“This is just the beginning,” Gaga told Sullivan that night, after playing him several more tracks. “I don’t even just want to be a singer forever. I’m going to be a producer. I’m going to bring in young bands and help them develop. I am going to be the grandmother of pop.”
Gaga continued trying to cement her image, but not every move seemed as brilliant as her songs.
She explained that her management wanted a new look for her and told her that she needed to be “blond with olive skin.”
“Rivington Street was aghast at the change,” Sullivan writes. “Already, people talked about her ‘selling out,’ which is also known as ‘doing her job’ or ‘having a job.’ Alien concepts around here.”
While Gaga realized that her hair would have to be redone, her “thick, lustrous, Italian hair” having been replaced by “the kind of dead, gassed-out, NutraSweet-and-iced-tea blond you see in truck stops,” she did note one advantage to her new look. Her boyfriend loved it, since, she said as she rolled her eyes, “He likes f--king a blonde.”
Gaga soon landed a deal with Interscope and had the hack-job hairdo replaced with a look of sleek platinum, with Sullivan writing that “bleaching the surface of her hair made Gaga walk like a star.”
She eventually moved to LA, where her marketing team “worried constantly” about how they would sell her.
“She wasn’t uptown enough for hip-hop; she wasn’t LA enough for R&B,” Sullivan writes. “She wasn’t mainstream enough for pop or pop enough for mainstream.”
And he’s there when Gaga and Carl finally break up (though they would later get back together before finally separating for good). Angry at the way Carl ignores her, Gaga tells him “One day you’re not going to be able to get a coffee in a f--king deli without seeing or hearing about me.”