Lady Gaga’s Tacky Bowie Tribute At The Grammys
The most talked-about part of the Grammys was probably Lady Gaga’s homage to David Bowie, and if I was ready to like it – I actually thought it started quite well with the visuals projected on her face – what followed made me cringe crescendo.
What were you thinking Gaga? Medleys are tacky and you couldn’t possibly sum up Bowie’s formidable career in six minutes? It was too much, too bulimic, it’s as if she didn’t know what to choose and was trying too much in a desperate attempt, and at the end it looked much more like a Vegas show or a SNL parody than Studio 54, and that dancing, that bad dancing which was supposed to channel Bowie, it was not Gaga’s best moment. I know she put a lot of efforts into her performance, she had even dyed her hair red as one of Bowie’s most iconic looks, but the white jumpsuit looked too much like Elvis in Hawaii, which was confusing and weird.
It’s not because you got a new tattoo and drew a stardust flash on your face that you can be Bowie, Lady Gaga’s confused Halloween parade tribute wasn’t very impressive, and her singing fell short too, in particular during the ‘Hero’ bit.
It is funny to read the reactions though… almost all the big magazines, from Rolling Stone to Billboard, Village Voice, praised her performance, while the public wasn’t convinced at all, people called it ‘dreadful’, embarrassing garbage’, ‘cruise ship hell’…
However, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, who worked with Bowie throughout his career, was participating into this mess, and had to defend her: ‘I’ve never seen anyone approach a project with quite this intensity,’ he said of the singer in Rolling Stone. ‘It was almost as if she was doing an all-encompassing film, like when Daniel Day-Lewis played Lincoln or something. She was in it, man!’… ‘In my heart, I think he would have loved it. I think that because David was such an artist and he channeled characters — and let’s go out of the realm of music and let’s go into the realm of acting where he had to play the Elephant Man with no makeup, and he had to contort his body and he had to really channel the character. That’s what Gaga was doing with this tribute. You look at what he did as an actor and he was living those characters, and Gaga, up until the countdown, she was just trying to channel Bowie without compromising her voice and talent,’ he added.
The problem is that even Bowie’s son did not appreciate a bit her so-called ‘electrifying’ performance. He took on Twitter to be her harshest critique: ‘‘overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused.’ Damn it! What IS that word!?’
Cheesy? Is this the word you are looking for Duncan? And do you know which cover of ‘Space Oddity’ Bowie himself had called ‘possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created’? The one astronaut Chris Hadfield had recorded in space in 2013, you can’t beat that, and there was no need of special makeup for this one.