Column #430 Dartoid interviews (and throws darts) with Lady Gaga!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Dartoid interviews (and throws darts) with Lady Gaga!
I have experience interviewing, or at least trying to, women who don’t necessarily fit the stereotype of your typical Girl Next Door…
For example, back in the early 1970’s, I did a one-on-one with Deep Throat actress, Linda Lovelace for my college newspaper. Trust me when I say that at 19 years of age, it was one of the more intimidating hours of my life. For weeks afterwards though, I was especially popular with my buddies.
In 2004, I negotiated with but was unable to close an interview deal with disgraced ex-figure skater, admitted felon, frequently pummeled “professional” boxer, perennial DUI-offender and jail-bird, occasional cinemagraphic (the emphasis being on “graphic”) actress, and darts aficionado Tonya Harding.
In 2008, I interviewed Sky Sports darts walk-on babe Nicola Moriarty.
So it should come as no surprise that my ears and pen perked up when in January I read a report in the highly respectable UK Sun newspaper that Lady Gaga plays darts and had recently joined a league team in California…
She was introduced to the sport by her boyfriend, Taylor Kinney, who plays darts regularly with his friends. Lady Gaga went along to one of their games like a good girlfriend and ended up beating half of them.
A source told the Sun: “She was invited to play with the lads, who at first found it funny that she was so up for it.
“There was a load of banter about whether she knew where to stand and where to aim. But after a while all that stopped. She told them she had a mean aim and she wasn’t lying. She took half of them down.
“Now she’s been invited to play in the league as a regular fixture, which she’ll do as far as her music commitments allow. She loves it,” added the source.
I contacted Gaga’s agent but they wanted $10,000 to even pose the idea of an interview. Hell, for that kind of coin she’d have to do a lot more than just talk to me!
Then I got to thinking. Darts promoter (and two time Emmy winner) David Irete seems to know everybody, everywhere. Well known among old-timers as the man behind the opening video of the 30th North American Open Darts Tournament (NAODT), today Irete produces the popular Darts Around the World podcast and has recently been tapped to produce Stage 7 of the DARTSLIVE “The World” tour from the Riviera in Las Vegas. For years he’s been an associate director for Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and in the 1990s was involved in productions of the Academy and Golden Globe Awards. He knows people! He’s even a close personal friend of Dino M. Zaffina, who is a dick.
I gave Irete a ring and, wouldn’t you know it, he came through! Through a friend of a friend or something he managed to arrange for me to meet, and even throw darts, with Gaga at a bar near the airport in Los Angeles, the Prince of Whales. We met on March 26.
I don’t know what I expected – maybe that she’d arrive with an entourage and dressed like a giant dart… but no, she came alone and was dressed in a bright yellow and black stripped hoodie, and, basically, no pants. I was surprised at how short she was, perhaps five-foot. Did I mention she wasn’t wearing pants?
We found a table by the boards, ordered a couple of Jamesons (her favorite) and talked some before unpacking our darts. She had a nice set. 34Bs.
“So, what’s with the name Gaga?” I asked.
“It’s from Queen’s song ‘Radio Ga Ga’ but, please, call me Stefani.”
“Actually it’s Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta…”
“Hell! If that was my name I’d shorten it to Gaga too!”
That broke the ice. She laughed. We sipped our drinks. She signed some autographs (no one seemed interested in mine). She wanted to know how I make a living writing about darts. It was my turn to laugh.
“So how’d you get into darts?”
“I had a board in my room when I was a little girl. It wasn’t a real board. The darts were those plastic-rubber thingies. I used to throw them when I was supposed to be doing homework.”
“But the word is you’re pretty good, that you’re on a team and play league darts when you’re not out performing…”
She laughed some more. “Come on, you know you can’t believe the press.”
“Well, are you any good?”
“At what?” Another laugh. And a wink.
Oh my. Could it be? Could the Lady Gaga be coming on to me?
“This may be an inappropriate question,” I responded, “but, well, why aren’t you wearing pants – I’m serious, why whenever I see you on television, either performing or during an interview, does it seem you’re never wearing pants?”
She laughed again. “It’s an okay question. I get it a lot. I go pants-less because my grandmother is nearly blind. This helps her to be able to at least make out the lighter parts of me when I’m on television. I’ll continue to wear no pants, even on television, so that my grandma can see me. Also, I think no pants is sexy. Don’t you?”
It is not often that someone says something that leaves me speechless. This did, at least momentarily. Then I figured, what the hell, I’d throw it back at her…
“Ah, well, actually, I rather like the way you look. Would you put your hand on my leg?”
And she did! On my thigh! HOLY FRICKIN’ CRAP! (This hasn’t happened to me in years, and the last time it did happen – under the apron of the control desk at Desert Classic III – it wasn’t nearly so exciting. What was that all about anyway, Tommy Cox?)
“Let’s try out the darts,” I said as I pretty much tumbled out of my chair. (I may talk a good game but I’m an old married man. I ain’t so good at actually backin’ up my bullshit.)
We threw for cork, Gaga first. She pulled down her hood, stepped up, and let it fly. I was impressed as her dart landed in the green bull. She’s a lefty.
“Nice shot,” I said, and then ricocheted my toss off her dart and into the red.
“Let’s try 501,” I said. “You start.”
With a crowd behind us Gaga wiggled and threw up a 45. I followed with 85. She scored 41. I hit 140.
And so it went…
She signed more autographs as we played. The crowd cheered no matter what she did.
Others wanted to play her and she was gracious to give some of the guys a go. She posed for a bunch of photos.
My little interview and darts “date” with Gaga was brief. We spent just an hour or so together. She’s a decent shot and a good sport – and definitely a fan of the sport. We had fun. After all, that’s what darts should be.
After about an hour friends arrived to pick her up and she gave me a hug to say thanks and good-bye. “Please send me a copy of whatever you write.”
“Can I ask one more quick question?”
“Is your name really Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta?”
“Of course not silly. It’s Flor Sipalo.”
From the Field,
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