Lady Gaga’s disco stick inspires calls for concert ‘rating’ system

Did you see Lady Gaga in concert? Were you accompanied by little people? Were you horrified when Lady Gaga told everyone to get their c**ks out? I really wish I’d been there but without my kids because that would have defeated the purpose of being out at a Lady Gaga concert.

If I wanted to go to a concert with my kids? I’d buy Wiggles tickets. Oh wait, I’ve been doing that for 12 years and counting.

Oh come on people, do we really need a ratings system for concerts? How about the fact THEY ONLY START AT 9PM? Is that maybe your first clue that it’s not a suitable place to take your 8-year-old daughter?

Ok wait, maybe I’m being harsh.

Let’s hear the background. News Ltd reports…..

BLOOD, sex, gore, eating disorders and so much more – all in a day’s work for singer Lady Gaga. But when her Australian tour kicked off this week, using elements of bulimia, binge drinking and expletives as props, the chaperoning parents in the audience were not dancing to the same beat as other fans.

They are asking why no Australian concert is obliged to carry a classification to warn them, say, that a woman in a G-string might ask a kid to “get their c. . k out”?

There has never been a body set up to regulate the material featured in live performances in this country or force them to disclose warnings.

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In her Monster Ball show, Gaga takes the audience into a gothic Wizard Of Oz land, where a video of a model making herself vomit onto Gaga is shown on a film loop. “This is a place where you can be free. A place where all the freaks are outside and I locked the f. . .ing door,” Gaga said during her show.

Linda Fitzsimmons took her nine-year-old daughter Jessica to the debut show on Wednesday and said that she was “shocked and surprised” by it.

VIDEO: The making of Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’

“I couldn’t believe it. (Jessica) likes her songs and I’m OK with her listening to them. There’s no swearing in them and she’s too young to understand the hidden meaning,” she said. “But if I tried to take her to an MA 15+ movie someone would stop me at the counter. Why not with concerts?”

Promoter Michael Coppel said it is almost impossible to classify a concert and the responsibility lies with the parent. “It’s hard to rate a show. What someone might see as risque differs from person to person,” he said.

The Classification Review Board said it was not their area to comment on.

Mr Coppel said he doubted that Australian tours would ever carry classifications, because most promoters do not see the show before they book it.

When I was a kid, the first concert I remember going to was with my parents and it was The Osmonds.

That was a pretty hectic night for an 8-year-old and they were Mormons!

So what is it with today’s parents where we think it’s cool to be taking our kids to adult concerts? I include myself in this group because I took my 12 year old to see Beyonce last year. He was pretty luke warm about the idea but I had a spare ticket and couldn’t find anyone else to come with me.

I thought it would be fun. It was but he got sleepy and we had to leave early. This is not surprising because it was 11pm and he is a child. My bad. Didn’t think that one through.

Perhaps the key is that there is less of a gap now between the music we listen to and the music our kids listen to. It’s not like when our grandparents were listening to – I don’t know, Beethoven? – and our parents were rebelling with Elvis.

Like many parents, I like to listen to the radio when I’m in the car and my kids are frequently with me so it’s no wonder they know who Lady Gaga is. Now we ALL listen to the Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift and Gaga and Jay Z and Lily Allen.

But song lyrics (which kids – and adults – frequently get wrong anyway) are very different to concerts.

I remember reading recently about The Veronicas in concert and how it was full of mums taking their young daughters – around 8,9,10 – and looking rather askance when Jessica and (who’s the other one?) introduced one of their songs by shouting to the crowd “This is for all of you who’ve had your hearts broken by a cheating bastard”.

Uh-huh, yep, rightio then!

(Similarly, even a mother I know who took her 7 and 9 year old daughters to see Taylor Swift (along with every other mother or father of a tween or teenage girl) was a bit non-plussed when Tay-Tay started waxing lyical about heartbreak. “When a guy breaks your hearts girls you trust me that I know exactly how you feel and I’ll be right here beside you all the way! Woo!”)

This must prove something of a problem for artists who are deriving more and more of the income from touring now that CD sales are tanking. I imagine The Veronicas don’t want to be kiddie entertainers or else they would have auditioned for Hi-5.

They want to sing about the things they’re experiencing as artists and women in their twenties.  Which is probably boys and drugs and threesomes and working out who the hell you are.

But those grown-up life experiences are a little….alien? Inappropriate? Not relevant to little girls who just want to sing along to a catchy melody and flick their hair around a bit.

So here is my thinking: sure, let your kids sing along to the radio, download the music onto their ipods but maybe don’t let them watch the music videos or go to the concerts – which are both aimed at an adult audience.

Do you think there should be a classification system for concerts? I truly don’t believe the argument that it’s too hard – it’s not THAT hard. Everything else is classified. But surely parents should also exercise some responsibility and judgement, yes?

And any concert that starts after 8pm is probably not going to be suitable for little kids.

[*A total side note: What I noticed most about the shots of the Gaga concert was that her boobs are real! It’s a bit sad that this is such a revelation or even bears comment but there’s something so lovely about seeing that natural fold of a natural breast. Seeing it makes me realise how rare it is to see in pop culture icons anymore….

Go Gaga.]

Do you think there should be a ratings system? Were you at a Gaga concert and what did you think? Do you remember the first concert you ever went to?

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