“Weird Al” Yankovic had some beef with Lady Gaga, and believe it or not, it wasn’t over who’s a worse dresser. Yankovic wrote and recorded a parody of Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which she initially rejected (via her manager), much to Al’s disappointment. His song, called “Perform This Way,” was therefore not be included on his forthcoming album, while proceeds from the release of the single and video were to go directly toward the Human Rights Campaign. Way to be an assh*le, Gaga. Yankovic had this to say about it on his blog…
I still don’t know specifically what kind of problem she has with the song (obviously I take a few jabs at her, but y’know, it’s satire – that’s how it’s supposed to work). And I’m especially confused as to why she waited until I actually recorded the song (at her insistence!) before saying no. It’s not like there were any surprises in the finished song that she couldn’t have foreseen by, you know, READING THE LYRICS.
A conventional release for the song and video would have also raised a nice chunk of change for the HRC – an organization which I have to assume Gaga supports. Hopefully, if fans enjoy hearing the song online, they’ll make a donation anyway.
My parodies have always fallen under what the courts call “fair use,” and this one was no different, legally allowing me to record and release it without permission. But it has always been my personal policy to get the consent of the original artist before including my parodies on any album, so of course I will respect Gaga’s wishes. However, given the circumstances, I have no problem with allowing people to hear it online, because I also have a personal policy not to completely waste my stinking time. [via AL’S BLOG]
But as it turns out, Gaga’s manager is the real assh*le here, as he admitted shortly after Al’s release of the video onto YouTube (embedded after the cut) that he rejected the song, never having even given Gaga the chance to listen to it.
After putting my Lady Gaga parody on YouTube this morning – and announcing that it wouldn’t be on my next album because Gaga didn’t approve it – there was a huge outpouring of disappointment from the Internet.
Apparently the fact that she didn’t approve it was news to Lady Gaga herself!
Gaga’s manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga – she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own.
And Gaga loves the song. [via AL’S BLOG]
It warms my heart to see two freaks work through a problem. But seriously, it’s nice to see that Weird Al’s still out there doing his thing. I can still very vividly remember sitting by my cassette player in my bedroom waiting for “Amish Paradise” to come on the radio, hoping that I’d clamor to press “record” in time. Man, did I feel like an idiot when one of my housemates told me I would never hear it on the radio again and that cassettes are obsolete because it’s 2011. Yeah, ok bro, lemme go magically (*open air quotes*) download (*close air quotes*) this song from the world wide web. As if my AOL dial-up and 56k modem are fast enough to make that dream a reality.