Photo by Danielle Smith
It’s like she never left. Or is that time hasn’t changed at all?
Lady Gaga continues to rake in not just box office dollars but critical praise for her starring role in the latest version of A Star Is Born, with a radically different look and sound to when she last appeared on these shores. However, as Wind Back Wednesday notes, some topics - hello fear of sexuality, offensive religion & political buffoonery – remain staples of our diet.
In this brief but colourful interview in 2011, as she prepared for a special show at the Sydney Town Hall, Gaga talks sex, religion and politics while fans wander around a city hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of her and politicians act like galoots. Plus ca change …
THE LADY IN RED
If the Catholic Right wing think they’ve got problems with the progressive social agenda of the Left? Wait til they get a taste of Lady Gaga.
There is some delicious irony in the fact that yesterday the NSW Labor Party were debating gay marriage in the same room that come Wednesday night the shock frock wearing style queen and standard bearer for outsiders and self-declared freaks everywhere will make look like the least controversial news in town.
Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta 25 years ago in New York, who has worn dresses made of meat, mimicked a vivid childbirth film in her videos and made outrage a social statement, is not surprised the topic is still being debated.
“We're still trying to figure out in my country how to balance the very strong religious beliefs that exist amongst many government officials," she said sounding very much like a practised politician while dressed in a red bra, long red woollen skirt and towering red heels, paired with blue hair and huge sunglasses. “As well as balance the modern social beliefs of the young generation.”
But she doesn't think there is anywhere near as much debate amongst the generation buying her music, where "equality is non-negotiable".
"To not allow marriage equality is a very strong statement that is coming from the government which in turn creates a sense that some people are more valuable than others and that some people deserve to have more rights or a more favourable interpretation of rights than other people,” Gaga said. "This is the thing that we're fighting against.”
Fighting them with electro pop songs, dance songs and, latterly, touches of classic rock via the saxophone of Bruce Springsteen's sideman, Clarence Clemons.
Fighting them too with the epitome of a modern marketing genius which has made rebellion controversial and lucrative again by attracting millions who feel locked out, or maybe just overdressed.
Outside the hotel yesterday fans gathered around the front door and the garage exit while others had thought ahead and booked rooms in the same hotel so they could legitimately sit in the foyer.
Meanwhile, inside the hotel, radio contest winners were allowed in, clutching presents such as a bottle of Jack Daniels and roses, some dressed in what you might call mini-me outfits (from clock fascinators to vivid makeup) while the rest were just wearing the flush of proximity, able to tell the hotel staff are trying to move them on "We are with Gaga".
And apparently they are. The limited ticket concert in the Town Hall is, Lady Gaga has said, for the fans she calls “my little monsters". We can see what they get from her, but what does the artist formerly known as Stefani get from them?
"Inspiration. Creative inspiration,” Lady Gaga said. “Bravery, courage, the spirit of celebration of life and liberation. It is their relationship with me and my music that drives me forward. They are everything."
Everything and high heels.