In 2011, Gaga, 33, who is the godmother of John’s sons, drew criticism for similarities between her song “Born This Way” and Madonna’s hit “Express Yourself,” including from Madonna herself. The icon called the song “reductive” in an interview with ABC.
In John’s book, the 72-year-old admits that the songs “definitely sound similar,” but that he “couldn’t see why [Madonna] was so ungracious and nasty about it — particularly when she claims to be a champion for women.”
“I think it’s just wrong,” he added (via Yahoo! Entertainment). “An established artist shouldn’t kick down a younger artist right at the start of their career.”
John has offered heavy criticism of Madonna, 61, for a decade now, beginning in 2004, with John claiming she lip-synced in performances and that he believes “everyone who lip-syncs on stage in public … should be shot.” He would later say she looks like a “fairground stripper” on an Australian newscast, according to Yahoo.
Of the television incident, John writes in his book: “I was furious and I said some pretty horrible things about her to a TV interviewer in Australia, a guy I’d known since the ’70s called Molly Meldrum.
“You can tell from the footage that it wasn’t part of the interview, that I was just sounding off to an old friend between takes. … They broadcast it anyway, which brought that particular old friendship to a very swift conclusion. Still, I shouldn’t have said it. I apologized,” he said.
“Me” contains many stories that take place throughout John’s career, including interactions with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and even Elvis Presley.