We’re plugging our hometown, Parsippany, N.J., today. That’s because we were surprised, and pleased, to learn that the suburb we grew up with has a connection to our latest obsession, Lady Gaga.
The Newark Star-Ledger Friday has a story headlined “Gaga Begins in Jersey: Pop Diva Found Her Sound — And Name — As Stefani Germanotta in Parsippany.”
Lady Gaga is the media darling, dance-music diva who has carefully crafted an image that centers on her outrageous outfits and makeup. But she can sing. We love her latest hit, “Bad Romance,” and last night must have played its video — an S&M-inspired set piece — at least 20 times. Yes, we know we’re nuts.
But how many times have you told a guy, or a girl, “I don’t want to be friends”? That one of the best lines in “Bad Romance.”
According to the Ledger, Lady Gaga (real name the aforementioned Stefani Germanotta) developed her outrageous stage persona and came up with her name when she was working with music producer Rob Fusari at a studio in Parsippany in 2006.
While they were working, Lady Gaga and Fusari would have lunch at the Chili’s on Route 46, a place we’ve gone with our parents to eat many times.
According to the Ledger story, “Lady Gaga” is a reference to the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga,” which was one of Fusari’s favorite songs. He would sing it when Germonotta came into the studio. One day Fusari sent Germonaotta a text that referred to “Radio Ga Ga,” but he claims there was an autocorrect and “Radio Ga Ga” became “Lady Ga Ga.”
Germonotta loved it, and chose it has her stage name, according to the Ledger.
And like that other Italian-American bad girl, Madonna, Lady Gaga references her Catholic background in her videos. In “Bad Romance,” for example, she makes the sign of the cross during one of her dance numbers. And she’s wearing a gemstone cross over her crotch at one point.
Parsippany is about 45 minutes away from New York City, and you likely have not heard of it. It is also the hometown of “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski, who used to act in the local community Barn Theater with our long-lost friend Mark Phelan.