"Like Freddie Mercury?"
"Yes! Finally someone gets it."
"All we hear is radio Ga Ga . . ." I sang a bit of the Queen song. She came in on my harmonies."
Sullivan writes, on Gaga's wide appeal, even back then: "Gaga's genius was in her ability to mirror those around her, like the disco ball glass she glued to her outfits. If you thought she was a bit dumb, it was probably because she thought you were not that bright and didn't try to say anything over your head."
Her fashion sense was fledgling, he describes, but still set her apart from the crowd. "Later that week I was at Welcome to the Johnsons, and the girl next to me looked up and said, 'Normally I would think a girl dressed like that is a slut. But that girl looks awesome'," he writes. "I glanced over at a girl on a barstool ... She had on a backless unitard, tights, and a series of belts instead of pants. It was Gaga. The girl we all used to ignore had become a central focus.
Considering that one of Lady Gaga's most famous messages to her fans is about self-esteem, the most surprising passage of the book is about plastic surgery:
Gaga: "There's more," she announced. "I'm getting a nose job." ... She said it so offhand. I think she put more thought into bleaching her hair.
Gaga: "It's holding me back. Do you think I'd be songwriting this long if I looked like the girls you date? ... It's slipping away from me."
Sullivan: "You cannot get a nose job."
Gaga: "Might get a [breast] lift."
Sullivan: "That's unacceptable. ... Stop it."
Gaga: "Why? Afraid I'll be your type?" ...
Sullivan: "Just because I'm shallow doesn't mean you can be. ... You let those Los Angeles people into your head, Gaga. Stop it. Stop them before they destroy everything good about you."
Gaga: "You don't know what I've been through over there. It's new. It's opening up my way of thinking." ...
Sullivan: I put on my best I'm-not-upset, just disappointed face.
Gaga: "No one will know. No one has heard of me. You won't even be able to tell. But I will."
Sullivan: "This is just wrong. It sends the wrong message. You're basically telling your fans that it's okay to hate themselves. You're saying that they should all be like you and buy their way into loving themselves."
Gaga: "Just drop it."