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I was really hoping that this blog entry would be all about me announcing the release date of my new album.

Sadly, it’s not.

In a metaphorical nutshell, here’s what happened.

I wrote and recorded what I thought was going to be the first single off of my new album: a parody of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga called “Perform This Way.” But after hearing it, Lady Gaga decided not to give me permission to release the song, so… it won’t be coming out commercially anytime in the near future. Sorry.

Okay, now the long version.

I had written, recorded, mixed and mastered 11 of the 12 songs for my new album and was just waiting to come up with that one elusive “big idea” for a parody that I thought I could turn into the lead single and video. I was well aware that “Born This Way” was coming out, and I thought that just might be the pop culture juggernaut I had been waiting for… but after hearing the song, I was reluctant to tackle it. Because it was such an earnest human rights anthem, I thought some people might consider a parody to be in poor taste. Plus, I was really kinda predisposed not to do a Lady Gaga parody anyway because, well, that’s what everybody in the universe was already assuming I would do, and I hate to be so predictable.

But a few weeks later, a parody idea popped into my head, and I thought it had a lot of potential – enough to warrant telling my record label that I’d finally found my next single. Based on my concept, I was reasonably sure that my parody wasn’t really going to offend anybody… but I still decided, as an act of good karma, that I would donate all the money from sales of the song and music video to the Human Rights Campaign.

I was very excited now, because I knew that the second I got the official blessing from Lady Gaga, I could lock in an official release date for my album and announce it to the world. (My record company needs 8 weeks of advance notice to confirm an album release date – so in order to be as timely as possible, I almost always have to lock in the date before I’ve even started writing the lead single.)

I had my manager contact Lady Gaga’s manager to see if she would okay the parody. Here was the exact pitch:

I’d like to do a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” called “I Perform This Way.” The basic concept is that I, as a Lady Gaga doppelganger of sorts, describe the incredibly extravagant ways in which I perform on stage. Meat dresses and giant eggs would most likely be referenced, but also much more ridiculous made-up examples of bizarre wardrobe and stage production. As with all my parodies, it would be respectful of the artist, while having a bit of fun with her larger-than-life image.

I hadn’t written a single line of the song at this point, but that was the concept I had in my head. Because of my 30-year track record, most artists know that my songs are all in good fun and they’re more than happy to approve a parody just based on the concept alone.

We eventually got a response from the Gaga camp: she would need to “hear it” before she would approve it.

Okay, I thought, she wants to know exactly what the lyrics are going to be before she signs off on the parody. Some artists just are a bit more protective of their material and don’t want to take any chances. Fair enough.

I was right in the middle of my Australian tour and I didn’t have a whole lot of free time, but I cranked day and night until I had a set of finished lyrics.

We send the lyrics to Lady Gaga and wait on figurative pins and needles for her to give us the go-ahead. 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.

Okay then. I decided – based on my belief that people are basically good – to go through the trouble and considerable expense of actually recording the song. Now, I never do that – never. But because I was really excited about this parody, I decided I would faithfully jump through as many hoops as Gaga deemed necessary.

After the Australian tour, I was supposed to go on a long-awaited family vacation over my daughter’s spring break – but because I now had to record what ostensibly was going to be my “hit single” as quickly as humanly possible, I cut our vacation short and came back to L.A. to spend long days and nights in the studio. The band and I worked around the clock. On April 11, I put the finishing touches on the mix and mastered the track. Done.

Or so I thought.

A couple days later we got the final word: Lady Gaga says “no.”

*silent scream*

And that’s it. As of this posting, 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.

So I uploaded the song to YouTube, and will be making free mp3 downloads available on weirdal.com shortly. Hope you enjoy it.

Man, I wish you all could have had a chance to see the video we were going to do for this thing. It was going to be BEYOND AWESOME, and disturbing on many levels. Oh well.

Anyway, I realize that this may be way more information than many people would care to know about the whole situation, but I just wanted to set the record straight before any crazy rumors started. There’s really nothing more that I have to say about it now, so hopefully I won’t have to be answering questions about Lady Gaga in interviews for the next 20 years.

I know this news is disappointing to many of you. Believe me… nobody is more disappointed than I am.

Thanks for listening. I’ll keep you posted.

Your pal,
Al

*** UPDATE!!! ***

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  34. Her loss really because her charitie won’t benefit because of her lack of humor. She said no because she probably had a ride awakening. Looking at her life in a mirror.

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      • AZ 'GEORGE HOWE' 0'NEILL ANONYMOUS
      • Posted August 29, 2015 at 8:24 PM
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Chaplain’s prayer,

      Evil is making the collar tight on the neck. Evil is messing up orders to be evil. Evil is messing up sox sizes so they don’t fit right. Evil is that big in everything. 90/1 odds. It’s nothing to army of 1. In automotive repair each part is 40+ dollars on profits. Web advisers are making up laws in the rules of the web. Web advisors can be caught just by reading the rules of the websites. Computers have few programs working when brand new to be evil. The 90% of people need to be in the wild with nothing to their names like the wild life and yes it happened in time humor. Evil in time homey you don’t even know language anymore G-Money. Evil has the microwave too hard to use to be evil. Evil has set the refrigerator boxes at temps for your food too taste bad somewhat. When buying a new computer evil has from the owner to the buyer changed the computers programming for you to have to reprogram your new computer as if you were a computer programmer. At one time evil did not allow {from the owner to the buyer} your cars to last a million miles which was discovered in earth time the 1960’s. Televisions have been set up like computers to have long startups {a computer word when these 2 words are put together}. Back to computers they have been set up to not turn off or on right away to be evil to you somehow. Microwaves, ovens, refrigerators can be user friendly at the first grade level of operation but evil tells you people want a challenge when operating anything and everything. You can hear evil tell you the school system needs to be a challenge to students because they’re getting smarter butt students are not getting smarter. In school it is not humanly possible to pass if not given the work and the grades by way of easy train. You can fall in it all evil. With school I personally know it is not humanly possible to make it through if not given the work and the grades by way of easy money. Somehow the 90-1’s have done this to everything out there. When it comes to the madness we were thinking of the beach metaphor not having our minds baking on how evil we can drive people crazy. They are first {the 90% of people} trying to make evil to every living thing they call it and then trying to drive you crazy. While they’re doing all that they are making themselves go crazy. I’ve only written a few lines but right now I need a beach break to chill out from the madness of what they bake on with every sentence. Dude I’m not going to waste my beach time on all this butt it looks like we can trap them in “Propaganda Government” and as “Wild Life” with no “Foreign Trade” from us and so. If we let them in our society they will metaphor pee and poo in everything all the time and then much more. Whatever they can get they will push like in “Mexico Government” to “make it happen” in their words. Right now throughout the worlds humor we have to leave them out of our society in self-defense of ourselves. We all make mistakes so we shouldn’t through the good people out of our society but the 90% need to be left in a society like the jungle. Out there right now the 90% are trying to make false arrests and unlawful detainments on everyone and everyone to be evil. It is “{Mexico Government With American Power and Money}” out there right now. You have to be very careful not to get arrested because they have the “{Mexico Government With American Power and Money}” to trap you not only in the criminal justice system, prison system and then the school system butt in every design of systems or not systems to trap you in “{Mexico Government With American Power and Money}”.

      Az ‘George Howe’ 0’Neill Anonymous
      Genius Physiologist Chaplain
      Psychologist Film Military Scientist
      Anthropologist Movie Sarcasm

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  43. It seems Gaga’s behavior regarding this may be a parody in itself. Perhaps to the tune of Blurred Lines?…

    Since I can’t hear, what you’re trying sing
    Since I don’t know, if you’re makin’ fun of me
    Maybe they’ll think you’re right
    Maybe they’ll think I’m lame
    What if they laugh at the Monster of Fame

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