I didn’t actually ruin Gaga for everyone, just Amanda the eclectic artist.
While in transition some years ago, Dorian and I stayed with a relative for a few months who rented out an adjacent room to Hipster Glen and Artsy Amanda. They both had vast quantities of hipsterism hanging about them, but Amanda was also a kooky eclectic artist type, which I generally like and relate to, but she wouldn’t have it.
I think our batshit-crazy relative had told her some non-truths about us before we arrived because she acted like we were ax-murderers or something equally heinous. But we’re not, I mean… who would murder an ax?
We DO have a quirky sense of humor though.
Amanda was exclusive, in that she ran with a certain club of artisans and if you even tried to horn your way in you’d be summarily dismissed and snubbed. Our nutty relative, who’s about four inches and a snails tit away from a straight-jacket, had told her some things that made it way more difficult for Amanda to relate to us.
I’m sure she thought we were hillbillies who just jumped out of a canoe, but she and Glen lived across the hall from us and we all shared the same bathroom, so we had to find a way to get along. This was right around the time that Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance video came out. I walked into the dining room one day to find Amanda playing it on her Macbook.
“What is THAT?” I asked, without the slightest hint of judgmental disdain.
“Lady Gaga, but you wouldn’t understand,” Amanda said with a condescending sneer.
Oh, I WOULDNT, would I? Okay then chicky, lets seeeee…
I watched a few minutes of it and raised an eyebrow at the creatures slithering out of the pods, and the reptilian sparkly gold Gaga in platforms. She was right, I didn’t get it. At first.
Amanda was triumphant. The neanderthal couldn’t relate! Slink back to your cave buddy, and gnaw on a bone while we eclectic artisan hipsters dig the scene! I did go back to my cave, but not to gnaw on anything. Instead, I called up the Bad Romance video on Vevo and with headphones on, I ran through it three or four times.
Hmm, catchy song! Whoa.. nice visuals! Umm, what..? Oh, I see.. hey..!! HEY!!! I GET IT!!!
I went back out to the dining room. Amanda was still there watching something about the Olsen Twins and gazing longingly at Mary-Kate’s dress.
“I get it now.”
“Bad Romance, I get it. I know what Gaga is saying.”
She looked at me like I was a cat who’d just dropped a headless mouse at her feet.
“Okaaaay, what is she saying?”
“She’s not really saying anything, its just performance art. Its open to interpretation. She’s just trying to make you think, which is the purpose of any good art.”
“Hmmm.. I dunno..”
“I LIKE IT!”
She looked like she was going to cry. I went back to my cave and watched everything else Gaga had out by that time. I hadn’t really paid attention to her prior to then, but I liked some of what I was seeing.
I liked “Love Game” and “Eh eh” but I didn’t care for a few other pieces like “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi.” Oh, I knew what Gaga was driving at but I just didn’t dig the videos or songs.
Now, you’d think that anyone who likes a certain artist would be happy when you discover that artist too, and admit that you like at least some of their stuff, and try to engage in a discussion about them. But not Amanda. As a 50-y/o ax-murdering hillbilly who’d just slithered from a cave, I’d ruined Gaga for her. I wasn’t supposed to like Gaga! Her world had imploded.
I’ll never understand that mindset of exclusivity because if I were to find that Osama Bin Laden had been a Lady Gaga fan, I’d just say he had great taste in the midst of wanting to kill every living being in the United States.
Even demons can appreciate art, and often produce it..
Years later I finally got to meet the Madame Tassaud’s version of Lady Gaga, when she was on loan to our tour office in San Francisco. We went on a date.
But sadly, it’s a moot point because it turns out that our nutty relative had ruined Gaga for ME. We were there for about two months while in transition, and among many of her diabolical tricks, she loved to put “Bad Romance” on full volume over a very nice sound system at promptly 7:00 AM EVERY SATURDAY as she’d fire up the vacuum cleaner and loudly commence with her weekly day of cleaning.
She played other songs, for about two very loud hours, but she always led with that one.
We weren’t getting a handout from her, we were paying rent for the room and living on my unemployment at the time, so basically we were housemates. Yet she continuously had no regard for our peace of mind and need for space.
It’s all water under a bridge I’d rather forget now that I’ve crossed it and some years have gone by, but to this day the opening vocal refrain from “Bad Romance” still makes my skin crawl. Yet despite that fact, I’m posting the video below in case you’ve never seen it or heard the song.
By the way, how ARE things on that secret government outpost on Mars?