The Pet Shop Boys Ego Pop isn't about Lady GaGa. Of course it isn't. They say it isn't, anyway:
When asked whether the song was inspired by Lady Gaga, Tennant told Attitude: "It's not specifically about Lady Gaga, it's about the modern pop star. Pop music is very ego-driven these days. The modern pop lyric is like a diary almost. In other words, people don't imagine, they just say what it is... A lot of lines [in the song] are direct quotes from what people say in interviews. 'I am my own demographic' is a direct quote."Hmm. It is, is it? Challenge Accepted.
Obviously, Google is already starting to silt up with Pet Shop Boys lyrics if you go searching for that phrase; and it crops up in the odd dating site profile and - amusingly - in someone else's lyrics. But the first musician using those words who crops up is Jof Owen of The Boy Least Likely To:
I like most of our songs because I kind of wrote them so that someone like me would like them. I am my own demographic. But if I had to pick just one, then there’s a song called "The Boy With Two Hearts" that I’m really proud of on the new album. We recorded all the brass parts with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. I remember the demo was quite mournful in a really sweet way and I ended up writing relatively simple words for it. It sounds quite sad and Christmassy, and it reminds me of the theme tune to The Flumps but I don’t expect anyone else will think that.Surely anyone who works with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band to create something like The Flumps can't be the target of Neil's ire?
Begie Adair is a musician in her 60s making music for her generation. Or, as she puts it:
“I always tell people that when it comes to marketing, I am my own demographic,” Beegie laughingly explains. “All these are tunes that I loved when I was in high school and college.”That seems to be a fair application of the phrase, and her work surely sits outside the remit of Ego Pop?
Perhaps it's not a direct quote at all - maybe the original was "I'm my own demographic". Could Ego Pop be taking aim at, erm, Oregon busker John "skeet" Gretzinger:
I made it my business to learn a few more songs each week from the radio and the rest is history. I'm back to busking pretty much full time again at 59 and having a ball. I'm kind of semi-retired. I don't play in bands or with other musicians at all anymore. I’m too old and grouchy for a band. Too many headaches! Yikes! I couldn't take all that now. And their girlfriends will drive you nuts! Nope! Just me, by myself. I do about 350 - what you might call, classic rock songs. All covers. I don't write. Never have. But it’s cool, because I'm my own demographic! The baby boomers love me. It’s a trick. I just play what they want to hear. But it works for me.Again, it's hard to see Neil grumbling away over that.
It's possible that the quote doesn't exist online, of course - not all human knowledge has yet been squirted onto the wires (you can't find Hayley's Cake single You Do Voodoo online, for example) - but it seems odd that Tennant would be so certain about it being a direct quote if it wasn't citeable.
More to the point, as the quotes above show, claiming to be your own demographic doesn't have to reek of ego; it can just be a simple statement to the effect that you're part of the audience you're targeting - surely something of a relief compared with men nudging fifty playing to rooms full of teenagers, yes?
Still, all this is something of a sideshow, isn't it? It's about Lady GaGa. Or Madonna. Which is the same thing.