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The Kid from Fame
She’s the post-modern starlet who is stalked by paparazzi wherever she goes but is as comfortable talking about Andy Warhol and John Updike as she is hanging with fashionistas. Say hello to Lady GaGa the good-time pop princess who went to school with Paris Hilton, cultivated a drug habit ‘cos that’s what David Bowie did in the ’70s, but thinks fame is just a game.
Olaf Tyaransen, 24 Feb 2009
Given that we’re meeting to discuss an album entitled The Fame, the venue for Hot Press’s encounter with Lady GaGa couldn’t be more appropriate. It’s shortly after 9pm on a Dublin Saturday night, and we’re sitting in a brightly-lit dressing room backstage at Tubridy Tonight. There’s a small crowd of paparazzi hanging around outside, and William Shatner and La Toya Jackson are occupying the adjoining rooms.
A star, star, burning bright, the 22-year-old New Yorker – real name Joanne Stefani Germanotta – is wearing a gold party frock, long black latex gloves, and some mad thing in her blonde hair (it’s too big to be a ribbon and too small to be a hat). She’s heavily plastered in make-up and her fake lashes almost completely obscure her eyeballs.
She’s pretty hot stuff – in more ways than one. Critics are already describing her as the next Madonna/Blondie. Cynics, on the other hand, are carping that she’s more like Britney/Christina with intellectual pretensions.
Love her or laugh at her, right now The Fame – which features songs with titles such as ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Money Honey’ and ‘I Like It Rough’ – is doing exactly what it says on the tin, and making Lady GaGa one of the most ubiquitous stars of the moment. Frothy and frocky, the music combines disco, electro-pop and rock with a splash of burlesque and a hint of decadence. In less than an hour, she’ll be performing her worldwide No.1 single ‘Just Dance’ on live television. Right now, though, Lady GaGa is all mine.
Actually, not quite. Her two female assistants decline my polite invitation to vacate the room. “We’re going to stay,” one of them firmly informs me. “Sorry, that’s just the way it’s gonna be!”
Olaf Tyransen: Hey, how you doing?
Lady GaGa: Life is beautiful right now.
Do you know there’s some paparazzi waiting outside?
There are? The Irish paparazzi? Oh my goodness! I thought they only existed in two cities in the world – London and Los Angeles. The magic Ls!