Thursday, April 21, 2011

Intellectual Gagady

The sequence of events occurred thusly:

Weird Al Yankovic had a great idea for a new parody song: "Perform This Way," riffing on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." His people contacted Lady Gaga's people to ask permission. (Legally, he can record and sell any parody he likes, but he always asks.) Gaga's people said she'd need to hear the song before she said yea or nay.

He sent them lyrics. She still needed to hear the actual recording. He recorded the song and sent it. The verdict: no.

Annoyed that they'd let him waste all that recording time, Weird Al uploaded the song to YouTube. Which is how Lady Gaga came to actually hear "Perform This Way." She loved it. Her manager apologized for not sending her the song and for speaking on her behalf.

Here's the song:

Here's the long version of the story, in two parts, from Weird Al himself:

The Gaga Saga
Gaga Update!

Here's my question:

What was Gaga's manager thinking? That he had to protect his client from the bad publicity? That Gaga's fans would hear the song and go, "Gosh, I've enjoyed this woman's music a whole lot, but now that Weird Al points it out, her stage persona is rather outlandish. Funny how I never noticed that before. Perhaps I should spend my hard-earned money on a performer who doesn't wear meat."

Or, maybe the manager believed that the song would offend Gaga's delicate artistic sensibilities, and it was his job to protect her. Because a performer who calls herself "Lady Gaga" couldn't possibly have a sense of humor about herself.

Show business is weird.


Brian McDonald said...

She wore meat. She has a sense of humor. It may be occupying the part of her brain where her taste level would have been, but it's there.

I imagine that managers of giant stars often feel a combination of uselessness and self-importance. The manager doesn't have to make his client famous or successful, but he DOES get to be the gatekeeper for all the minutiae and crazy that would otherwise bombard the sensitive and fragile artists. He becomes the drunk on what little power he actually has. Everything is fine until he oversteps on someone equally famous, but with a blog and Twitter feed.

I'm guessing Gaga's manager is going to get to spend some quality time in the egg, thinking about what he's done. Maybe he can work on lyrics to his own parody song, "Fired This Way".


Jeff Shattuck said...

Very relieved to read this. I'd read W. Al's post and was totally surprised. I mean, Lady Gaga has just never struck me as a fraud for her to treat W. Al this way seemed off brand, to say the least.