Sunday, August 29, 2010

Husband Goes Gaga

I've been married nearly eighteen years so there's a bit of amused tolerance that goes on in my marriage. Husband, on the one hand, has gotten accustomed to the fact that I have more shoes in my closet than a normal human being could reasonably expect to wear in a year and that, while I have bright ambitions for the clothes I buy, later I can't quite remember what they were and end up dressing like an idiot every day.

And I have amused tolerance for his music. He's a rock and roller and a music snob. He loves classic rock, which, of course, I was raised on too, and has in turn raised our kids on the Beatles, the Stones and all sorts of other 1960s music. He also took up guitar lessons about a year and a half ago and began composing songs that seemed a little personal, odes to me, with names like, "She's Impossible" and things like that. Okay, fine. I could live with all that.

But lately he's gone gaga for Lady Gaga and this, I have to say, is unexpected.

This didn't happen overnight. It also didn't happen without some resistance on his part, and complete investigation of the Gaga oeuvre, as it were. And even though he's confident about his fan status he's still connected enough to reality to be shamefaced about it, to his credit. After all, it certainly didn't happen because she wore a bunch of funky masks to award shoes or outfits that looked like performance art, which is more something I could appreciate. It happened because of raw talent.

First he heard her song Poker Face. An acoustic version that appeared on the BBC. Then he realized that she wrote it and all her own songs. Then he started searching YouTube (note to self: should never have shown Husband that YouTube existed) and he found videos of Lady Gaga in her former life as Stefani Germanotti sitting at a grand piano playing beautifully and singing riffs of her own songs with a scope and talent not exactly born of her years.

And that was it. The next thing I'm expecting is to open the mailbox and find one of those fan club packets I used to get in the 1960s for the Partridge Family or the Monkees. You know, with a button, and ID card, and a fake autographed picture of the object of your obsession.

Yesterday - like my life has become a cartoon or something - my fifty-five-year-old husband says to me, "Did you know that Lady Gaga was here in concert on July 31st? We could have gone!" In slow motion I look at him. I lift my hand to see if maybe he's running a fever. I've spent my entire married life trying to avoid all the concerts he wants me to go to - John Fogarty, Bob Dylan over and over again, and I went, even when Dylan didn't sing at all the entire concert. One time, years ago, he made me go to The Grateful Dead. And now he wants me to go to Lady Gaga?

I try to see the bright side of it. At least it's something we can go to with the kids. Right?

What do you have to look on with amused tolerance at with your spouse or partner? Have you fallen in love with any music lately that seems younger than your age but love it anyway? What about this Lady Gaga thing?


  1. I find your post - as usual - very entertaining. Do you thing this Lady Gaga business may be a midlife crisis of sort?

    I find this Lady Gaga business quite gaga...maybe you can look to Lady Gaga's shoes for interest...Amazingly painful selection she has there.

    Anyway, something that is not my age is lately I've been hankering for a tattoo. Not a big one...just a little ladybird bug on my shoulder as a symbolic remembrance of how lucky I am... My husband says that this will set a bad example for the kids. What do you think? Maybe I just want it cause I can't have it... Who knows?

    I am with you on the shoe thingy by the way...

  2. I could ramble on this one forEVER
    my husband is an atty in the music industry.

    it is a musical carnival ride up in herre and I just HOLD ON.

  3. I must admit I love her music. I even follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Don't hate me.

    Chloe's boyfriend is a big fan, too, and he went to see her show. He said it was pretty freaky.

  4. Did you mean to say "award shoes" instead of "award shows" ? I was thinking it was some Freudian slip and it's making me laugh hysterically.

    So is your post. This is hilarious and I have to agree... I loathe most of the current popular music, but Gaga is very talented. I haven't confidently owned it yet, but I am still a closet fan.

    Oh, and I LOVE The Grateful Dead! Uncle John's Band is one of my faves.

  5. I had heard a bit about her but my big intro also came from my husband. Some facebook friend of his downloaded a YouTube video of a group of frat brothers singing a Gaga song. Hubby played it for guests at our house, he was so enthralled. And then we had to find the original version with her singing to compare. Next think I know we hear the song every where! Bad Romance. I think she is talented but a bit of a character.

  6. haha I love Lady Gaga, I love her live performances and piano-only versions of songs. She is REALLY talented. However, I don't like her recent opinions about drugs (I've JUST wrote a whole blog entry about this haha. just two minutes ago so I won't write this again, I'm just going to say she's "slightly" irresponsible)

  7. I think Lady G has a lot of talent. She will never rival Keith Partridge in my book, though!

  8. I don't view music or art as age relevant. I like lady gaga, I accept her theatrical side because Iknow she needs to sell her product in a crowded market and mere talent doesn't always cut it.
    Music is art.

  9. I'm just waiting for the Lady Gaga pillowcases and lunchboxes. Maybe your husband would want to take his lunch to work in one?? =>

  10. Having just read Misery's blog on Lady Gaga, she is not high on my list right now. Anyone who endorses the use of cocaine in an interview knowing that teenagers will read it, is (looking for the word) stupid. Criminal. Irresponsible. She may be very talented. But young people idolize her and will do what she does. And what she just did was say that she uses cocaine recreationally for her art. In other words, she can start and stop. Well, Lady Gaga that is caca. So, it is tough for me to jump up and down with enthusiasm for her.

  11. Linda, so often John musical tastes are something kind of not quite right. He has endless CD's from when we were in college that he cannot bear to part with. At the time, I am sure he could have traded them in for something decent. Now, they aren't even worth the price of the plastic they are recorded on.

    Regardless, we share pretty much the same kind of taste in music, although lately, I have been enjoying some mainstream Eminem and Jay-Z, and get strange looks from him...LOL

  12. There is no denying Lady Gaga's talent. One time on "American Idol," she came out with a piano and sang beautifully. It's hard for me to get past all the costumes and her salacious videos. I mean just sing. This makes me sound old. But when you have young adult daughters you think differently about all this. My husband likes "The Doors." Ugh.

  13. Um... Gaga for Lady Gaga? Shouldn't he be seeing someone for that?

    Perhaps Dr. Dre?


  14. OK - just so you know, she's selling out arenas in about 2 min. flat, so.... get hubby on those fan club lists ;-). This is funny. I have an image of a very sedate corporate friend of ours who lives up the street - has kids in my kids' school, etc. - just dancin' up a storm to... you guessed it.... Lady Gaga at a recent fundraiser. Not an image that is easy to get out of my head....:-).

  15. Hate to say it but I like Lady Gaga. Probably wouldn't pay the cost of a concert ticket but other than that love when her tunes come on the mp3 player as I am running.

  16. I couldn't tell you what Lady Gaga sings. I am completely in the dark about her, um, talent. I think I was a bit frightened about her choice in outfits.

    But your husband? Hilarious. Hilarious!!

  17. Purple Cow, Lady Gaga's shoes! Youch! That heel-less number, I don't know. I think I would have fallen over for sure. On the tattoo I'm with the hubs but not just because of the role model issue. I just can't stand the idea of having something permanent and inky on my body - I'm already stuck with too many things on my body I had no choice about!

  18. Miz Fit, I can see how the music industry must be crazy right now, I'm seeing it all over the place in the publishing industry. Crazy stuff, shaking up the place. I could never have predicted it.

  19. Lisa, I wouldn't go to her concert because, first of all, heavy claustrophobia, and second of all, too heavily choreographed for me, but I like her a lot. I like being surprised and I like the way she's open to other artists singing her music. I think she's real not just created by a marketing mastermind and I like the way she is the embodiment of performance art. It's very interesting!

  20. Jennifer, I can't believe you like the Grateful Dead! Oy. Actually I might have liked the concert Husband dragged me to except for all the drugged up deadheads floating around. And the endless musical riffs. I'm more of a vocalist person, see? But Husband says that's cool that one of my blogger friends knows Uncle John's Band. I didn't even know what that was and had to ask him!

  21. Karen, very funny that our Gaga households started with the husbands! But I guess no more unusual than me listening to Eminem with my kids (I'm so pathetic - but, hey, I bought it first!)

    Misery, I'm with you on Gaga's comments about drug use "sparking creativity." Bad, bad idea. Anything a person uses as a crutch for creativity most likely eventually destroy that creativity.

    TKW, Could anything have been more thrilling than, as a kid, listening to the Partridges playing JUST TO US alone and, maybe it's just me, but I thought maybe I'd end up married to David Cassidy. Not quite.

  22. Chris, I agree that music is art. Also that taste in music has nothing to do with the age of the listener.

    Stacia, I think a Lady Gaga lunchbox would go very well with his "Little Monster" fan club pin and poster, right?

    Robin, I loved her interview in Vanity Fair despite her idiocy about drugs because it's rare that you have someone just tell the truth. Just sit down with an interviewer and not play games, not be handled by a zillion marketers and have them run interference like they always did with Tiger Woods. So in that way, I thought it was a great interview. As an adult, when I got to her cocaine comment, I thought, weird that she's admitting to using an illegal substance once every six months in a major magazine, and I thought that if someone admits in print to that frequency it's probably a lot more frequent than that. Anything else she said about it I just thought was her opinion (drugs sparking creativity = drug abuse, right?). But in light of how her fans worship her and the many young fans there are, it is troublesome.

  23. Maria, I can relate. My husband and I combined our record collections (that's how old we are!) when we got married and what, exactly, are we supposed to do with that? He does think my new obsession with B.O.B. and Eminem are strange but, hey, he didn't understand my adoration for Amy Winehouse either (the music not the person...)

    Michelle, You are right about the videos. My daughter looked up Alejandro and I was like blissfully ignoring the screen and suddenly I looked up and the dancers were totally mimicking sex. They may as well have been naked. There was a Britney Spears one recently that was basically an orgy. I don't mean to be all Tipper Gore about it but how can there not be some kind of rating on these videos. The kids just pop onto YouTube and, there it is, more than I ever would have wanted them to see, in a video.

  24. BLW, it's been a lot of fun making fun of him for it. And what is exactly is with all the weird names in music? What if authors took on these kind of affected, showy names?

    Sherri, Funny how he'd go to see Lady Gaga (if he could get tickets) but somehow hasn't managed to know when Bruce Springsteen is coming to town all the years we've been together for me! Very suspicious.

    Nicki, I can't handle concerts myself. Crowds! (Shudder) Also I don't know about all this heavy dramatization of performances now. Something just seems really phony about all that. And I don't need all that to be entertained. Just music. I can see why her music would be great to run to!

  25. Linda,
    I forgot the tell you but Ilove Lady not so much her music as her..She is totally this young do it her own way type of woman. I kave read several of her interviews and she comes from the Italian Catholic family and she is really in some ways very traditional but not at all... As young women go she is very deep and I think far older than her chronological years. I love how married she is to her music and a way that only someone that young can be. She is really brave too...I know it is weird but she is really cool!! Much more cool than Madonna..who just wanted to be controversial without any real meaning behind it.

  26. Lori, how have we not talked about this before? Of course we've done her songs forever at Jazzercise so musically I thought she was certainly interesting, especially since she's writing her own stuff. But what I really like about her is that she is into this performance art stuff. It's really fascinating and they're not just outfits, they're kind of statements. I'm really intrigued by it and I don't think it's just a gimmick. I think she's communicating something through a lot of these contraptions and it takes guts to do that.

  27. I love GaGa, but with reservations. SHe is so intriguing to look at, with her costumes, my youngest loves her BUT her videos are not for pre-teens or teenagers, some of the things that come out of her mouth make me cringe, and glad that my kids weren't around to hear.
    She is ultra talented.