A Lady Gaga Weekend

Gaga & I

Yeah that’s really her beside me. We’re sharing an armchair in the basement of the Venetian, Macau.

Hi blessed beings, I’m back after my little sabbatical! My first column this year is dedicated to Gaga. You saw this coming a lightyear away!

When Hong Kong found out Lady Gaga was bringing the Born This Way Ball to this town for her Asian tour (right after her first stop in Seoul), everyone was in a freak-frenzy and WhatsApped/Facebooked me furiously to find out more information from little ol’ ME—thanks to a photograph I took with Gaga herself (and strategically reposting) back in 2009. We just shared a red armchair and a few secrets in Macau, not DEEP DARK DIRTY soul-searching secrets and crumbly chocolate croissants during breakfast in bed as BFFs. Ya think I have her tour schedule, free tickets and backstage passes for everyone? Puh-lease.

Anyway, that was early February, while I was still on a pilgrimage with my guru all over India. In Rishikesh by the foothills of the Himalayas—and in a totally different mindset when I received Gaga-related message bombardment—all I craved were dips in Mother Ganges, not tips on Mother Monster. “Who cares about Lady Gaga when you have Lady Ganga~?!?” I posted on FB.

Well, the first week of May came and I was shitting glitter when most of my friends went to the first show on Wednesday and I couldn’t due to fustercluck deadlines. Finally freed on Friday, I went and saw Nicola Formichetti pimping his ultra-kawaii Nicopanda line at Lane Crawford IFC, together with a fascinating exhibit of Lady Gaga’s outfits from past performances and music videos. There were catsuits, corsets and gorgeous gowns, including the vintage wedding dress from the Christian Lacroix archive she wore as Mary Magdalene in the Judas video. And then there were her fuck-me heels. Um, literally, as there was a pair she wore on American Idol, with dildos as heels.

If you don’t know who Formichetti is, you’re probably not interested in fashion. AT ALL. He’s fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan and Uniqlo (you know this company eh?) as well as creative director for French fashion house MUGLER. For those who prefer the ephemeral brilliance of Lady Gaga’s style over the adamantine purity of her substance, Formichetti is synonymous as her stylist (although he loathes that label), responsible for the mood and imagery of her now iconic, genre-redefining MVs “Bad Romance” and “Telephone.”

And Formichetti’s also an all-round sweetheart. So was his team. At the private afterparty at XXX, I met all these friendly Europeans and Japanese. While chatting, I casually asked if they were expats or tourists, and they’d reply: “Oh, we’re Nicola’s/ Gaga’s team.” No airs, all super cool.

XXX is an underground dance club on some nondescript Sheung Wan street stinking of dried seafood, away from Dragon-i and Drop, with hardly a risk of paps—right up Gaga’s alley, eh? And since Lane Crawford was providing all the drinks that night, there was no need for anyone to go to 7-Eleven for beer (which you do on regular nights) so everyone stayed, waiting for Gaga to show up, getting more and more hideously intoxicated. I had the Ball to attend the next evening, so I retired by 3ish. When I got home pissed and naked in bed, her Tweet showed that she was getting drunk at Ozone, top floor of the Ritz. And she was sitting outside, not ensconced in a private room. D’oh! I WhatApped the Ritz PR right away and she was like, you can try going there now 😛

CONCERT NIGHT: I got my lavender blonde wig out for the night. Her set was a three-storied medieval castle, which opened up like the Castle Grayskull playset of the 80s, to reveal the band inside, as well as a dressing room with a mirror and mannequin on the second floor. She pulled venomous shapes for hours and could still belt out “Hair” with just her on the piano (on a motorcycle!) at the end with the voice of a furious angel. Whoever said she can’t sing is obviously DEAF. With no taste. And jealous. I don’t need to go on about her show. Millions have watched it and benefited. Haters will continue to do what haters do best. Oh what a dark, angry, sad place they’re in.

What was revealed to me that night was that Lady Gaga is totally a tulku of some FIERCE bodhisattva, possible a wrathful emanation of some Tārā (a STELLAR GODDESS) from another dimension, who gave an Empowerment of Compassion at her Ball. She kept stressing that “compassion” was the most important thing she wanted her Little Monsters to take back home with us after the spectacular show of rock, pop, fashion, blood, sweat, spit, tears & glam juice she put on for her fans. Mother Monster got skillful means! Have fun in Asia and come back to HK soon!

 

 An edited version of this column was first published 17 May 2012 in HK Magazine.

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© 2012 Johannes Pong, Hong Kong
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