Born This Way? Or A Career Written In Stars?
“I think the word “rock star” has fallen on hard times. It doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It used to mean Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley and now it could be the tambourine player from the Goo Goo Dolls. A rock star is bigger than the music they play. You’re interested in who they’re bedding down, what their lifestyle is like- in other words, they’re larger than like figures. The most interesting rock star to come along in the last 20 years hasn’t come from rock at all, and that’s Lady Gaga. That’s a rock star. She’s more rock star than any 10 bands put together: She acts big, is big, knows who she is, and doesn’t give a s**t. That’s a true rock star.”
This was a quote from long-time rock star Gene Simmons of Kiss, in the January/February 2012 edition of the magazine Revolver, when asked “What is a ‘rock star’?” This quote really stuck out to me. Because even though I never really got into Kiss, I know they were really big, and most of the ‘rock stars’ of our time are all talk and outfit and don’t live up to what they say. For Gene Simmons, a huge music figure, to say something like this is not only thought provoking but humbling for most people. Then I realized something.
He’s right. Everyone knows who Lady Gaga is. She’s individual and coarse and she doesn’t sugarcoat her vulgarity. If she wants to talk about sex, she’ll do it in a heartbeat. If she’s going to make a hardcore video, she’s going to go all the way. And that’s the key to her success. No matter what anyone thinks, she does everything 100% and she pushes the world of pop to the limit.
Most people will turn their heads to her vulgarity, her adult content and such. When teenagers are talking about things they don’t know, thinking they are cool, that’s different. Lady Gaga knows what makes her world go round and she won’t lie to you. She’s not young, she’s not innocent, and she doesn’t go for the innocent crowd. She wants the fans that are like her. I think that the fact that she is so true to herself definitely brought the fans.
In the world of mainstream radio, I hardly ever turn it to something I like. When I turn on my radio, it’s country- If I Die Young, Smile, – then Hot For Teacher (definitely a win there!), The Script: For The First Time. Okay, I love the Script. Irish people who can rap and sing nicely. I’ll admit that. But still stuff I know. When the radio comes on playing Yoü and I, I yell at the controller to turn it up. I enjoy Lady Gaga’s singles, and whenever I hear that song, I tell people it is perfect proof of her talent: her range and her melody.
Today I realized: who can really name other Gaga songs? Poker Face, Paparazzi, Judas, Alejandro, Just Dance, You and I, Love Game, etc. Those are all very, very well know Gaga’s. But what about those other tracks on her albums? So I took it upon myself to do a little…research if you will. With the help of Wikipedia and YouTube, I learned a little about Lady Gaga. First off, she has a line of lipstick called Viva Glam Gaga, supporting young women vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Then I found out that she is indeed bisexual. Surprise to anyone? Not at all. But it is also amazing that she supports her fans so much that she will completely throw it out there. Apparently it makes boys uncomfortable. At least it means they’ll work harder to keep her around, right?
Her unknown music is just as good as the other stuff. She’s different, always happy and poppy and exciting. From her first album, there was a song that I think perfectly describes her, “Paper Gangster”. The whole song is so perfect for my opinion for her, I won’t even bothering to quote it. She just has it.
I leave you with a few questions. What is a true rock star? What makes someone like Lady Gaga so popular? Who do you think is a great musician because of their individuality? What other artists surpass mainstream annoyance into true great music?
XoXo Radium Rollercoaster