LADY GAGA – “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich”

October 9, 2010

Looking for Fame, the Life of a Pop Princess, Lady Gaga

by Paul Lester

Omnibus Press

$17.95, 154 pages

Since “Just Dance” nearly two years ago, she’s had six top 10 hits and has almost single-handedly revived the waning art of music videos. What did we talk about before we had Lady Gaga to talk about? She owns pop culture these days.

“I’ve always lived, in New York, this very art-centric, glamorous life,” she explains in the opening pages of this chatty, name-dropping bio with four-color pics, clever quotes and plenty of backstage insight.

The Queen of Pop started out as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, born March 28th, 1986, in Yonkers, NY. She rapidly went from convent school student, to druggie, to hip hop, breakbeat, synthesizer and party dance rhythms faster than you can say “urban/club/electronic funk.” What the author, Paul Lester, makes clear is how she developed beyond singer to glam star. “This is Gaga,” he says,” as shallow or as deep as you want her to be.”

And what do her fans get? A pop star who encourages the audience to take risks; to not only listen to the music and buy the records, but enter into a kind of alternative world. If this book falls short of that it isn’t for a lack of trying. The author seems “second hand” to the subject, and the story doesn’t really build (she is only 24 for god sake). But I often felt like I was reading a People Magazine article  about a fascinating subject, that went about 120 pages beyond what it should have. She’s a genius in a dress made entirely of green, Kermit the frog puppets but “on February 18, 2009, Gaga, along with Brandon Flowers of The Killers, performed live with the Pet Shop Boys at the 2009 BRIT Awards. After a medley of PSB hits, Gaga and Flowers joined the Eighties duo for a rendition of their worldwide 1986 number one hit ‘West End Girls.’ In March, Gaga undertook her first Northern American tour” hardly captures the magic.

– John Lehman

To purchase directly from amazon.com (for $12.21), click here: Lady Gaga: Looking for Fame



  1. Watch All the latest Music Videos Free!

  2. John, you are one of the few people who might entice me to read a review of a Gaga book. I resist her because her music and weirdness does not speak to me. I’m all for embracing weirdness, but as an extension of something other than shock. It doesn’t bother me that she’s doing her thing (except the meat clothing). Go for it babe.

    You are quite the eclectic reviewer. Thanks for pulling me into modernity even If, I choose to make a quick retreat. Now where is my copy of Barry Lopez’s Arctic Dreams.

    • Thanks, Amy. John

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