: 50% minimum.

Did you see The Lost Boys? Well you should, because it’s a super-important vampire movie from the 80’s, and a lot of it takes place in the forest and there are mullets involved, kinda like this music video!

Did you see Twilight? Crystal did, she loved it even though Riese thinks it’s Mormon abstinence propaganda:

In conclusion, this is clearly a video about love, sex, bloodsugarmagik, with extra crazy-sexy-cool. Adam gets to dance, wear hot outfits, and play homage to the homosexy stars of the 80’s, all while still managing to make Crystal think about Twilight: New Moons Over my Hammy. Bravo, Adam Lambert! BTW if we had you, poverty, irrelevance and debt never could compete.

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Cofounder and Design Director of Autostraddle. Professional web/graphic designer. Whiskey enthusiast. Drumming hobbyist. A past speaker at the 2010 BlogHer Conference ("Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout in an Online Medium"), 2013 Salon LGBTQ Conference ("Innovative Best Practices for Brand-Blogger Campaigns") and featured in the Los Angeles Edition of Refinery29's 30 Under 30 in 2013. Co-owns and manages Tully's Training, a dog training company in Los Angeles. Twitter: @a_ex Instagram: alexxxvegaaa

Alex has written 100 articles for us.


  1. A+ review and dissection. I love photos interspersed at regular intervals in my articles. It keeps my ADHD in check. Question…. why is it women (gay & straight) find Adam so hot yet gay guys don’t seem to??? You should do an indepth piece on this phenomena. It defies logic.

    • That’s the $1000 000 Q? I’ve been ruminating on that for a long time and some thoughts I came up with is that Adam is either not macho nor feminine enough for gay men, he’s that total 50/50 mix of yin and yan that most females dream of. Completely at ease with both his feminine & masculine sides. Also he’s the perfect Alpha male and perhaps all men find that intimidating??? Maybe it’s just that as females we respond to that lovely voice on a subconscious level? Would love to hear some other opinions, so yes how about an in depth dissertation on the subject?

  2. Best. Video. Review. EVAH!

    I love this vid so hard. I can’t stop watching it. Frankly it’s kind of a problem, as my boss doesn’t pay me to rewind it all day to rewatch White Pantz Moments.

    And dayum Adam has some pretty pretty friends.

    You! Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You! Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You!

  3. Pingback: Recensioner och kommentarer till ‘If I Had You’ videon

  4. I love your review, you totally got it. I nodded and smiled through the whole read. It’s so much fun to be an Adam fan, he’s such a devil in a great way. One thing that I have to add is that even though Boy George broke the ice, Adam and others still have to face negativity and homophobia at every turn. It’s sad but true. As for the comment from Leanne, all due respect, there are lots of gay men that love Adam. All of his concerts have included all walks of life, hence Adam’s message. We can all come together and party and share the love. Adam would have made a great hippy, and he would make one hell of a sexy vampire.

  5. Wow – this is the bestest breakdown evah! Even though i kinda grew up with Boy George and Wham! (mid to late 80’s, junior high in Europe) I totally skipped over the Boy George homage! And the Lost Boys one. For some reason, I was thinking of a sexed-up version of Rivendell. And the nasty product placement is not an iPad, is the ghastly Sony Dash. And you never know when Adommy will happen :-) Some more of those mushrooms and everything is possible.
    TY :-))

  6. Glambert get an A***** from me on this video and song! Its simply the best out there! The guy is a genious!

  7. Great review! And only because you asked: Tommy is straight and he and Adam are just friends with a mutual appreciation for rock and roll sexiness! :)

    • Notice how Adam has gone from “Tommy is straight” to “Tommy likes girls”. That’s all well and good but Tommy might like Adam too. I mean COME ON! Hahaha!

  8. I totally agree about the burning secret love.


    Anyone with eyes can see they have something betweent them.

  9. Burning secret love FTW. And not just because I started the first Tommy fangroup (we don’t call it Adommy though, we came first & have always called it Lambliff because we are way better-er, okay) and because I want to be his BFF and shop with him and let him and Adam do my eye makeup because they are obviously ten hundred times better at than I am.

    No, mine is a completely objective burning secret love.

  10. Dude, open your eyes. That wasn’t an iPad. It had SONY’s logo on it. *facepalm* Maybe you got distracted with uber sexy Adam. Hehehe. =D

  11. great review !!!!!! I agree with almost everything you have written,except for one thing #teamNOpants here :)

  12. This artilce is hysterical! You could give Michelle Collins a run for the money. Lol!! I love the white pants too! The white pants have their own official hashtag on twitter. #teamwhitepants

    Also, I guess I’ve been living under a rock why is this the first time I noticed that Adam’s brother Neil is standing beside him in the burning man photo? Maybe because I was so studiously counting all those leaves I didn’t notice anyone or anything around him? Another question: how did Adam ride that bike with platform shoes on?

  13. So much fun to read this review, and it was ACCURATE, too.
    First off, have to agree with views on the white jeans…
    Next, we keep hoping there is something between Adam and Tommy, but teasing continues with no resolution
    Then, Admm can sing, Adam can dance, Adam knows how to have a good time and share it with both friends and his fans.
    THAT is why we love Adam Lambert, futile as that unrequited love will always remain, and will continue to support his career as long as he oontinues to sing his adorable heart out.

  14. The video certainly increases it’s fiercitude as it slinks to it’s climax. Honestly, all the vampires in the forest schtick irked me, as I felt it was a cheap bid for THAT demographic (as if he didn’t already have them in his white denim back pocket), but the vibe is so infectious after the first chorus, I just went along for the ride. It’s his best video yet, without a doubt. Still wish he’d released Pick U Up as a single and make the campiest video of all time to accompany it.

  15. I love that I can always count on you, Alex, to accurately describe and put words to my feelings about Adam Lambert. They kind of confuse me a little sometimes, but I know I can always come here and it’s okay to be a little (a lot) in love with him.

  16. Adam is amazing. Such a talent and inspiring person. Tommy is straight. They both say so. Though I think Tommy may be a bit smitten with Adam. FYI, standing next to Neil in the Burning Man picture is Brad “Cheeks” Bell (he is a talented yet to be discovered multi-media artist). He is also in the video. He is Adam’s ex (the one he refers to when he states he’s only been in love once)and it seems they are working on getting back together.

  17. Alex, love this article and very interesting reading. I agree with everything you said. What I love the most about Adam Lambert is his honesty, candid and unfiltered responses to questions thrown at him during interviews. Don’t know any celebrity that is this open with reporters and TV hosts. I’ve never seen a talent like him. He can sing anything, act, dance, and his quick wit is mezmerising.
    I think Adam…no…I know Adam has a huge HIT with IIHY, especially the music video. I’ve seen it 30 times now and will probably watch it many times over. Who knows what other famous person might just “pop out “from behind a tree.

  18. OMG you had me laughing out loud (vs LOLing which is overused NO ONE really laughs out loud as much as that is used but anyway) yeah, laughing and nodding and OMG Lost Boys!! haha totally forgot about that!! I’m not a huge boy George fan but appreciated the comments. So I toally love this video, very fun lots to see keeps me coming back way more than WWFM did. I love that these are mostly Adam’s real friends daum, makes me want to know this guy even more, just like climb right into the screen and start my wild dancing!!!

    But on a serious note the lyrics are indeed more love story oriented but for all our advances, Adam is still stuck in a gender neutral world with his videos, having a girl love interest doesn’t make sense and people would flip like when he did his sexy photo shoot with a girl but they’d flip more if it was a dude sooooooooooo the love interest is now well….everyone. Love that Allison is in it too, saw their concert, its awesome!!

  19. Great review. Adam is waaaaaaay prettier than Boy George. Adam is waaaaaay sexier than Boy George, whether he’s in nothing but leaves, the right amount of leather, the wrong amount of leather or white jeans. Adam is a waaaaaay better singer than Boy George and is that really Neil next to Adam at Burning Man? It looks like him but he would be like 18.

  20. OMG AUTOSTRADDLE YOU’RE ALIVE. I was going through withdrawal yesterday. =(

    And you come back with an excellent Adam recap! And you include a link to the GaGa-is-an-Illuminati-puppet site! This post could not be any better. A+ subtitles, by the way.

    “But I expect at least ten angry comments. Any less than that and I’ll be disappointed.”

    Since I don’t want you to be disappointed: BAAAAWWWWW ADOMMY.

  21. Love his new video and I love the white pants also! He is way better looking than Boy George ever was! Cannot wait to see him perform the actual video live on stage like it is shown here in the video!

  22. Thanks for the smiles and reminding me about The Lost Boys! Adam’s video is just a fun, trippy, joyous party. Hope everyone jumps on it and requests the song so we can enjoy this talented guy all summer. Then it will be Sleepwalker’s turn…

  23. If I got high on acid, watched Battlefield Earth/Joe Dirt, and decided to fuck it and move to the forest. It would be this video. Obvs love it.

  24. The first one so channeling a bit of Graverobber from Repo! actually Lambert as Graverobber amazing idea now that I think of it.

  25. Speaking of Boy George, there was a biopic called Worried About The Boy that aired on BBC2 not too long ago.

  26. It really does look like Neil in the back, the first person to the right of Adam.

    This is the best breakdown of this video. I won’t even read anymore.
    And I actually may believe that there is some tribute to Boy George here (Adam visited Boy George in London I’m pretty sure).


  27. I officially love everything about this post. If I could party with Autostraddle and Adam, it’d be ecstasy.

  28. Adam Lambert has special powers, I’m tellin you! This evening I was preparing tea whilst listening to the radio when Lamberts ‘What do you want from me’ came on, my immediate thought was ‘oh, I really miss autostraddle’
    4 days without you guys is very unsettling, in your absence I’ve even become hooked on late night big brother!!

    So I thought I must try ur website again tonight and yay, your back!! And with an awesome review of Adams latest song too!

    I hope AS is all better now.

  29. AutoStraddle, I know y’all are busy, but may I make a humble request for a similar recap of Katy Perry’s new video? Cuz I just saw it and…WOW! – that shit is profound! If “If I Had You” is a celebration of acceptance and relationships and humanity, then “California Gurls” is a celebration of, like, candy…and giggling and OMG my favorite board game as a kid and, like, gurls. And AAAAND, uh, don’t eeeeven get me started on all the reverent religious imagery.
    The point is, anyone looking for an artistic, enlightened, pious antidote to, say, “Alejandro’s” dark, blasphemous, S&M gender-f*ckery and violence need look no further than Candyfornia…where breasts PEW PEW Cool Whip, not M-16s, and the only things that aren’t happy and bubbly are apparently the popsicles.
    I don’t know about you guys, but Katy Perry makes me feel damn proud to be a lady… in that sweet, Taylor Swifty kinda way. And I think an AS breakdown of this video would be awesome. (and hilarious. like fart joke hilarious.)

  30. Wow! Way to sum up maybe? Beautiful review!!! <3

    OH and I can't let this go without commenting… LAMBLIFF. Sigh, Lambliff, oh Lambliff. They would be ~so~ adorable together. Basically my take here is Tommy may be straight (whatever) but he is definately… BENDY. (Lamb Skanks will get this reference ;-) )

    Anyways! Perfect video for the song, and yes, #teamNOpants ;-)

  31. i love adam lambert not only cuz hes da most gourgous person or sings like an angel but cuz hes different n i love tht cuz im dif 2 i luv u adam n wanna meet u soooo much

  32. just discovered your site … where have I been???

    Anyway, awesome post re: this amazing video!

    I am a 33 yo lesbian who, for the first time EVER, makes goo goo eyes at a celebrity & is totally obsessed! :) What is it about this man that makes us swoon??


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