The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

Covered In Bees – The ‘Perform This Way’ Debacle

Posted on: April 21, 2011

I don’t usually like to blog about things which are current – usually because when I’m done typing, it’s all over – but there’s no way I can go through all the comments on this blog post by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic and speak my mind and correct every little mistake. Just can’t be done.

Basically, the backstory goes thusly: Al wanted to write a parody of Born This Way, despite being adamant that he wouldn’t parody Lady Gaga. Because that sort of parody is freaking obvious. He wrote up a summary of what the song would be about and sent it to her management, who told him that he’d have to write and record the song first, so that Gaga could hear it. Figuring that she’d be pretty familiar with her own damn melody, he wrote the lyrics and sent them off. He was told he’d have to record the song first, which makes no sense, and really doesn’t sound like something Gaga would say, since she must know what it’s like to record a song. Even so, he obliged them and sent them the recording. The management said ‘no’. Al was understandably upset and posted the song to YouTube anyway, bemoaning the fact that he could no longer put it on his album or donate the proceeds to the HRC. Lady Gaga discovered the song (because news travels fast and Al’s Little Monsters – oops, I mean Close, Personal Friends – became rabid) and was reportedly confused. Because she had no idea any of this was happening. She gave Al permission to go ahead with the parody, and everything was happy.

Except this is the internet.

Despite the story having a nice ending and everything being one of those awful misunderstandings that tend to happen to Al (unfortunately), the Close, Personal Friends (or Friends of Al, whichever you prefer) have been calling bullshit on the revelation that Lady Gaga does have a sense of humour.

A quick look through the comments on Al’s follow-up post are enough to make your eyes want to roll away with themselves. If you are inclined to believe Gaga, anyway. There are lots of posts still slamming her for a decision that wasn’t even hers. Let me address each issue separately, so I don’t get carried away by my own frustration.

1 – “I don’t believe she didn’t hear the song!”
Er… why the hell not? It’s not like this is a difficult concept to understand. Imagine being Lady Gaga for a moment. (She’s capable of dressing comfortably; stop cringing in your seat, no meat clothing need be involved) You are touring. You are filming podcasts. You have to rehearse day in, day out. You do not have time in between being told how to safely do what you want on stage and having a sleep after all is done to listen to every proposal there is. Requests are probably pouring in for her to do this duet and that charity event. Fact is, she just does not have the time, and she probably doesn’t have the energy.

If she had heard it, she would have said yes. She has a great sense of humour. A commenter on the blog post gave examples of parodies Gaga herself linked to on Facebook. I do remember her posting the Telephone parody! So it doesn’t make sense that she would refuse Al, of all people!

2 – “Her manager would have known to say yes, since it’s Al!”
No. No he wouldn’t. When music managers think of profitable and worthwhile collaborations, the first person who comes to mind isn’t going to be Al. Even with the obvious success of certain songs once Al’s been through with them, managers know one thing about him only. He creates comedy music. Comedy is not important to those who would rather churn out clones of Gaga or Madonna or the new Britney Spears. That kind of stuff. Comedy music just does not rate with management, even in the face of their continued success.

Furthermore, Al has faced similar problems in the past. Any Al fan worth their CPFoA badge knows about the issue with Atlantic Records and ‘You’re Pitiful’, when James Blunt had okayed the parody, but the record label stopped the whole thing as it was “too early in [Blunt’s] career”. Then later, the label decided there would never be a right time for parody and so Al released You’re Pitiful for free. The only difference with this story is that the manager pretended that Gaga had heard it and was the one saying no. And somehow SHE’s the bad guy!

3 – “She’s lying; the manager’s taking the fall for her stupidity”
Again, no. Gaga doesn’t seem like the sort of person to have no sense of humour, and I’m sure she’s clever enough to realise that a parody by Weird Al would be such a boost for Born This Way. That, and as an artist, I’m sure she’d have heard the lyrics and smiled. Perform This Way is like a jocular fan letter, rather than an outright mockery.

4 – “She’s backtracking because the Al fans are OMGAMAZING and she realises we are a force to be reckoned with!”
AHAHAHA — oh wait, you were serious? Let me laugh harder; AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ahem. Couldn’t help that reference, apologies.

No. Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters are many and growing.  Why should it matter to her what the CPFoA say? They are not her fans. They are Al’s fans; of course they are going to take his side. She doesn’t listen when Madonna fans cry “EVIL BITCH PLAGIARIST!”, so why should she crumble when Weird Al’s fans start yelling “EVIL BITCH CRYBABY!”?

To be honest, I suspect most of the anti-Gaga Friends of Al are simply people who didn’t like Gaga in the first place.

Seriously, if you don’t like Lady Gaga, that’s fine. We can’t all like the same stuff. Just stop trying to find little things to pick at – and CPFoA, stop being so caustic. Heel, good creepers. No more rabid nonsense.

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  • None
  • HoistTheColours: Dear author, I full-heartedly and absolutely agree with your above statements. I just thought I would let you know, since I don't quite understand w
  • richclark: I covered this in my blog too. Found your post on one of Wordpress' random (associated posts). Has Ask really made the impact it needed to from
  • The Lilac Pilgrim: I couldn't go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It was incredibly obvious and yet people were still arguing about it. Absolutely ridiculous.
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