"how DARE YOU. Calling Katy Perry a slut. srs. I'm so pissed at you right now. So are the rest of her fans. why did you do that?!"
"Hi gramma.. I mean Jill fuck face. You should probably get over yourself.. Your 1995 song. I kissed a girl is terrible"
I woke up last Tuesday, and went straight to the computer. I had an interesting idea for a song -- that now I forget. First thing I noticed was my Twitter was filled with, what appeared to be, hate mail from about 30 very upset Katy Perry fangirls. I was confused. Then, I got email messages from relatives and friends informing me that I was in Perez Hilton and The Sun. Why would I be in the tabloids? I'm not that fancy. And, from what they said -- I still have yet to visit those particular sites -- I was portrayed as this angry bitter jealous "gramma" starved for publicity.
It all started with an interview I did for one of my new favorite blog sites: Therumpus.net -- a semi-obscure but hopefully growing arts and cultural website. It was one of the more interesting interviews I have ever done, as I was actually asked, engaging questions for a change. However, the interviewer had to ask the annoying yet inevitable "What did I think of the Katy Perry version of "I Kissed a Girl?"
I thought maybe this time I would have fun with it and goof on what many of my fans were hoping to hear over the last year. I prefaced my reply with a wink, and then rambled on with a string of over the top dumb-ass profanities, purposely out of character and completely in jest.
There was no problem with The Rumpus readers, but then a few weeks later the quote was picked up in the tabloids, out of context, with no link to the original interview, and without that -- hard to sometimes see in print -- wink. My friend Ken, a publicist, said, " I saw the grin behind your words, but not everyone knows you, Jill" My use of the phrase, "fucking little slut", by the way, would only be used... ironically.
I am sounding apologetic, which I'm not, but I have to admit the whole thing made me feel terrible for a couple of days. Who wants to be misunderstood or portrayed negatively, especially by such a beacon of light as Perez with his enormous following -- my mother reads him. And I'm not one who goes for the "all press is good press" dictum. Now I hear I will be featured in the upcoming issue of US magazine under the heading "Feud of the Week"!
But where my thin skin really showed was my reaction to the Katy Perry teen fangirls. I somehow was transferred to 7th grade, the worst year of my life. I was reminded of when mean girl Shelly Zissman spread the rumor that I was a "lezzie" at Shwader Camp. I was devastated. Okay, so maybe the rumor had some basis of truth to it, but she didn't know that at the time.
Out of curiosity, I wrote back to one of my tormenting Katy Perry fangirls -- Typhany. Most had already bored of trolling me, but Typh kept on going. I didn't ask her to stop, but instead asked if we could actually have an honest civil dialogue --unlike some of those health care town hall meetings. We did, much to her credit. She said she was just sticking up for her favorite artist. We are friends now. Facebook friends.
I will end with my final Katy Perry comments. I may be a touch cynical about the business, but I have never really been angry or had ill feelings towards Katy herself. I was actually in a small way happy to not be the "Kissed a Girl" girl anymore. That said, I hope her and her fans (god knows I don't want to piss them off anymore) are okay with the title of my brand new song, " I Kissed a Girl ...First"
By the way (a bit of shameless self-promotion since I don't have a big machine behind me): My new record, California Years, was completely fan-funded. You can get it most places, but I like it best when it's listened to and bought on my website, JillSobule.com.