gagagrammys The Real Story Behind Lady GagaMeet the Bride of Frankenstein, the love child of Elton John and Madonna: Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga.

At last night’s Grammy Awards, Steve Walter — who ran the late, lamented Cutting Room on West 24th Street with co-owner and pal Chris Noth — got a chuckle out of Lady Gaga.

“That’s Stefani Germanotta,” Walter said. “She got signed out of a workshop at the Cutting Room.”

That was four years ago. Here’s a link to a story that explains what happened. Producer Rob Fusari started working with the New York University student after that night.

The rest of the Lady Gaga story sounds very much like Madonna’s beginnings in Livonia, Mich. Like Gaga, she didn’t write her original hits. The people who gave her her early start were soon forgotten. Now Madonna is worth millions, belongs to’a cult, speaks with an English accent and adopts children from Africa against the will of their families.

Is this what we can expect from Stefani Germanotta? Hopefully not. There are a couple of major differences between Gaga and Madonna. For one, Germanotta really plays the piano, is a gifted musician and a pretty good singer. She also really co-writes her songs from the ground up.

Elton John, dressed down after the opening number last night, told me he really enjoyed playing two-handed piano with Gaga. Of course, Elton was sensational. He’s been doing this stuff since the early ’70s, when he’d dress in wild costumes like the Statue of Liberty in giant platform shoes and play the piano with his elbows. But he can spot talent. And Lady Gaga is certainly his disciple.

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