Lady Gaga’s BFF reveals how she started out


Staff member
The last thing you might expect from an interview with DJ VH1, the man who joined Lady Gaga on her ride to fame, is an account of a story from C. S. Lewis. Then again, when it comes to Gaga and her “little monsters” (as she calls her fans), perhaps it’s best not to have any expectations at all.

“Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters?” asks DJ VH1, aka Brendan Sullivan, over the phone from Long Island. “The premise is there are two devils talking to each other, the older one telling the younger one how to get people to worship Satan. And it’s not by telling them to do awful things, but to keep them from doing good things. One of the things he says is that all vices are rooted in the future, meaning all the evil thoughts you have are things you think about or wish for the future. And that’s different from being present of mind, which includes knowing that everyday, part of your work is planning for the future.”

This particular nugget came up when Sullivan was asked if Gaga — clearly a woman who had her strategy for fame planned out — was actually a nice person to be around. He says yes.

“That’s one of the reasons. Seeing as she was younger than me — I was 24 and she was 20 when we first met — she kind of looked up to the older kids in the scene. Gaga would be like, I grew up in the city but I was too young to go out and see that band, tell me about it. She was such a student and that’s what I loved about her.”

Sullivan was living in New York in the early 2000’s trying to start a career as a writer but making a living as a DJ; at the same time, Stefani Germanotta was trying to start a career as Lady Gaga and was making a living as a go-go dancer. Their paths crossed in the hive of hipster activity that is the Lower East Side, and by all accounts, a beautiful working friendship was born.

He’s Djing at Etoiles in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, and later this year he also achieves his writing goals, when his book Texts, Drugs and Rock and Roll comes out. Lady Gaga features heavily in it. Does she know about it?

“That’s in the category of I can’t say,” says Sullivan, who had earlier politely mentioned his book contract prevents him from answering some questions. “I’ve definitely talked to her about it.” But it appears Gaga sanctioned the book from the start. “What is more important, when we were younger, we would have these nights when we would hang out, I would bring my writing and she would play me some songs on her synth. She would be really supportive, and that’s what you need when you’re young. She would be like, bring me your writing. Someday you can write about what we did now.”

Sullivan reveals the struggles she went through to achieve her now-global fame. “I don’t think that there will ever be a time when anybody could overstate how hard she worked at that time,” he says. “She had everything against her, even though she had all the advantages that many of us would have loved at that time — she had the support of her family, a great team — but even her own record label, her own management, wanted her to only write records. They said she wasn’t;t pretty enough to be a pop star. There’s not a single element of the story I would be embarrassed to tell or that I wouldn’t want anyone to know about how it was for her at that time, about how hard it was for her to be alone. She’s not in a band of guys who think they are the greatest. It’s almost like a Cinderella story, only in this Cinderella story... your fairy godmother is your best friend. If you believe in them, you can really be that Cinderella.”