‘Rivington Was Ours’ Details the Rise of Lady Gaga on the Lower East Side
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There’s a new book coming soon that details the rise of Lady Gaga during the mid-aughts while she still eked a living on the Lower East Side. Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, Lower East Side and the Prime of Our Lives is a memoir written by friend and confidant Brendan Jay Sullivan, and details the rise of the artist in the mid-aughts while she still lived at 176 Stanton Street. Capitalize on the recent history while you still can.
The New York Post gushes about the forthcoming publication in yesterday’s paper, nabbing select stories from her earlier career. Here are some quick bytes from the writeup:
When Stardom and riches had yet to replace a run-down apartment on Stanton Street and the excitement of getting to play Pianos on Ludlow for the first time.
Sullivan first met Stefani Germanotta, she was 20, had a record deal with Island Records and was dating a heavy-metal drummer and bar manager named Luc Carl — whom Sullivan depicts as inattentive and possessive, often dictating whom she could talk to and where she could work, and regularly ignoring her in order to flirt with any young cutie who crossed his path.
Sullivan and Gaga became fast friends, and the night she learned that she would be recording an album, she excitedly shared the news with her new friend while Carl “became distracted by a small coterie of drunk girls.”
But if the labels hadn’t yet cottoned to her brilliance, the locals knew. At one bar gig, Gaga go-go-danced alongside a friend’s band — and halfway through a song, she “crawled on stage on all fours,” the crowd loving “this feral creature . . . crawling around the wires and guitar pedals” before being handed the mike and emitting a shriek “like the lonely captive of a harem.”
Another time, just sitting at a bar, Sullivan heard a girl say about Gaga — who wore “a backless unitard, tights and a series of belts instead of pants” — “normally I would think a girl dressed like that is a slut. But that girl looks awesome.”
Many of Gaga’s early songs — the same ones that would later make her a superstar — were inspired by these Lower East Side experiences, especially her tumultuous relationship with Carl.
Of course, Rivington Was Ours is scheduled for release right around the time Gaga’s latest LP, ARTPOP, is slated to drop. You can pick up a copy on August 27. ARTPOP comes out November 11.