Earlier this afternoon, Weird Al Yankovic posted a link to his blog website. More specifically to a piece he titled ‘The Gaga Saga‘.
Upon reading it I discovered Al had recorded a parody of Lady Gaga‘s hit song Born this Way, which he is calling ‘Perform this Way‘.
Weird Al has integrity, only releasing his parodies commercially after gaining approval from the original artist. So of course, when the concept for Perform this Way hit him, he asked Gaga if he could do the song. (His intentions were for the song to be the flag-song for his new album)
According to Yankovic, he got the run around from Gaga’s manager. First saying that the full lyrics to the song were needed to make a decision based on, then asking for the song to be recorded.
So Al obliged and recorded the song, at the expense of his long overdue family vacation.
Here’s an excerpt from Yankovic’s blog entry;
We send the lyrics to Lady Gaga and wait on figurative pins and needles for her to give us the go-ahead. After a few days, we get our answer: “She actually needs to hear it. Otherwise the answer is no.”
Hmm. Well, this was mystifying to me. At this point she has the lyrics… and hopefully she is familiar with her own song… and the parody is basically her music… with my lyrics. It really shouldn’t be that hard to decide – based on having the lyrics right in front of you – whether or not you’d be “okay” with a parody. But, alas, we’d been given an ultimatum. If she didn’t hear it, she wouldn’t approve it.
Okay then. I decided – based on my belief that people are basically good – to go through the trouble and considerable expense of actually recording the song. Now, I never do that – never. But because I was really excited about this parody, I decided I would faithfully jump through as many hoops as Gaga deemed necessary.
After the Australian tour, I was supposed to go on a long-awaited family vacation over my daughter’s spring break – but because I now had to record what ostensibly was going to be my “hit single” as quickly as humanly possible, I cut our vacation short and came back to L.A. to spend long days and nights in the studio. The band and I worked around the clock. On April 11, I put the finishing touches on the mix and mastered the track. Done.
Or so I thought.
A couple days later we got the final word: Lady Gaga says “no.”
It struck me as completely bizarre that Gaga would just say no like that. After all, she usually encourages such things. And besides, there is nothing in the Weird Al version that would be taken offensively. He only ever parody’s artists he admires.
So what happened exactly?
Well, the folks over at TMZ managed to get a hold of Gaga on this matter.
According to TMZ, Gaga did NOT reject Al’s parody proposal. In fact, sources close to Mother Monster say that she has been away on tour and hasn’t even heard the song yet.
The source says “There must have been a misunderstanding because [Gaga] is in no way trying to block the release of the parody. She’s busy touring and hasn’t heard the song yet. Her manager hasn’t had a chance to play it for her yet. She’s a huge Weird Al fan.”
So what the hell happened? Who knows, but it didn’t sit right with me that Gaga would just flat out say no to Al.