Well, there she was wearing a dress made out of coffee filters and talking to Jimmy Kimmel. Her coffee-filter hat just about reached to the top of our television screen. She had to approach his desk carefully because of the very tall white wedge shoes she wore. Lady Gaga, in all her white, coffee filter glory, held court.
The Jimmy Kimmel Show has been broadcasting from the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and I happened to catch Thursday night’s episode that featured Lady Gaga. I don’t know much about her music but I have always admired her showmanship (though I don’t see myself in a meat dress or a coffee filter hat). Her ability to communicate with her audience through music, wardrobe and makeup is remarkable. As I watched her talk last night, I found something else that I really like about her: sincere gratitude for her fans.
She is a very articulate conversationalist. She said she had gone incognito throughout the week to eat barbecue and to watch up-and-coming music acts perform at different venues around Austin. When asked if a celebrity had ever visited one of her salad day shows, Lady Gaga said no but that she would have loved it, had it happened.
As the conversation went on, she began to talk about how much she appreciated her fans. The singer said it meant so much that they have stuck with her throughout the different stages (and costumes) of her still very vibrant career. Referring to fan loyalty and the fact that they are the reason for her success, she said, “I’m a lucky girl.”
In an era when others on the national and international stage commit embarrassing blunders off-stage, Lady Gaga shocks people on stage because she knows that’s what her audience wants. From what I’ve read and heard, she leads a quiet normal existence when she’s not performing. Off the top of my head, I could not name a single Lady Gaga song. But the fact that she appreciates those ultimately responsible for rise to stardom, the fans that buy the music and come to the shows, makes me a little “goo-goo for Gaga.”
I never thought I would refer to Minnie Pearl and Lady Gaga in the same sentence, but I am reminded of Miss Minnie’s account of her first Grand Ole Opry appearance. She said the “solemn old judge,” George D. Hay told her when he saw how nervous she was about facing the audience to “just go out there and love ‘em and they’ll love you back.” Probably without realizing it, Lady Gaga follows the same advice.
All of us who write and play music should be reminded that if it weren’t for the people who enjoy and support it, the biggest venue we play might be our own living room.
Having said that, I’ll close with a heartfelt, “Thank you.”
Text and photos copyright 2014 by Les Kerr. Click here to visit Les Kerr’s web site!