Weird Al had a long blog post (in other news, Weird Al has a blog) about how Lady Gaga refused permission for him to parody “Born This Way” on his upcoming new album. Not that she refused, but literally about how she refused:
We send the lyrics to Lady Gaga … After a few days, we get our answer: “She actually needs to hear it. Otherwise the answer is no.”
Hmm. Well, this was mystifying to me. At this point she has the lyrics… and hopefully she is familiar with her own song… and the parody is basically her music… with my lyrics. It really shouldn’t be that hard to decide – based on having the lyrics right in front of you – whether or not you’d be “okay” with a parody. But, alas, we’d been given an ultimatum. If she didn’t hear it, she wouldn’t approve it.
So at great effort and expense, he recorded the track and sent it.
A couple days later we got the final word: Lady Gaga says “no.”
Bizarre on the face of it. But wait, there’s an update!
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.
So Al can put the song on the album and make the slam-bang video he says is in his head, and all’s right with the world.
I suppose it’s possible that the manager is taking a hit for Team Gaga and she really didn’t approve it, but did when she saw that Al released it scorched-earth, by which I mean on the internet for free. Somehow I doubt it, though. If she really had disapproved it, I can’t see Al’s internet fans being enough to sway her–he’s bigger than Firefly, but the story isn’t exactly going to make Yahoo headlines, probably. What was her manager thinking about? Is he too young to know who Weird Al is? Even if he is, isn’t his job to find out? I know that while I’m not too old to know who Lady Gaga is, I’m too old to have deliberately watched or listened to her.
The whole thing is even weirder than the Coolio saga, in which Al says Coolio’s record label gave him permission for the parody “Amish Paradise,” but after the song came out, Coolio said he hadn’t given permission; as I recall, that was while polishing his Grammy for “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
I’m glad this one has a happier ending.