John Seabrook's New Yorker profile of Dr. Luke, the producer behind hit songs from Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Britney Spears and many other Top-40 staples, may have come under fire for its controversial first sentence -- "Unlike Dr. Dre, that other faux-medical badass beatmaker, Dr. Luke is a white guy" -- but the piece offers far more intrigue than those 15 words. Like this anecdote, which Complex.com first pointed out, about Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball" and a "$10,000 toilet."
Seabrook notes that while Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, is able to churn out hit songs at a pace that far surpasses even The Beatles (according to the New Yorker piece, Dr. Luke had "as many No. 1s in 2010 as the Beatles had in any single year"), his radar isn't always perfect.
"With 'Wrecking Ball,' for example, Gottwald wasn't sure it was a smash, and he wagered against it, telling Cyrus that he would buy her a Numi toilet like his, the ultimate in potty technology (it has a Bluetooth receiver that can stream music from a smartphone), if he was wrong," wrote Seabrook in the piece (the full article is not online).
Dr. Luke, of course, was wrong -- "Wrecking Ball" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September, the first time a Cyrus track earned that honor -- meaning he now owes Cyrus the prestige piece of plumbing.
"I'll be thinking of him every time I go," Cyrus told The New Yorker.
Presuming Dr. Luke hasn't yet made good on his debt, Amazon might be a smart place to start. The site lists the Numi toilet cost at $6,653.30, but is offering a 25-percent discount from that price at the moment. (As of this posting, however, there were only three left in stock.)
The Dr. Luke profile is one of those must-read affairs that everyone who enjoys pop music should seek out. In addition to the Cyrus toilet bet, Dr. Luke also discusses his current work relationship with Ke$ha ("I haven't heard from her in a while"), his past as a guitarist for the "Saturday Night Live" house band, and the origin of his name. "It is not true, as legend has it, that the name derives from his mixing of Adderall and Ritalin with coke and MDMA to create the perfect studio cocktail that keeps you working through the night," wrote Seabrook. Noted.
The article abstract can be found here at the New Yorker website. The full piece is available on newsstands now. A great breakdown of the piece, with many other highlights, can be found over at Complex.com.