Identity Politics: Gaga Channels Debbie Harry, Britney Spears, Joe Calderone…And Amy Winehouse?

Maybe Lady Gaga got the message that we were getting a little tired of the whole meat dress/plastic ovum/S&M nun thing.

‘Cause Mother Monster has been mixing things up a bit lately, stealing the thunder finding inspiration from divas besides Madonna and taking on some interesting new personae.

First was this image, depicting Gaga as her masculine alter ego, Joe Calderone, who will grace the cover of her next single, “You and I.” We dig—gender-bending has always been cool in rock (Just ask Patti Smith, Grace Jones and Annie Lennox.) We kinda like this look—reminds us of a young Tom Waits or Saturday Night Fever-era John Travolta. Attica! Attica!

Then we saw this interview Gaga did with New Wave goddess Debbie Harry for Harper’s Bazaar. As you might expect, Gaga’s “questions” to Harry are more like statements about herself—and for a relative newbie, she’s awfully comfortable putting herself on par as a woman who broke down doors and keeps rocking well into her 60s.

Debbie Harry: You’re an artist, and you’re feeling things and giving them your own interpretation; we embrace it, and the emotion touches us, and then we apply it to our lives. I mean, even jokingly, you know how women feel about their shoes [laughs]. It becomes very important.

Lady Gaga: It made me very, very emotional. It reminds me so much of my life, especially when you mention Brooklyn, because I live in Brooklyn. It reminds me of how sometimes I feel that moments in my life are interrupted because I’m so dedicated to my work. I often feel like my shoes are the only part of me that know what I’m doing all the time because they’re always with me. There’s this one pair of boots that I always wear, and sometimes when I’m so alone in my hotel room, I look at them and I think how they really are the only things in my life that know exactly what I’ve been through all day.

And here we thought it was all about your hair.

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  • Jordan

    It’s Jo, not Joe. :)

  • blech

    She does nothing more than copy a whole slew of people who came before her. She is the perfect icon for this insipid, uninspiring generation. Here it is the 21st Century and where are the boundary pushers? Where is the “future”? The 2000s thusfar have been nothing but a ripoff–not homage–of the 80s. Next it will be the 90s… Films will continue to be remakes of once successful franchises… TV will continue to be lazy, reality-based mental cancer…

  • Riker

    @blech: That’s the way pop culture has always been.

    Modern dance music takes beats from 90s techno. Soul/r&b is a perversion of old jazz/blues styles from the 1920s. 1970s music was similar to the 1960s. 60s music took cues from the 30s and 40s, and made them new again. Mickey Mouse’s debut in Steamboat Willy was based on what was at the time a 20 year old silent film that was I think called Steamboat Bill. Abbot and Costello took material from the Marx brothers.

    Every generation takes what the previous one did and puts its own twist on it. Except for hair metal. Thankfully, that one died out.

  • Ryan

    Queerty/Dane Avery: Stop doing stories on Lady Gaga, She is not a gay person and this is not gay issues story and does not relate to gay people in anyway. This is not a celebrity site. That she is presented to us as a gay celebrity substitute is part of what is wrong with the main stream media which I avoid by coming here.

  • Guillermo3

    @Ryan: Yeah,Ryan,and she ugly too.

  • Red Meat

    I wanna fuck that Jo.

  • linlijun123

    Something unexpected surprise–

    Hello. My friend

    {w w w } {{b2b jordans }{ com }

  • Booo

    Anyone en Annie Lennox preforming sweet dreams at the Grammy’s in 84 dressed as a man? The new album cover (or whatever) looks exactly like that.

  • Bryan

    Stop being snarky. While I agree that she did include herself a bit in the interview more than normal. Nowhere did she try to put herself on par with Debbie Harris, she admitted things that Ms Harris inspired her to do.

  • arub

    you are too tough on gaga she didn’t compare herself to debbie at all stop trying to make her look bad – shes the only singer out right now completely willing to stand up for the LGBT community you dont see beyonce, katy perry, or taylor swift going to gay prode rallies or ending deals with target because of political differnces concerning the LGBT community
    beyonce and taylor swift both had special deluxe editions sold exclusively at target because despite saying they care about their “gay” fans they dont have the guts or interest to back up their word with action – if you don’t like gaga then dont write about her

  • Sean

    I almost jumped out of my seat when I saw that picture of Amy. Ooh lord, rest in peace gurrel!

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