It's hard to believe that Lady Gaga has only been in our lives for five years. But, with her third album, ARTPOP , out, we thought the time was right to dig deep into the crates to look at our first glimpse of the former New York club girl who went from playing dingy basement bars six years ago to world domination, seemingly overnight.
While the Gaga we know today is a global fashion and music icon whose genre-breaking music, art world collaborations and insane sartorial taste make news on an almost daily basis, back then she was a hungry pop singer with funny glasses who just wanted to dish with correspondent Kim Stolz about her wild youth.
After bonding over their attendance at all-girls private schools in New York (Kim went to Brearley, Gaga to Sacred Heart), Stolz wondered what clubs Gaga hung out at as a teen. "I was bad in high school," Gaga said. "I used to do coffeehouses and sneak out and go down to the Village in high school."
Wearing a big-shouldered black top, tights, black knee-high boots and flip-up glasses, Gaga had the beginnings of the pop alien look that we would come to recognize as her signature style. Standing behind her on the midtown rooftop were two dancers who did their best to look bored and tough in similar outfits, except they were wearing pants, unlike the frequently bottomless Gaga.
"I just was always doing music stuff," the singer said about scurrying off to jazz clubs and other spots to ply her trade in the early 2000s. "We also went to nightclubs and I sort of got over that scene really quickly when I was that age. But when I dropped out of college after a year at NYU it was to experience a different part of New York and to create a new life for myself."
Uninspired, Gaga said she decided to go it alone with her trusty piano (which has stuck by her side as evidenced by the ARTPOP ballad "Dope" ), working three restaurant jobs, and go-go dancing while bombing at every club she played in. "I worked my way up ... and here I am."