You might not realize it, what with the redonkulously catchy chorus, the Snoop cameo or the lyrical mentions of Daisy Dukes-wearing beach babes who will melt your popsicle, but Katy Perry’s brand-new “California Gurls,” the summer-ready first single from her upcoming Teenage Dream album , is actually a tribute to power-pop pioneers Big Star.
Well, sort of.
See, as Perry recently told Entertainment Weekly, she named the tune after Big Star’s 1974 song “September Gurls,” from their seminal Radio City album. And she did so — well, because her manager is a longtime Star fanatic.
“My manager, Bradford, he’s from Mississippi, and he’s a huge Big Star fan,” Perry told EW. “And with the death of one of their members, I had just written that song, and he’s like, ’Katy, just for me, will you please title it ’California Gurls,’ with a ’u’? People won’t even know!’ I don’t know the whole catalog of Big Star, but I did it because Bradford is one of my best friends, and I thought it was cool, and you know, the kids like those variations.”
In March, Big Star frontman Alex Chilton died of a heart attack and was remembered days later by his friends, contemporaries and surviving band members at a South by Southwest tribute concert in Austin, Texas.
A spokesperson for Perry’s label, Capitol, confirmed the Big Star story to MTV News. Her Teenage Dream album hits stores August 24. No word if it will include a song named after “The Ballad of El Goodo.”
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