Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Can You Imagine Lady Gaga Playing A Republican Convention-- Neither Could She, Despite The Million Dollars They Offered


Mitt wanted his convention to look hip and happening. They got Journey instead

When I was first coming up in the music business I avoided the whole idea of ever being forced to sell out by starting my own independent label. Others used to have to ponder the age-old question, "what if someone asks you to work Journey, Foreigner or REO Speedwagon?" In the world of progressive activism I was aghast when "liberal" politics operatives would explain how they had to go to work for a Blue Dog or New Dem-- or even a Republican-- because they had to feed their family. What a horrible position to be placed in!

Lady Gaga didn't face that kind of stark choice when she decided to turn down a million dollar payday from the RNC last year. But I've watched dozens of progressive musicians sell out to corporations, wealthy slobs who wanted a rockin' bat mitzvah, and even murderous tyrants trying to impress friends with how cool they could be in off hours. I've met most of those musicians who played for the Qaddafi clan but I never met Lady Gaga and I have no idea if she's a politically partisan person. I know she stands for deeply held values and principles-- and that those values and principles are at odds with what the Republican Party stands for... to put it mildly.

But Republicans don't want to be the "uncool" party and more than the Qaddafi clan did-- and, lets's be real how many times can you have miserable has-beens like Ted Nugent, Hilary Duff, Meat Loaf, Gene Simmons, Kid Rock, the remnants of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper be the entertainment? Johnny Ramone isn't just dead, he would never have been able to persuade Joey Ramone to play for a bunch of reactionaries and fascists. And Republicans don't grok Prodigy or Lee Ving. So why not wave around a big check and go for the gold multi-platinum?
As a party that seems stunningly out of touch with the diverse and rapidly changing demographics of this great and grand country of ours, the GOP continues to operate in ways that solidify their brand as narrow, stodgy, intolerant, and clueless about modern culture. This would extend, it seems, to the people with whom they choose to affiliate, right down to those they ask to entertain at their conventions.

For example, anyone who knows or pays a modicum of attention to the performer known as Lady Gaga, knows she is devoted to her wildly diverse fan base (lovingly called her “Little Monsters”) and takes a very high-profile and proactive stand on gay rights. Juxtapose this against a political party known to be largely and loudly anti-gay when it comes to issues such as the Defense of Marriage Act, Proposition 8, even the happily retired “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military, and it should come as no surprise that when the organizers of last summer’s Republican National Convention invited the Lady to sing for their Convention, she said, “no.” She declined a $1 million payday because, considering the passion of her fight for equality, nothing could be more wrong than singing for the right. From the Washington Examiner:
The snub by the pop star is included in a lawsuit filed by a powerful Republican nonprofit fundraising organization, American Action Network, against a vendor whose job was to stage entertainment just outside the doors to the GOP’s convention in August.

Documents filed with the lawsuit show that other entertainers also said “no thanks” to appearing at the GOP convention including Dolly Parton and the rapper Pitbull, who Republicans hoped to feature at an event for the Hispanic Leadership Network.

Many entertainers, including Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd, agreed to perform at the convention, but Lady Gaga’s offer was the most lucrative, according to an email sent last summer by AAN’s director of development, Pete Meachum.
Which, for anyone who holds political convictions or admires a person who can reject money for the sake of principle, raises the estimation of a certain Lady. In fact, more than the million was dangled; lawsuit documents include correspondence between Meachum and Rob Jennings, head of Cater America (which was involved with planning RNC events) that details other enticements waved in front of the iconic entertainer:
Meachum, who is a former aide to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and is now chief of staff for Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., wanted Lady Gaga to perform on Monday, Aug. 27, the evening of the convention’s first official day.

“Also, tell them that $150,000 will go towards a domestic violence shelter,” Meachum further instructed Jennings in an effort to make the offer harder for Lady Gaga to refuse.
But she did-- and they were stuck with Journey and Skynyrd. And Skynryd canceled due to Hurricane Isaac and refused to give back the $350,000 advance. Several of them are suing each other and Journey says they were never paid the half million dollars they claim they were promised.



At 3:53 AM, Anonymous me said...

they had to go to work for a Blue Dog or New Dem-- or even a Republican-- because they had to feed their family

Fuck 'em. Bank robbers, kidnappers, and tobacco farmers can make the same argument, so I'm not impressed.

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous me said...

Lady Gaga has earned some respect in my book.

Too bad for her that's worth somewhat less than $1M, but still...

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Kevin Ryan said...

they never offered.

They're just making things up now.

Try reviewing the court documents....They are a filing in a lawsuit and the GOP is NOT INVOLVED at all. Nothing in the documents even indicates that Lady Gaga either turned down, nor was offered anything from Mitt Romney, the GOP nor anyone else.

There's an allegation that a party planner was told by the American Action Network to make an offer, sorry, try again.


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