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Telephone (song)

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GETEL
Lady Gaga (feat. Beyoncé)
Writer(s) Lady Gaga
Beyoncé Knowles
Rodney Jerkins
LaShawn A. Daniels
Lazonate S. Franklin
Producer(s) Rodney Jerkins
Background vocals Lady Gaga
Length 3:40

TFM-Logo singles chronology

Singles "Bad Romance"
"Telephone"
"Alejandro"
"Dance in the Dark"

The Fame Monster track listing

"Telephone" is a pop song written by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Lady Gaga, LaShawn Daniels, Lazonate Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, and produced by Darkchild Studios. The song serves as the second single off the The Fame Monster. Gaga originally wrote the song for The Pussycat Dolls, however, plans did not go through and Gaga recorded the song for herself featuring Beyoncé as a guest vocalist.

On January 13, 2010, the song was unofficially aired in the UK on the Lucy And Brooke Show for HCR radio. The song has peaked at three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the US Pop Songs Chart. The song became Lady Gaga's sixth consecutive number one single. The song was released to US radios on January 26, 2010.

Writing and inspiration

The song was originally believed to be titled "Underground" after a song of the same name was registered on ASCAP, citing Jerkins as a co-writer (with no original writer credited). After the release of Spears' sixth studio album, Circus, the ASCAP entry was modified to include Lady Gaga as a writer and the name of the song itself to "Telephone", causing fans to speculate a possible release in the future.
In August 2008, the song was offered to Spears' management to a warm reception, supposedly intending to be released as a bonus track, but was left out because the album already had a song related to phones, titled "Phonography". Gaga spoke about the song in an interview saying, "I was working with Rodney Jerkins on Pussycat Dolls material, and we wrote this song, when we were done I was like, “Oh, I want to sing it,” but my album was already closed," going on to state that "Rodney called me later and was like, “Britney’s people are freaking out about this song.” Ultimately, she makes the decisions, so when I found out that she loved it and was going to record it, it was amazing."

On March 28th 2009, Jerkins updated his official Twitter page stating: "Me and Lady Gaga wrote a smash for Britney called “Telephone” the label didn’t out it on the LP (Circus). It should be out right now!!! Its too hot!!!". An upcoming collaboration album of Jerkins works, Darkchild Presents: The Writers Vol. 1, was expected to have the song on it. The song was finally released on The Fame Monster. According to Popjustice, "the guest vocalist on this song was going to be someone else, but then the guest vocalist wanted to put the song on her own greatest hits album, so Lady Gaga made alternative arrangements". This is speculated to be referring to Britney Spears' The Singles Collection. After Beyoncé and Gaga had worked on the remix of "Video Phone", of which Gaga wrote a verse, Gaga asked Beyoncé to be the guest vocalist on the song. Beyoncé recorded her vocals on October 13, 2009 in Osaka, Japan.

The main inspiration behind the song was Gaga's fear of suffocation and being unable to get out and have a good time due to the amount of work "suffocating" her. The lyrics portray the singer as preferring the dance floor to answering her lover's phone calls. Gaga explained that the telephone addressed in the lyrics of the song, is in reality a person telling her to continue working harder.

Fear of Suffocation — something that I have or fear is never being able to enjoy myself, [...] 'Cause I love my work so much, I find it really hard to go out and have a good time. [...] "I don't go to nightclubs, [...] You don't see pictures of me falling out of a club drunk. I don't go — and that's because I usually go and then, you know, a whiskey and a half into it, I got to get back to work.

—Lady Gaga

The Making Of

A trailer titled, The Making Of Telephone was posted on Darkchild's official website on November 21, 2009. Two days later, Darkchild released the video on his website showing alternate beats and lyrics. The alternate version was offered in Britney Spears' version, but upon re-recording, Gaga decided make changes. The video may be viewed here.

Composition

Musically, the song consists of an expanded bridge, verse-rap and an epilogue where the telephone line is disconnected. Knowles appears in the middle of the song with the verses being sung in a rapid-fire way, accompanied by double beats. Although constructed as a duet, the song features Knowles, first appearing in the middle verse and singing her lyrics through a brief interlude, and backs the chorus during the rest of the song. Essentially, Gaga's in a club and her boyfriend keeps ringing, but she can't talk to him at tht moment because she's drinking and dancing to her favourite song. The chorus runs as follows: "Stop calling, stop calling, I don't want to talk anymore." According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in the time signature of common time, with a tempo of 122 beats per minute. Gaga's vocals range from the low-note of F3 to the high-note of C5. It is set in the key of F minor and has a basic sequence of Fm–A♭–B♭–Fm as its chord progression.

Reference in popular culture

  • The song was covered on the Fox musical comedy television series, Glee, by Lea Michele and Charice Pempengco in the episode "Audition".

Commercial release

Physical releases

France (27369853)

GETEL Label: Labels
Format: Cardboard
Released: April 6, 2010
Barcode: 602527369853
Photogaphy: Lauren Dukoff
Design: Haus of Gaga    

FR tel

United Kingdom / Europe (2734706)

UKTEL Label: Labels
Format: Slimline jewel case
Released: March 15, 2010
Barcode: 602527347066
Photogaphy: Lauren Dukoff
Design: Haus of Gaga    

UK tel

United States — The Remixes (B0014166-22)

USTEL Label: Labels
Format: Slimline jewel case
Released: March 30, 2010
Barcode: 602527361512
Photogaphy: Lauren Dukoff
Design: Haus of Gaga    

US tel

Note: The "DJ Dan Vocal Remix" is omitted from the physical release.

United Kingdom (2734707)

UK VTEL Label: Polydor
Format: 7" vinyl in a transparent plastic
Released: March 15, 2010
Barcode: 602527361512
Photogaphy: Lauren Dukoff
Design: Haus of Gaga    

UKVTEL

Side A (45RPM)
Side B (33RPM)

Digital releases

Single

  • France — February 15, 2010
  • United Kingdom — March 15, 2010

The Remixes

  • United States — March 2, 2010

Remixes

  • Alphabeat Extended Remix — 6:41
  • Alphabeat Remix — 4:48
  • Chew Fu Ghettohouse Remix — 4:50
  • Crookers Vocal Remix — 4:46
  • DJ Dan Dub — 6:21
  • DJ Dan Extended Vocal Remix — 5:59
  • DJ Dan Vocal Remix — 3:28
  • Doctor Rosen Rosen Remix — 6:25

  • Electrolightz Remix — 4:26
  • Kaskade Extended Remix — 5:25
  • Kaskade Remix — 3:42
  • Ming Dub — 4:03
  • Ming Extended Remix — 4:31
  • Ming Radio Remix — 3:15
  • Passion Pit Remix — 5:13
  • Tom Neville's Ear Ringer Remix — 7:13

Performances

Dates Location City Globe-green

Dates Location Channel Globe-green

Tour Dates Performances
Monster Ball: Theater & Arena versions 20092011 (All dates) 165
The Born This Way Ball 2012-2013 (All dates) 98
artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball N/A N/A
Total of performances 263

Lyrics

Album version (featuring Beyoncé)

[Lady Gaga]:
Hello, hello, baby;
You called, I can't hear a thing.
I have got no service,
In the club, you say, you say?
Wha-Wha-What did you say?
Oh, you're breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you,
I'm kinda busy.

K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
Sorry, I cannot hear you, I'm kinda busy.

Just a second,
It's my favorite song they're gonna play
And I cannot text you with
A drink in my hand, eh.
You shoulda made some plans with me,
You knew that I was free.
And now you won't stop calling me;
I'm kinda busy.

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!
Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh

Can call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

[Beyoncé]:
Boy, the way you blowin' up my phone
Won't make me leave no faster.
Put (put) my coat on faster,
Leave (leave) my girls no faster.
I shoulda left my phone at home,
'Cause this is a disaster!
Calling like a collector
Sorry, I cannot answer!

[Lady Gaga]:
Not that I don't like you,
I'm just at a party.
And I am sick and tired
Of my phone r-r-i-iinging.

[Beyoncé]:
Sometimes I feel like
I live in Grand Central Station.
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls,
'Cause I'll be dancin'.

[Lady Gaga & Beyoncé]:
(Tonight I'm dancin')
I'll be dancin'
(Tonight I'm dancin')
I'll be dancin'
(Tonight I'm dancin')
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls, 'cause I'll be dancin'!

[Lady Gaga]:
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!
Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
[Beyoncé]
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!

Can call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

(D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-darkchild!)
My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

We're sorry (We're sorry) the number you have reached is not in service at this time.
Please check the number, or try your call again.

Solo version

Hello, hello, baby;
You called, I can't hear a thing.
I have got no service,
In the club, you say, you say?
Wha-Wha-What did you say?
Oh, you're breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you,
I'm kinda busy.

K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
Sorry, I cannot hear you, I'm kinda busy.

Just a second,
It's my favorite song they're gonna play
And I cannot text you with
A drink in my hand, eh.
You shoulda made some plans with me,
You knew that I was free.
And now you won't stop calling me;
I'm kinda busy.

K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
K-kinda busy (K-kinda busy)
Sorry, I cannot hear you, I'm kinda busy.

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!
Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh

Can call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
Out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Not that I don't like you,
I'm just at a party.
And I am sick and tired
Of my phone r-r-i-iinging.

Sometimes I feel like
I live in Grand Central Station.
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls,
'Cause I'll be dancin'.
(Tonight I'm dancin')
I'll be dancin'
(Tonight I'm dancin')
I'll be dancin'
(Tonight I'm dancin')
Tonight I'm not takin' no calls, 'cause I'll be dancin'!

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!
Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
Stop telephonin'
Me-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
I'm busy!

Can call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Call all you want,
But there's no one home,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

My telephone!
M-m-my telephone!
'Cause I'm out in the club,
And I'm sippin' that bubb,
And you're not gonna reach my telephone!

Alexander McQueen tribute version

Performed during the BRIT Awards of 2010.

Hello, hello baby;
You called, I can't hear a thing
I've got no service,
In the club, you say, you say?
Wha-What (Oh) did you say?
Oh, you're breaking up on me.
Sorry, I cannot hear you,
We miss you so badly.

This is for, Alexander McQueen.

Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't want to think anymore,
I've got my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't want to talk anymore,
I've got my head and my heart on the dance floor.

It's not that I don't like you
I'm just trying to pass the time,
Going through my closets,
Finding clothes that poets rhyme.
Or maybe I'll just take the train,
To Marble Arch, and then,
I just won't get off at all,
I'll keep myself movin', keep movin'.

Stop callin', stop callin' me, babe,
I don't want to think anymore,
I've got my head and my heart on the dance floor.
Stop callin', stop callin',
I don't want to talk anymore,
I've got my head and my heart on the dance floor.

Music video

Telephone09:31

Telephone

Premiere date March 11, 2010
Director(s) Jonas Åkerlund
Fashion director Nicola Formichetti at Haus of Gaga
Choreographer Laurieann Gibson at Haus of Gaga
Director of photography Pär M Ekberg

The music video for "Telephone" was shot January 27 - 28, 2010 and premiered on Thursday, March 11. E! News aired it at 11:30 PM EST. The video was uploaded onto Vevo and YouTube at midnight, shorty after the televised premiere. The length of the video is 9:32.

Background, concept, and development

Telephone Music Video Poster 001
Telephone Music Video Poster 002

The music video was filmed on January 28, 2010, and directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Auditions for the music video were held on Monday, January 18, 2010. Reportedly, the casting call was looking for a lot of prison inmates, and Lady Gaga and Beyoncé body doubles.[1] The concept of the video involves Beyoncé bailing Lady Gaga out of prison, and is a continuation of the "Paparazzi" short film.[2] Photos from the set portrayed Gaga and Beyoncé shooting for scenes of the video in the "Pussy Wagon" from Quentin Tarantino's 2004 film Kill Bill. The video was shot outside Los Angeles, California, in Lancaster, California. Exterior shots of the prison, the exercise yard scenes, the scene at the prison gate, and possibly interior prison scenes were filmed at the closed Lincoln Heights Jail at 401 N Avenue 19, Los Angeles, California. Other concepts of the video involves scenes at a diner, a cameo from singer/model Tyrese Gibson, and a prison shower scene. Gaga and Beyoncé will wear "destroyed denim pieces" by designers Frank Fernández and Oscar Olima. Lady Gaga is seen having a telephone on her head, and Beyoncé is seen sporting a wig with bangs.[3]

In the desert where the video was shot, a photo was taken on Janurary 28, 2010, at 4:35 in the afternoon. This photo shows Lady Gaga and Beyoncé walking on sand, and Gaga is seen wearing a purple feathered dress with some form of a red bow on her head. Beyoncé is seen in a blue/turquoise outfit, both have on black stiletto high heels.
On February 5, 2010, Gaga had an interview on KIIS-FM with Ryan Seacrest. She explained that the video picks up where "Paparazzi" left off, she's in prison for killing her boyfriend, but she's actually having a good time behind bars and doesn't want to leave. She is constantly getting phone calls, but refuses to take any until she gets the call she wants.[4] She further commented on the video saying, "I feel so bad for the "Bad Romance" video ’cause the "Telephone" video’s so much better. What I like about it is it’s a real, true pop event, and when I was younger, I was always excited when there was a big giant event happening in pop music and that’s what I wanted this to be."[5] Semi Precious Weapons confirmed that they have a cameo in the music video, however, they also revealed that they die in the video.[6]

[Beyoncé's] really a great friend of mine. We have a lot of fun working together. We’re so very different in our approaches, but somehow when we come together it’s really magical. I’m very excited for everyone to see the video.

—Lady Gaga

Script

Streamline PRESENTS

A Serial Pictures FIX

TELEPHONE

STARRING Lady Gaga & Beyoncé

AND Tyrese Gibson

COUNTY JAIL, FEBRUARY 11, 2010 PRISON FOR BITCHES

Jail Guard: Ooh, in-comin'.

Prisoner #1: We are gonna make you swim out of here in your own blood, bitch.

Lady Gaga: Hello, baby.

Prisoner #2: Come over here, bitch. Let's get some pussy, yo bitch.

Prisoner #3: ??

Prisoner #4: Oh little mama, ay mami.

Police #1: I told you she didn't have a dick.

Police #2: Too bad.

Speaker: Lady Gaga, you've got a call.


Prisoner #5: You ain't got nothing.

Prisoner #6: What's up, girl?

Prisoner #7: Bitch.

Prisoner #8: Go girl, get that bitch.

Prisoner #9: Get her.

Prisoner #10: Whooo.

Speaker: Beyoncé on the line for Gaga.


Guard #1: I'ts your lucky day, some idiot bailed you out.

Guard #2: You'll be back, honey.

Beyoncé: You've been a very bad girl. A very very bad bad girl, Gaga.

Lady Gaga: Mmh, honey-B.


Lady Gaga: Are you sure you want to do this, honey-B?

Beyoncé: What do you mean if I'm sure?

Lady Gaga: You know what they say, once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger.

Beyoncé: You know Gaga, trust is like a mirror. You can fix it if it's broke.

Lady Gaga: But you can still see the crack in that motherfuckers reflection.

Radio: This is radio K-U-K, this is Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé in "Telephone".


Beyoncé: HI HONEY.

Tyrese Gibson: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, B#?/7&?

Tyrese Gibson: WHAT THE F**K IS YOUR PROBLEM?

POISON

SMACK!

Customer: ワンピース!

POISON TV

COOK'N'KILL

RECIPES

.................

• 1 oz. Rat PoiSon

• 1/2 oz. Meta-cyanide

• 1/2 oz. Fex-M3

• 1 cup Tiberium

Shake and Stir

GOOD LUCK!


Beyoncé: I knew you would take all the honey, you selfish motherfucker.

EIN...

ZWEI...

DREI!


Reporter: Here at the scene of the crime appears to be a mass homicide, police are on the search for two women said to be fleeing the scene of the crime in Pussy Wagon.


Lady Gaga: We did it honey-B. Now let's go far far far away from here.

Beyoncé: You promise we will never come back?

Lady Gaga: I promise.

Synopsis / Fashion credits

Described by MTV as "Part hyper kinetic pop-culture joyride — nods to everything from films like "Caged Heat" and "Kill Bill" to seizure-inducing Japanese television and the color-drenched photography of David LaChapelle — part electric dance extravaganza", "Telephone" is over nine minutes long.

Entering prison

The video opens at a women's prison, where Gaga is led to her cell by a pair of burly female prison guards. She is stripped of her shoulder-padded dress and locked in her cell, left nude, albeit with fishnets and nipple tape, before she throws herself against the cell bars (Gaga's crotch area is censored) as the women leave. As they leave, one comments, "I told you she didn't have a dick", referring to the intersex rumors regarding Gaga, and the other replies with "Too bad!"

Lady Gaga: Custom outfit by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Sunglasses by Mercura.

Prison cell

Lady Gaga is then seen adjusting to life in prison in her prison cell.

Lady Gaga: Custom outfit by Brian Lichtenberg.

Prison yard

Lady Gaga is then put into the prison yard. There she makes out with another inmate and steals the prisoners cellphone.

Lady Gaga: Custom made chain and jumpsuit by Viktor & Rolf, Half-Smoked Cigarette Glasses and shoes by Haus of Gaga.

Commissary

Lady Gaga witnesses a catfight in the commissary. After that, Gaga gets a phone call, when the song actually starts.

Lady Gaga: Studded Jacket by Search & Destroy, Vintage Sunglasses by Chanel, Can-Curl Hairstyle by the Haus of Gaga, Michael Mouse Ring by The Great Frog.

Bailout

Lady Gaga dances after finishing a call with Beyonce to bail her out. She sends a text message with the stolen cell phone thanking Beyonce.

Lady Gaga and Dancers: Studded outfits by Haus of Gaga.

Freedom

Lady Gaga leaves the prison and goes outside to find Beyoncé waiting for her in the "Pussy Wagon". After an exchange of dialogues, they travel through a desert and pull over at a diner.

Lady Gaga: Vintage Outfit and Hat by Thierry Mugler.
Beyoncé: Vintage Outfit and Hat by Thierry Mugler.

Rendezvous

Beyoncé sits opposite to Tyrese Gibson (who plays her boyfriend in the video), but poisons him after watching him try to hit on the other women in the diner.

Beyoncé: Yellow Hat and Outfit by Atsuko Kudo, The Minnie Mouse Glasses by Jeremy Scott.

"Let's Make A Sandwich"

Lady Gaga stands in a kitchen while dancers cavort behind her, wielding salad tongs and assorted cutlery. Ultimately, she prepares a sandwich and eats it, after a dance sequence.

Lady Gaga: Telephone headpiece by Fred Butler, Silicone Rubber Dress by Rachael Barrett.

Mass murder

While Gibson begins to feel the effects of his poisoned coffee, she mixes poison into much of the food in the kitchen. Gibson finally dies after eating much of his poisoned food, and, after Gaga counts to three in German, everyone in the diner (including Semi-Precious Weapons and Gaga's signature dog) begins to die from the poisoned kitchen food.

Lady Gaga: Hat and Dress by Rachael Barrett, Corded Telephone Hairstyle by Danilo Dixon.
Beyoncé: Yellow Hat and Outfit by Atsuko Kudo, The Minnie Mouse Glasses by Jeremy Scott.

Liberation

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé do another dance sequence, wearing American flag dresses and shredded denims, while strutting around the dead bodies.

Lady Gaga: Outfit by Haus of Gaga, Boots by Christian Louboutin.
Beyoncé: Outfit by Oscar Olima.
Dancers: Custom made denim outfits by Franc Fernandez & Oscar Olima, Leather outfits by NOKI, Bess and Haus of Gaga.

Preparation

Beyoncé is seen singing into a telephone.

Beyoncé: Jacket and shoes by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Denim shorts by Franc Fernandez & Oscar Olima.

Escape

Lady Gaga is seen dancing in front of the pussy wagon.

Lady Gaga: Leopard outfit by Haus of Gaga.

Thelma & Louise

The last shots show Gaga and Beyoncé fleeing towards the horizon in the "Pussy Wagon" as police sirens wail in the background. The video ends with the line "To Be Continued…" as a helicopter is seen hovering over the truck.

Lady Gaga: Cowboy hat outfit by Emilie Pirlot.
Beyoncé: Cowboy hat outfit by Emilie Pirlot.

Behind the scenes

The original video was intended to be 12 minutes long featuring a prison shower scene, however, this scene was ultimately left out of the video.
Lady Gaga - Telephone (Behind the Scenes) ft03:46

Lady Gaga - Telephone (Behind the Scenes) ft. Beyoncé

full

Release

Official explicit version

On February 15, 2010, three film stills from the music video were posted on Gaga's website. The stills depict Gaga in three separate scenes: a kitchen scene where she wears a plastic chef's hat and a telephone made entirely of hair on her head and a wire across her head, a scene in a diner with her dancers where she is seen wearing a bikini and bandanna made from an American flag, and a black and white photo of Gaga wearing a hat made from multiple triangles and corded telephones. Originally, the video was slated to premiere in February 2010 but was pushed back to March 2010 instead. Exactly one month after filming ended, Gaga announced on Twitter that the video "is coming", she explained that the video is not yet released because it is still being edited and that she wants it to be perfect. On March 9, 2010, more stills of the video were posted online. Gaga is depicted in three new scenes: in a prison cell looking in a mirror with caution tape wrapped around herself, wrapped in chains and wearing a mask of burned cigarettes near a prison fence, and wearing a studded leather jacket with aluminum cans in her hair while answering a telephone. Beyoncé is also pictured in a blue jacket with a wide variety of rhinestones on it while she holds a telephone.

Clean Version

A "clean version" of the video was released on Monday, March 15, 2010. This version follows the same story line as the explicit version. There are a few differences between the two versions.

  • The "Prison for Bitches" is presented as "Prison for B#?/7&ES".
  • All mentions of the word "bitch" are completely muted.
  • During the scene where Lady Gaga gets thrown into her prison cell, instead of climbing on the bars, she remains laying on her bed.
  • The word "dick" is bleeped out.
  • When Lady Gaga says the line "but you can still see the crack in that mother fucker's reflection", "fucker's" is bleeped out.
  • The line "…in a Pussy Wagon", said by the reporter, is taken out.
  • The ingredients for the poison are censored (this is shown in a few TV network versions. The original clean edit doesn't censor the ingredients).

3-D Version

A 3-D version of the music video was made and much like the 3-D version of "Bad Romance", it is seen largely in black and white, with the exceptions to Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's lipstick and outfits. The video itself is completely the same as the explicit version, with the exceptions that the subtext looks closer, the tele-news cast is more angled - fashioned to look like a vintage television set. To view this version, the 3-D glasses are provided in The Super Deluxe Fame Monster Pack.

Controversy

Sandy Rios, the President of Culture Campaign, a Fox News Channel contributor, and a talk show host, spoke on Fox News during an interview with Megyn Kelly. She mentioned how she believes the video is "disgusting [and]… poison for the minds of our kids." Alongside with Rios, many critics have taken note to the amount of skin shown in the video, the lesbian relationship, as well as the mass homicide. The video was flagged on YouTube, only allowing people 18 years old or above to view, this translates into issues with the video being aired during daytime television.

"There are transsexual women and transgender women and suddenly it becomes poisonous and something else because there are some people in this world that believe being gay is a choice. It's not a choice, we're born this way. That's why for me this video is groundbreaking because it has one foot in the art community and one foot in the commercial world.
I told Beyoncé this after it aired, you'll see this video is not just great now but six months from now what this video will mean. Hearing people say the video is sadomasochistic or that the video promotes murder for young people, it's my personal belief that the video is getting so much attention, not because of those themes because I've done those themes before, haven't I?


There are no rules or limits when it comes to love. But I see love as separate from sex."

—Lady Gaga

Cast

  • Lady Gaga — Herself
  • Beyoncé Knowles — Herself
  • Tyrese Gibson — Beyoncé's Boyfriend
  • Newscaster — Jai Rodriguez
  • Gang Boss — Dominic Mistretta
  • Dancers — Asiel Hardison, Michael Silas, Ian McKenzie, Mark Kanemura, Jeremy Hudson, Richard Jackson, Amanda Balen, Montana Efaw, Sloan Taylor-Rabinor, Molly d’Amour-Goslin
  • Newscaster — Kirk Hopkins
  • Lady Gaga Stand-In — Christine Quinn
  • Beyoncé Stand-In — Michelle Byrd
  • Prison Inmates — Natali Germanotta, Charlene Deguznan, Sabrena No'mani, Patricia/DolleBarron, Marci Beck, Ronnie Valentine, Mandela Bellamy, Trena "Spectrum" Sanchez, Mercedes Cruz, Gaby Acosta, Cristina Lopez, Tiffany lack, Heather Cassils, Jessica Drake, Alektra Blue
  • Nude (Prison) — April Arroyo, Danielle Towne, Hiromi Oshima, Irina Voronina, Kimberly Phillips, Samantha Sanders
  • Prison — Joleba Jackson
  • Stunt girl (Prison fight) — Mindy Kelly
  • Guard — Dallas Malloy, Jayne Trcka
  • Fight Guy (Diner) — Robert Rezz
  • Diner extra — Carla Cluberson, Craig Seitz, Elatrice Wilkerson, Elaine Ballce, Greg Shore, Ishanique Lomax, Jillian Lester, Jimmy May, Joanna Ingco, Justin Tranter, Keith Biondi, Kenny Knoll, Kimberly Jindra, Malcolm Garland, Mary Hallman, Sharon King, Shavelle Wasson, Sin Gin Wong, Tracy Sayed, Yeva Lavlinski
  • Diner hostess — Luenell
  • Beyoncé Double (Diner) — Sasha Kemp
  • Lady Gaga Double (Diner) — Alexandra Mason

Easter Eggs and Connections

  • The poisons used are Fex-M3, Meta-Cyanide, and Tiberium. These three come from the Star Wars (Extended Universe), Dune, and Command and Conquer, respectively.
  • The Pussy Wagon's appearance is from The Quentin Tarantino movie, Kill Bill.
  • The diner used can be seen in the Television show, NCIS.
  • Natali Germanotta (Lady Gaga's sister) makes a cameo as a prisoner in the video. She is used as an extra with more face time than the others, yet, she's not listed in the credits.
  • Two of the prisoners in the beginning are porn stars, Alektra Blue and Jessica Drake.
  • The woman who gets slapped in the diner says "One Piece" in Japanese, possibly referring to the popular manga and anime.
  • The name of the prison is given: County Jail — Prison for Bitches.
  • During the news report of the mass homicide, scrolling at the bottom of the screen are the lyrics of "Telephone", in Swedish.
  • One of the security guards from the very beginning is Ms. Mann, from Scary Movie.
  • Lady Gaga takes photos of Beyoncé with a Polaroid camera, being that she is the creative design for the company.
  • "Paper Gangsta" and "I Like It Rough" are both used in the intro of the music video; the former is playing on a boombox while the latter is playing from headphones of one of the inmates.
  • Lady Gaga and one of the prisoners (the aforementioned who was listening to "I Like it Rough") are both seen with Monster Heartbeat headphones.
  • The glasses that Gaga wears while in the exercise yard are actually half burnt cigarettes.
  • The prisoner that kisses Gaga has a tattoo of the demon Beelzebub on her shoulder.
  • The laptop that's used by the jail warden is a "HP Envy Beats". She is seen signing in on "PlentyofFish.com".
  • The poison "head shake" Lady Gaga does after the "Let's Make a Sandwich" scene, is the same one from "Paparazzi". The mugshot they used during the news report is also from Paparazzi.
  • On Beyoncé's blue outfit, there are multiple human faces imprinted on it.
  • Beyoncé also wears Mickey Mouse ears while driving the "Pussy Wagon" to the diner, possibly foreshadowing her intention of killing her boyfriend, as Gaga wore a yellow Mickey Mouse outfit when she killed her boyfriend in "Paparazzi."
  • Continuing the "Paparazzi" video references, Beyoncé wears all yellow when she goes to the diner, as well as Lady Gaga's Minnie Mouse sunglasses from the murder scene of "Paparazzi."
  • When Tyrese confront the other diners at the bar at 6:01, the hanging television shows Jai Rodriguez (the reporter who later talks about the mass homicide there) reporting on Lady Gaga being bailed out of prison, again showing her booking photographs from "Paparazzi".
  • The phone that Beyoncé has in the room changes between green, red, and white. The green phone is a button push phone, the red is a circle rotate phone, and the body of the white phone isn't shown.
  • On the caution tape, the phrases "Do Not Cross" and "Crime Scene" are printed, as well as the cross symbol (†) from The Fame Monster.
  • During the "Let's Make a Sandwich" scene, Lady Gaga can be seen with her "monster claws" and "teeth biting", resembling from the idea of monsters. The claw is also used when Lady Gaga first picks up the phone in the prison.
  • On the jaguar taxi outfit, the left sleeve is missing, exposing her tattoos.
  • The jaguar outfit is a nod to Canadian music artist, Shania Twain, who wore a similar outfit in her music video for "That Don't Impress Me Much".
  • Gaga's Chanel sunglasses also work as a comb.
  • When the camera shows the exercise yard, it then pans to a slightly larger woman standing there, while the others body build.
  • The tele-news cast says 11:21CT, night time. It took the police from lunch until 11:21PM to realize the murders had taken place.
  • There are two weather reports, one for Los Angeles "LA H 89 L 75", and one for New York "NY H 91 L 80".
  • "The Telephone Effect" is seen on the news cast as well. The effect states how, in this case, news reporters, get their information second hand.
  • The woman who is seen listening to "I Like it Rough" is wearing her Heartbeats in the wrong ears.
  • The "Haus of GaGa" is spelled "House of Gaga".

Real Products — The U.S. Prison Industry, Surveillance Technology, Tobacco Industry (Cigarette Glasses), Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, HP Envy Beats, PlentyOfFish.com, Honey Buns, U.S. Chicken Industry, Polaroid, Semi Precious Weapons, Miracle Whip, Wonder Bread, Coors Light, Chanel.
Fake Products — Poison TV, Double-Breasted Drive-Thru, CookNKill Recipes.

Michael Jackson tributes
  • The shoulder pads on Beyoncé's pseudo-military jacket.
  • The Michael Jackson-esque dance move Lady Gaga does when she leaves the prison.

Mistakes

  • Beyoncé's hat and sunglasses disappear during the diner scenes. They disappear and reappear in alternating scenes.
  • When the boyfriend, Tyrese Gibson dies, he falls straight on top of his plate of food. After Beyoncé has said her line, "I knew you'd take all my honey, you selfish motherfucker" his head is further over, on the table, with no food on his face although he had just fallen into it.
  • From 5:15 - 5:19, Beyoncé is reading the script for her next line.
  • The number of baguettes in the kitchen scene changes.
  • Lady Gaga, Natali Germanotta, and the girl seen listening to Heartbeat Headphones are absent from the jail room on the security tape.
  • Lady Gaga and Natali Germanotta are missing during the fight scene in the beginning of the video.
  • The Minnie Mouse sunglasses were left with Lady Gaga's boyfriend's body at the end of the music video for "Paparazzi", and yet, Beyoncé is seen wearing them.
  • Beyoncé's fake nails change multiple times throughout the diner scenes, including the dance scene.
  • In the first shot of the jail scene before the brawl, Gaga is not wearing her Chanel glasses. A second later in the next shot, her and Natali's closeup shows her wearing them.

Credits

Song

Personnel

  • All music — Rodney Jerkins
  • Recorded — Paul Foley at Darkchild Studios(Los Angeles, California, Us)
  • Mixed — Mark "Spike" Stent & Rodney Jerkins at Chalice Studios (Los Angeles, California, Us)
  • Assistant — Matthew Green
  • Special effects — Michael "Handz" Donaldson after mastered by MyStudio.
  • Lady Gaga's vocals recorded — Michael Donaldson at 2nd Floor Studios (Los Angeles, California. Us)
  • Lady Gaga's additional vocal production — Michael Donaldson at 2nd Floor Studios (Los Angeles, California, Us)
  • Beyoncé's vocals recorded — Hisashi Mizoguchi
  • Beyoncé's vocals recorded assistant — Takayuki Matsushima at Studio Groove (Osaka, Jp)

Publishing

  • [BMI] Sony/ATV Songs LLC / House Of Gaga Publishing Inc/ GloJoe Music Inc.
  • [BMI] Sony/ATV Songs LLC / Rodney Jerkins/ EMI Blackwood Music Publishing
  • [BMI] EMI Blackwood/ RJ Productions LLC
  • [ASCAP] B-Day Publishing/ EMI April Music, Inc
  • Beyoncé appears courtesy of Music World Music/Columbia Records.

Music video

Production

  • Production supervisor — Shelley Urick
  • Communication coordination — Susan Porche
  • Assistant director (AD) — Andrew J. Coffing
  • 2nd AD — Mark Robinson
  • 2nd 2nd AD — Vance Zanin
  • 2nd Unit director of photography — Erik Sohlström
  • 1st assistant camera (1st Unit) — Jay Levy
  • 1st assistant camera (2nd Unit) — Paul Bode
  • 1st assistant camera — Bob Brow
  • 2nd assistant camera — Lisa Guerriro
  • Film loader — Winona Wacker
  • Gaffer (chief lighting technician) — George Maxwell
  • Best boy electric (assistant chief lighting technician) — Taylor Sparks
  • Electric — Phil Eastvold
  • Electric driver — Tomas Magana, Rueben Figueroa
  • Key grip — Josh Linkey
  • Best boy grip — Dave L.
  • Grip driver — Joe Kaid, Dylan Swicker, Collen Stoye,
  • Skipper — Devon Holmes, Adam Sheede
  • Production designer — Jason Hamilton
  • Art coordinator — Brian Croke
  • Decorator — Hafida Torres
  • Leadman — Chris Jordan
  • Prop Master — Urion Cox
  • eFX Lead — The Chimney Pot
  • Set dresser — Joe May
  • 2nd props — Bob Titualaer, Jose "Billy" Garibay
  • Wardrobe assistant — Emily Eisen
  • Make-up artist (Lady Gaga) — Billy B
  • Make-up assistant — Billy B, Tara Savelo
  • Hair (Lady Gaga) — Danilo
  • Hair assistant— (Danilo) Charley Christen
  • Manicurist (Lady Gaga) — Kimmie K
  • Stylist (Beyoncé) — Ty Hunter for Tina Knowles Productions
  • Hair (Beyoncé) — Kim Kimble & Nicola Formichetti
  • Make-up (Beyoncé) — Francesca Tolot
  • Manicurist (Beyoncé) — Lisa Logan
  • Makeup (dancers, actors/extra) — Katrine Lieberkind
  • Choreographer— Laurie-Ann Gibson
  • Assistant choreographer— Richard Jackson
  • Assistant — Kelly Marie Dunn
  • Assistant to Laurie-Ann Gibson— Lacee Franks
  • Special thanks — Frank Gatson
  • Sound — Gabriel Kitinski
  • Boom operator — Peter Kitinski
  • VTR — Iganacio Martinez
  • Label coordinator — Alexa Dedlow
  • Management day-to-day — Wendi Morris, Michelle An
  • Prod. assistant — Jim Lager, Wendy Hellie, Marvin Hudgens, Lesley Dashiell, Jason Rios, Tony Love, Amanjah Anthony, Genghis Jorgensen, Ceasar Alvarez, Omar Saenz, Sylvio Scillone, Carlos Patzi, Pedro Rojas
  • Locations — Bruce Boehner
  • Prod. Moho DRV — Boris Tomov
  • Honeywagon — Miguel Navarrette
  • Talent Moho DRV — Mike Rossi
  • Mavrick Cam. Car — Alan Padelford, Rem Wyatt
  • Animal wrangler — Gloria Winship Ayon
  • Humane society — Chad
  • Craft services — Paloma Aguirre
  • Chef driver — Jose G.
  • BTS/B-Roll — John Logsdon
  • On-set photographer — Lauren Dukoff
  • Telecine — Dave Hussey
  • Visual effect artist — Peter Törnestam
  • Graphic design— Anna Lindqvist (The Chimney Pot)

References

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