itsalanisbitch (itsalanisbitch) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

"Lady Gaga" Tell-All Book Released

"In 2006, I stayed out late, waiting to pick up my girlfriend from work," said Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of "Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives." "I went around the corner to a bar and met a girl who introduced herself as Gaga. She was a singer. She recognized me as the DJ from this birthday party she'd gone to. I thought she was going to give me a demo, but she didn't have any songs. I remember thinking that her career was not going to take off without any songs!"

Mr. Sullivan, who went on to become Lady Gaga's DJ, was standing in front of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo on Tuesday night, a few minutes before a panel discussion that doubled as his book launch party. He wore a dapper three-piece suit and greeted friends outside. Comedian Dave Hill, one of the five panelists, stumbled up to Mr. Sullivan, said he had taken a red-eye back to New York and "[hadn't] slept in weeks," and staggered into the bookstore.

A few minutes later, Alan Light, the panel's moderator and former editor in chief of Spin and Vibe, said he would focus the discussion on downtown Manhattan. "I'm going to ask, 'How has downtown New York changed from 'your' downtown to what we have today? And, to the best of your ability, don't talk about real-estate prices.'"

Mr. Light went on to discuss real-estate prices for a moment, noting a problem with Brooklyn. "Brooklyn turns so fast—an area is discovered and instantly becomes expensive. That doesn't really build an ongoing creative culture, just what's hot for a minute."

The panelists, all of whom had books for sale, squeezed behind a small table on stage in the back of the bookstore. Each got a chance to wax nostalgic about their lives downtown. Mr. Hill exuberantly told the story of when a man threw a water bottle full of urine on him in the street. "Whenever that happens, I feel like this town is coming back!"

Author Will Hermes talked about flying to New York for a job interview at Spin, going to a Marilyn Manson concert with the magazine's staff and watching the editor in chief (a predecessor of Mr. Light's) emerge from backstage. "He had clearly been roughed up. He was choking and coughing. His face was red," said Mr. Hermes, who was still eager to take the magazine job. The editor's transgression? Changing the magazine's cover photo from Manson-only to Manson along with other artists.

Lady Gaga herself wasn't mentioned during the discussion, undoubtedly disappointing some audience members. The crowd was divided between Lady Gaga fans and people old enough to remember a time when downtown Manhattan was genuinely edgy.

"Everything you love about New York will change," Mr. Sullivan said, "and you will have to learn to love that too," drawing murmurs of agreement from the crowd.

Tags: books / authors, lady gaga, nobody

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