Weird Al Yankovic recently recorded "Perform This Way," a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," after the pop diva demanded to hear it before allowing him include it on his next album. But in a blog post today, Yankovic angrily revealed that Gaga had put the kibosh on his homage. Or did she?
Yankovic took to his blog today to bemoan the fact that Gaga had said "No" to the final version of his parody, despite the fact he'd promised to donate all sales from the video and song to the Human Rights Campaign. And he wasn't happy about 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.
As promised, Yankovic did release the song on YouTube this morning, which you can listen to above. But that's not where the story ends.
This afternoon, he followed up with another post revealing that he would, in fact, be allowed to include the song on his album. Why? Turns out Gaga's manager had said no without her permission. In fact, she hadn't even heard the song:
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.
And Gaga loves the song.
All's well that ends well, right?