Tag Archives: queen

Where did Lady Gaga get her stage name from?

1 Mar

In less than 12 hours from now, tickets go on sale for the newest batch of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta concerts in Australia.

Now, you might think this isn’t a big deal. After all, she sounds like a classical musician (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But if I were to share with you the name she’s better known by – Lady Gaga – you would suddenly see my point. And probably my determination to claim a seat.

In background, I must confess I missed out on most of the early buzz surrounding one of the world’s most strangely dressed women. And if I ever gave her a thought, it was probably along the lines of “Who the f**** wastes a perfectly good steak on an outfit for an awards show?”

But I was finally converted to fandom with the double team strike of Paparazzi and Bad Romance. They are awesome songs. Just awesome. And they finally inspired a proper appreciation for the kind of eccentricity and talent so often squished in what can be a one-size-fits-all society.

Anyway, through plenty of revealing interviews, I knew a lot of interesting stuff about the Poker Face-d one, such as why she’s only tattooed on one side of her body (it’s at the request of her father).

But I’d never really paid attention to the inspiration for her name. Given the word ‘gaga’ I assumed there would be a Queen reference in there somewhere. And there was, via a producer called Rob Fusari. I found an explanation straight from the horse’s mouth in Flybe Magazine via Queenzone.com.

“My producer, Rob Fusari, was the first to really bring out both my theatrical and pop elements. I was in theatre for many years, but I was also a pop vocalist. When I auditioned for pop, record labels would say you’re too theatre. And when I auditioned for theatre they’d say you’re too pop. When I met Rob, I discovered David Bowie and Queen, and the more theatrical Beatles records. One day, I played Rob a song called Again Again, and he said, “God that’s so Queen! You’re so Radio GaGa. Very theatrical”. And he started to call me GaGa when I’d come into the studio. When we were getting ready to really start performing, I decided that I’d been playing under my real name for so long I wanted a new way to reinvent myself. So I said, what about Lady GaGa, because Gaga is sort of crazy and Lady has such connotations. I went to a private school but now I was living in this trash glitter environment. So, for me, it was the perfect description of who I had become.”

And thus the legend was born. Now to indulge in a Bad Romance.

Do you have to curtsey to members of the royal family?

9 Jan

Sometimes there is very little rhyme and reason to my quest for knowledge. I won’t be reading a book, watching a movie or even sitting through crappy TV; a thought will just jump into my head like chocolate always seems to jump into my mouth (and then on to my thighs).

And so it was my attention turned to the royal family, specifically the notion of having to curtsey to them.

I suspect the seed had been sewn a few days earlier during a workplace debate on whether we would do it. Some people said yes, some people said no and one said if it was good enough for Lady Gaga, it was good enough for her.

However, since it always seems to get the UK press in a tizz when high-profile people such as Julia Gillard don’t do it (and god forbid they should actually touch the monarch), I wanted to know the official position.

Turns out it’s not required, as long as you show due courtesy. As The Family’s own website notes:

There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms.
For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.
On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am’.
For male members of the Royal Family the same rules apply, with the title used in the first instance being ‘Your Royal Highness’ and subsequently ‘Sir’.
For other female members of the Royal Family the first address is conventionally ‘Your Royal Highness’ followed by ‘Ma’am’ in later conversation.

As for the royals themselves, curtseying is quite the minefield of precedence, politics and procedure. I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of it, but I did pick up on one thing – Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has to curtsey to everyone and everyone has to curtsey to the Queen.

And fair call too, given the perks and privileges they enjoy as a member of her family. I would even go so far as to call myself as a fan, so while I was on the website I decided to hunt down 10 things about Her Majesty I didn’t know. Here’s what I came up with. She …

* Speaks fluent French.
* Attended her first football match – the FA Cup Final – in 1953.
* Performed the first ever royal walkabout with Prince Philip during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970.
* Sent her first email in 1976 from an army base.
* Received her first corgi, Susan, as an 18th birthday present.
* Introduced a new breed of dog called the dorgi when one of her corgis was mated with a dachshund.
*  Sent a congratulations message to the Apollo 11 astronauts for the first moon landing on July 21, 1969. It was micro-filmed and deposited on the moon in a metal container.
* Travelled on the London Underground for the first time in May 1939 when she was still Princess Elizabeth, accompanied by governess Marion Crawford and Princess Margaret.
* Learnt to drive in 1945 when she joined the army.
* Had her official wedding cake made from ingredients given as a wedding gift by Australian Girl Guides.

All this from her headquarters at Buckingham Palace, so I couldn’t resist reading that fact file too. And here’s three tidbits that took my fancy …

*  The palace has more than 350 clocks and watches looked after by two full-time horological conservators.
* Has its own chapel, post office, swimming pool, staff cafeteria, doctor’s surgery and cinema.
* Electricity was first installed in 1883, in the ball room.

Home sweet home, indeed.