LMFAO’s winning formula: music, comedy and more
By THOMAS CONNER firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2012 4:42PM
WITH: Far East Movement, the Quest Crew and Sidney Samson
♦ 7 p.m. May 26
♦ Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd. in Rosemont
♦ Tickets, $25-$99.50
♦ (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com
Updated: May 24, 2012 9:07PM
Pop music and comedy have been friends with benefits since Stan Freberg lampooned culture via song in the 1950s. Their occasionally legitimate offspring has included a motley crew of court jesters from Sheb Wooley (“Purple People Eater”) to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parodies to the wink-wink schlock of Tenacious D.
LMFAO — named for a colloquial online acronym implying a high-degree of hilarity (more on that below) — is the latest pop duo throwing their dignity at your funny bone. Wild glasses, crazy costumes, skits and songs about partying, partying and more partying — if it means guiding you into their low-rent escapism, these two have little shame.
“It could be an inflatable palm tree,” LMFAO’s Redfoo said in a recent conference with reporters. “It could be a shuffling zebra that will just kind of make you feel like you’re in a dream. I think that’s the main thing with the costumes and the colors. Some things are random. Sometimes you might just get a grown-up guy in a hot dog suit. Why? There is no reason why. That is exactly why. … It’s like Halloween in the daytime.”
What these goons lack in real wit, they make up for in pedigree. LMFAO is Stefan “Redfoo” Gordy and Skyler “SkyBlu” Gordy, the son and grandson (respectively) of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
But instead of going the straight R&B route, these Gordys went for cartoonish excess — and scored big. After working the clubs for years, their freewheeling mix of dance music, rock and hip-hop propelled the singles “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It” to No. 1.
Now the duo is taking its self-described “traveling circus” on the road for a 25-city arena tour, the Sorry for Party Rocking Tour. Concertgoers should expect to get down.
“The one rule is, there are no rules,” says Redfoo.
“You can use this as your excuse to let loose — no matter what job you got, no matter what people are telling you,” adds SkyBlu.
The tour features acts of a similar mindset, including Far East Movement, the Quest Crew and Sidney Samson; they all come together for a final encore of the LMFAO single “Shots” — but they’re open to other stars joining them on stage.
“If Obama wants to come out and wiggle, have our people talk to his people,” said Redfoo. “Let’s get it started!”
Redfood and SkyBlu denied earlier reports that the two were feuding and on the verge of splitting up. SkyBlu assured fans, “The party kings are tighter than ever.”
“[Such speculation] comes with the territory of being successful, being famous, being No. 1,” Redfoo added. “Sky might be doing a DJ set in South America and I might be in Vegas, and they’ll say, ‘Oh, they’re separate doing things.’ We’ve always done separate things. … We have to be smart enough to recognize it’s all a game, keep executing our vision and turn this world into a party planet.”
From their patriarch, Berry Gordy, the younger Gordys insist their success has been based in large part on advice gleaned from the legendary music businessman. When asked about them, they cite the lessons that made the most impact.
“‘Direction is more important than speed,’” Redfoo said, quoting the elder Gordy. “That’s a great overall business lesson. You can go fast in the wrong direction, and it’s not so good.”
“One of my favorites was, ‘Logic is boss,’ ” SkyBlu added. “If something don’t make sense — no matter who’s throwing down the orders, it don’t make a difference — you shouldn’t do it.”
“A third one — he had a concept: ‘Create, make, and sell,’” Redfood said. “It’s really important to know which part you’re in. … Another one: ‘Organize before you advertise.’ ”
The LMFAO business savvy has lead to the inevitable Party Rock clothing line, and now the duo is talking about a movie. Redfoo, however, worries that an LMFAO movie “might be too much for the world. You might have to do some sit-ups, you’ll be laughing … you might have to stretch your stomach muscles.”
A third album is in the works but on hold while the duo sprays champagne across North America.
As to that namesake acronym: While most have assumed its meaning to be in line with its chat-room origins — Laughing My F---ing Ass Off — the Gordys themselves have never said outright. Until they had to trademark it.
A Reuters story last month found that the duo’s first application to copyright the name was rejected by the government for containing “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.” When they reapplied for the trademark, they made it family-friendly. Officially, according to U.S. records, they are Laughing My Freaking Ass Off.