Is it true that Lady Gaga has crazy requests for her backstage accommodations? I thought every star had diva demands.
—Asleep at the Desk, via Twitter
Well, it depends on what you consider a "diva demand." If you think that a requirement for a certain brand of vodka, or first-class tickets for a certain chunk of your entourage, is a strange demand, then, yes, the entire music industry is out of control.
However, if you think that the term "diva demand" should be reserved for, say, a mannequin with fluffy pink hair in naughty places, then Lady Gaga is definitely your idea of...outstanding.
This week, a legal document linked to Lady Gaga leaked online. Among the reported backstage demands listed: Lavender towels, similarly colored flowers...and a "mannequin with puffy pink pubic hair." The document apparently had to do with an appearance that the artist did circa 2010.
For the record, it's really common for stars to obsess over towels backstage, particularly the color, but also cleanliness.
"Often the towels have to be a dark color and they have to be pre-washed," says Brett Galley, whose company, Hollywood Pop Gallery, books talent for private concerts. "The last Bon Jovi concert we booked, we had so many of them, and so many weren't used, that we felt bad and donated them to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts."
(As for why the towels had to be dark for Bon Jovi, that's understandable: The band often uses the towels onstage; lighter towels distract more than dark ones.)
Entertainment attorney Owen Sloane of Gladstone Michel, who has worked with Elton John, also tells me that talent can "insist on certain colors or particular items that might be considered lucky."
All that said, when it comes backstage demands, the most common obsession, bar none, is food. And, of course, booze.
And when you look at some of those demands, Lady Gaga suddenly seems much less princessy.
One act, for example, recently requested a $5,000 wine for a Hollywood Pop Gallery event and, Galley tells me, "They didn't even drink it."
As for Gaga's reported mannequin friend, here's what I can tell you: Every industry expert I spoke with said they had never, ever, heard of a star demanding a life-sized doll.
Take Michael Morris, an attorney who represents, among other talent, Alice Cooper. Morris has seen some rather creative contracts; Cooper's often makes provisions for a pet boa constrictor. But, Morris tells me, "I've never heard of someone demanding a mannequin.
"Then again, Lady Gaga is a very unique artist."
You can say that again.