Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives [NOOK Book]

Overview

Lady Gaga's old friend and former DJ Brendan Jay Sullivan paints a vivid picture of the downtown scene from which she emerged.

Brendan Jay Sullivan was an up-and-coming DJ in New York City when he met Stefani Germanotta, then a struggling artist, in 2006. She was a go-go dancer who sewed her own outfits but had bigger ambitions—she wanted nothing less than to take over the music world.

In this intimate portrait of the budding star who would ...

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Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives

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Overview

Lady Gaga's old friend and former DJ Brendan Jay Sullivan paints a vivid picture of the downtown scene from which she emerged.

Brendan Jay Sullivan was an up-and-coming DJ in New York City when he met Stefani Germanotta, then a struggling artist, in 2006. She was a go-go dancer who sewed her own outfits but had bigger ambitions—she wanted nothing less than to take over the music world.

In this intimate portrait of the budding star who would soon catapult to fame and fortune, the author describes afternoons sitting with Gaga on the floor of her bare Lower East Side apartment, drinking wine from pint glasses and plotting out the pop stardom that awaited her.

Filled with stories of love and heartbreak among Gaga and Sullivan and their circle of aspiring musicians and performers, and set against the vibrant backdrop of the downtown bars and parties of the mid-aughts, Rivington Was Ours is both a love letter to New York and a glimpse behind the veil of one of the biggest musical icons of her generation.

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Editorial Reviews

"Captain" Kirk Douglas
” Equal parts insightful, funny, romantic and poetic, this is a book that’s not just about Gaga but about the magic of the city. Brendan’s writing makes you feel like a fly on the wall while history is being made all around you.”
New York Post
A touching memoir.
Andy Rourke
“A fascinating and vivid insight into the cauldron that formed a great musician. It’s a slice of New York history, go and buy it!”
Gary Shteyngart
“Brendan Jay Sullivan is a writer’s writer. Yes, he’s that good.”
Joe Garden
“Through charm and wit and sheer force of will, Brendan Jay Sullivan has insinuated himself into New York night life, and through his talent with words, he has brought you along as his plus one.”
Zack O'Malley Greenburg
“Sullivan delivers a delectable romp through Stefani Germanotta’s early days - and offers a unique window into the process by which she became Lady Gaga.”
Steve Knopper
“Richly detailed, funny and poignant. Who knew Lady Gaga’s lower-Manhattan dance-club scene of the late 2000s needed a ‘Bright Lights, Big City’?”
Leila Sales
“Brendan Jay Sullivan is the voice of our generation.”
Lauren Oliver
“Brendan Jay Sullivan is the Lena Dunham of the Lower East Side - if Lena Dunham were a male aficionado of rock and roll music.”
Justin Taylor
“Brendan Jay Sullivan is one of the most engaging, authentic, and all-around interesting people I know. What his story lacks in pretentious B.S. it makes up for in affability, comedy, and charm. ”
Time Out New York
“The nicest guy in nightlife.”
Kirkus Reviews
Lady Gaga's former DJ reveals the highs and lows of his musical career in the mid-2000s, also unveiling an intimate portrait of the pop singer's rise to fame. From Piano's to Welcome to the Johnsons to Motor City, New Yorkers will instantly recognize the Lower East Side bar scene in Sullivan's gossipy tell-all. However, it seems as if the author couldn't decide on whether this is a memoir about his bartending, dating and DJing experiences, or a name-dropping unauthorized biography of Stefani Germanotta as she evolved from backup go-go dancer to her stage persona, Lady Gaga. Sullivan's relationship with his friend-turned-boss wavers between respect and adoration ("Above all else she knew that she would tread a thin line between artistic greatness and cheesy pop. It all depended on the people around her"). While he does manage to create a visceral setting of the New York scene where Misshapes and Don Hill parties were all the rage, his use of character nicknames ("The Devil" as a drug dealer; "Angel" for a new girlfriend) seems both unnecessary and confusing. Sullivan's constant switching between past and present tense may seem like he is trying to convey a conversational tone within an inner monologue, but it reads as sloppy, distracting writing. The last two sections of the book (based in Miami and Los Angeles) are the most interesting: Sullivan goes behind the scenes at Gaga's Winter Music Conference appearance and the making of her "Just Dance" video. The author claims that he was well-aware that Gaga would ultimately replace him, but readers can't help but wonder if, beneath the idolatry, there isn't a little bit of resentment on his end. This love letter to the Lower East Side will make a great stocking stuffer for hard-core Lady Gaga fans and tourists who idolize the Big Apple. Note: not for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062125590
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 549,141
  • File size: 641 KB

Meet the Author

Brendan Jay Sullivan, aka DJ VH1, is a writer, producer, and DJ best known for his work with Lady Gaga. His writing appears in Esquire, Vice, and Interview in the United States and L'Optimum and L'Offciel Hommes in France. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Captivating, Entertaining

    I found myself so wrapped up in the storytelling in this book that I couldn't put it down. It made me want to drop everything and move to NYC, if only I had some musical talents.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    A young author, a young Gaga, it could have been so good

    I was really looking forward to reading this. A young writer? Good! Gaga! Even better! The story of her pre-fame days in NYC? Fantastic! But the book was awful. I read 100 pages; every page I asked myself, will it get better? I finally skimmed another hundred...still nothing. No characters, no stories I could follow. I don't care about being a bartender, or how much someone (not Gaga) loves money...I want to know how the person got to be a bartender. How did they get to *that* particular infamous bar? Day after day, when it was bad, what made them go back? So 200 pages in, all I knew was Gaga had 8 fresh pressings and a bad dye job. I gave up. If you want to read this, check the preview first if one is available.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    She so stupid!!!

    And a complete slut!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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