Love her or hate her, the Lady’s a champ, writes Sam Wolfson
I’ve never understood how the same NME staffers who whinge that rock’n’roll hasn’t got any new ‘characters’ are the same ones who’d rather see cock-rockers re-hash Liam Gallagher’s 15-year-old shtick than a woman emerging from a giant foetus shooting fire from her bosom.
Gaga understands what made Jagger, Bowie and Madonna shine brighter than the money-grabbing music industry that spawned them. In a world where fans expect stars to reply to every tweet, Gaga has preserved her mystique. No shots of her falling out the club – just honest communication with her monsters, and a million photos of her in a meat dress.
Gaga rejects media training and just lets loose. She took The Times’ Caitlin Moran to a Berlin sex club and continued the interview while she weed through her tights. She’s an activist for gay rights, she talks about MDMA, cocaine and her sexuality – but she never flogs her personal life just to sell records.
Gaga is inspired by Quentin Tarantino and Francis Bacon, trying to emulate their impact in her medium: pop. No-one can stop her from being a star.
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It’s kind of fitting that she’s named after a noise babies make – because there’s something about Lady Gaga that turns otherwise intelligent adults into gurgling infants. “Look!’ they drool. “She’s wearing a dress made of kermit heads! No wait, now she’s a naughty nun! Ohmigodohmigod: A BIKINI MADE OF SPAM!”
Jesus. Give it a rest. Who gives a shit what she’s wearing? It’s pop music, not a fancy dress party. But that’s the thing with Lady Gaga – she’s not really a pop star, she’s a fashion icon, with all the vanity, phoniness and hollow display that entails.
And boy does she crave acceptance by the fashion world. After bagging a magazine cover recently she Tweeted: “I’m a real live VOGUE BEAUTY QUEEN!”, displaying the hysterical self-regard of a victorious Big Brother contestant. Yeah, because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Wearing a £20k Haider Ackermann dress on the cover of Vogue.
Then of course there’s her retinue of sycophants – sorry, “creative team” – the Haus Of Gaga. Haus! Isn’t that just the most pretentious thing in the world? Plus, Gaga is an appalling big-head, the kind of person who actually tells interviewers: “I’m smart.”
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None of which would matter if her music moved you in any way. She’s forever being compared with Bowie and Madonna – which is absurd. Whereas those artists have written songs that make the soul sing, Gaga’s assembly-line robo-pop is spiritless, dead behind the eyes, and there’s not a shred of humanity or soul in a single note of it.
Apart from that, I’m a massive fan.
Read our Lady Gaga interview in the current issue of NME