I should have guessed that Lady Gaga was a pretty big deal when the queue to see her perform at V Festival 2009 resulted in masses of people trying to jump the 60ft gate that closed off the arena entrance. People were risking their lives to see this chick perform and back then, I had no clue as to why they'd be silly enough to do that. As I stood there watching a man attempt to push past a 6ft security guard, who looked as if he ate 3 grown men for breakfast, just to get within Gaga's air space, I couldn't help but think "what the heck is this all about? She's just a singer, right?"
Oh, how wrong could I have been? 2 years since that moment, I've seen Gaga dominate the hit 40 UK chart show week after week, sell out arena tours within seconds and cover every single magazine & newspaper sold in WHSmith. Up until now, I've refused to allow myself to get swept up in the craze known as "Gaga-itus" simply because I assumed she was everything I was against.
Her quirky pop vocals, slightly cringey lyrics (c'mon, I mean "let's have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" - amazing and factual but just a REALLY cringey way of saying "I fancy you and want to make beautiful babies with you") and THAT meat dress all just screamed "GIVE ME ATTENTION" and for this reason alone, I stepped well away from the platform when I heard that the Gaga train would be stopping at my station.
However, after a conversation with my Mum where she declared that she thought she had better music taste than me and was therefore 'cooler' than me (baring in mind, my Mum is a huge JLS fan...), I decided to try to prove her wrong.
Her argument was that I refuse to listen to anything that isn't by The Beatles/John Lennon, "punk bands that sing about piercing themselves & drugs" or songs which don't take me back, metaphorically, to the 60's. Apparently, according to my 'really cool' Mother, if a song doesn't transport me straight to Woodstock, I instantly write it off. It kills me to admit it but I knew that deep down, she was right.
Knowing that unless I gave 'chart music' a listen, my Mum would hold the fact that she was theoretically cooler than me over my head forever, I decided to give Gaga a go. Famous last words...
The first step I took was reading an interview by one of my favourite writer's, Caitlin Moran. A lot was hanging over this interview, including my pride and dignity if I had to turn to my Mum and say "you're right...my music taste belongs to a 50 year old man."
I read Moran's interview with baited breath and as I reached the end of the piece, I finally saw what millions of people over the globe see in Gaga.
It just so happened that the day after I read the interview, Gaga would be appearing on Johnathon Ross' show. My 2nd step was in place. I sat down that night and watched the interview with my eyes wide open. A total force to be reckoned with, Gaga, decked out in a mint green ensemble, entered the studio accompanied by a sheep named Kevin. What a way to make an entrance.
I watched the entire interview, and performance, astounded. Through the media, I've always assumed Gaga would be pretentious and so far removed from reality that she may as well live on Mars, but I was fortunately proved wrong. I mean, she actually has a sense of humour? Amazing.
Since then, I've watched her HBO special documenting 'The Monster Ball', watched a 2 hour long interview entitled "When Google Went Gaga" and read numerous interviews. What started out as a challenge to prove my Mum wrong has now turned into a bit of an obsession. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the music - don't hold that against me, I just can't deal with the 'poppiness' of it all - but I'm suddenly a huge fan of Lady Gaga's mind. Suddenly, I understood why those crazy people back at V Festival 2009 were so dedicated to seeing her perform live.
She's not just a singer, she's a force of nature. Music is everything to Lady Gaga and the fame & attention she's received on the back of her music is an added bonus, although she insists that she has no idea just how famous she is. What may seem like the craziest decision ever is actually a mere tactic in one of Gaga's magnificent plans to promote her music further. She's sad that she finds inspiration in the likes of David Bowie and John Lennon, two of my musical heroes and the name 'Lady Gaga' originates from the Queen song, Radio Gaga (obviously...). Putting the meat dress aside for a minute, here's a girl who knows what she wants and isn't going to stop until she gets her mitts on it.
Yes, she may wear provocative clothing but we see that in the high street these days. Her lyrics maybe a bit tongue in cheek but that's nothing that we don't see on TV (where, actually, we're probably witnesses to something more than just tongue in cheek) and yes, maybe her 'fashion' has kept the "What NOT to Wear" style columns in business for a long time. I mean, her outfits aren't really supermarket friendly, are they?
But despite all of this, she's actually a really great role model for young, ambitious girls everywhere.
She's kept her private life exactly that: private and hasn't made money on selling stories to the tabloids. It just really is all about music to her.
With that, I'm happy to announce that I'm a fully fledged 'Little Monster' and will happily "put my paws up" to that. Plus, she's even covered a John Lennon song and done it quite a bit of justice. For that, she's got my respect forever: