We Have Lady Gaga to Thank for Michael Bolton's "Jack Sparrow" Video

Slate's Culture Blog
May 28 2011 2:00 PM

We Have Lady Gaga to Thank for Michael Bolton's "Jack Sparrow" Video

For those of you who haven't abandoned the Internet completely for Memorial Day weekend, the Financial Times has a long profile today of outré pop star Lady Gaga conducted, improbably and amusingly, by tweedy English writer-performer Stephen Fry.

The article and accompanying interview transcript covers a lot of ground Gaga's riposte to Camille Paglia , Gaga's money troubles, Gaga's reliance on Brecht's Verfremdungseffekt though the real subject throughout is Fry's deep, abiding crush on Gaga. She "astonishes" the droll intellectual with her "remarkable perfectionism." At one point, he must "[gulp] back" his "own feelings of inadequacy." Considering the throngs of fans outside the Lanesborough Hotel, he admits, "I am not embarrassed to call myself grotesquely over-aged and oversized as I may be some kind of Little Monster too." It's all quite adorable.


But the best part of the FT series is this little gem, buried in the intereview transcript. Stephen Fry has an elaborate but plausible-sounding! theory about how Lady Gaga is responsible for Michael Bolton's recent Internet stardom:

SF: I think you've emboldened even, great artist as he is, Michael Bolton. I don't think Michael Bolton would have done that astonishing video. You've seen it, The Lonely Island boys video, where he dresses ?.?.?.?have you seen he dresses up as a woman and he dresses up?.?.?.?have you not seen it? It's recent and it's stunning. He's just remarkable.

LG: Fabulous.

SF: He's in drag, he dresses up as film stars, he sings with?.?.?.?they're a great outfit and I know you've written with him and worked with him?.?.?.?

LG: "Murder my Heart" .

SF: That's right, and I kind of thought, I bet you've just shown him because he's always been a voice of astounding?.?.?.?

LG: I don't know. His voice is incredible. He's a legend. I don't know about?.?.?.?

SF:Well, I don't know if he's ever been quite such a performer as he is in this video and I think that's a great thing to see.

LG: Thank you. That's very nice.

SF: Look it up on YouTube because it will blow you away.


You can read the article and interview transcript and hear an audio recording of the interview at http://ft.com/gaga . (Before you go, an explanatory footnote for American readers: Ena Sharples is a frumpy "battle-axe" from the long-running show Coronation Street , and Rovers Return is the pub they go to on that show. So Fry is totally dissing Princess Beatrice and Philip Treacy there.)

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