Daily Journal

My Mom And Lady GaGa

Didn’t See Any Musically Redeeming Qualities…

Lady Ga-Ga Meat DressSo many acts come out with financial backing that have little or no talent, products of some producer’s wet dream. Or maybe an extortion of some kind, affairs, drugs, idiocy..anyway.

The first item I took exception to with Lady Ga-Ga was the name, which kind of goes against my nature, because outlandish names can be fun, but it just seemed so obvious. 

Secondly, the overt Madonna and Bowie borrowings bothered me. Controversy for the sake of controversy has so little merit. If there is meaning behind the expression beyond just getting attention, or if your personality demands you react or respond a certain way which is representative of your personality and beliefs, than so be it. 

But if the effort is merely to make you look rad, than it means nothing and will be forgotten.

I basically dismissed Lady Ga-Ga on a first impression basis. My own subjective, prejudicial first impression. I try not to always be that lame, but it happens.

So Larry, my hair guy, who was a high school football teammate of mine, said he liked Lady Ga-Ga. Larry and I had spent one intense summer building ourselves up for our sophomore football season. We both had intense family issues we were dealing with and ended up developing our own weight-training program (we called them super-sets) and on the days we weren’t lifting, we were running.  We worked out every day. 

In typical “me” fashion, I mentally dismissed his Lady Ga-Ga leanings (although I respect anything he has to say, as a rule).

At this point, it’s important to note that the “meat dress” got my attention. In truth, I loved it. But equally important, I still hadn’t accepted her as an authentic musical artist. I didn’t think I’d heard anything to convince me of any real talent.

So tonight (092511), I’m nonchalantly doing next to nothing, and my mom, who toured with Benny Goodman, on a tour that included Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Andre Previn, Lionel Hampton, Scotty LaFaro, the Hi-Lo’s and other Jazz greats says: 

Lady Ga-Ga is a good singer…


I pointedly ask, “You like her?”

Keep in mind that in our family, you don’t have to personally like someone’s style of music to respect them as a musician. But If my mom says someone’s good…then they’re good. period.

Age can jade us at times.  As we “mature” we have a tendency to get “set in our ways”. Try not to get caught up in it, because it will surely limit you.  My 72 year-old, kick-your-ass singer mom likes Lady Ga-Ga, and today, so do I.

Meat Dress, Damn, wish I would’ve thought’ve that….

2 replies on “My Mom And Lady GaGa”

Your dear mother intsigated an important transition…..something I have been working on. I was brought up with classical music, worked as an extra in the Berlin Opera had classical musicians in my immediate family. I recognized gifted voices.
That carried over to my time with jazz and the more contemporary genre. Good music is good music regardless of genre. It affects us with its tone vibration. We feel it. On the other hand trash is trash and now there is lot of it.
Lady Gaga is a musician with a gifted voice and interpretation. Her marketing borders on the trashy which sells and makes her a lot of money. She is very smart.
It is our choice to listen and overlook the exterior.
At its best music is the only international language.

‘Great read for me, Dave! Knowing your mum and having tremendous respect for her musical acumen and sheer musicianship/pro-ness (musical chops, theory, industry cred, teaching career, legendary pitch accuity, listgoeson…), I got some validation reading your post here! Yep – my first awareness of LGG came watching some back-stage-styled documentary where one could realy witness her musicianship. I came in late; so, I didn’t even know her name (turns out that was fortunate). Besides liking her voice, I concluded two things: She is trained and has paid dues. (All the other ‘kitch’ just shows she’s also clever in marketing/ biz). My 2 cents…

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