Lady Gaga may sing funky dance tunes about love and equality, but it seems her roots are firmly planted in rock and roll. In the new MTV special, “Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside,” Gaga opens up about her musical influences during the hour-long intimate chat, set to air Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
“My dad was really into rock and roll. Bruce Springsteen had such an influence on our home. My dad saw me singing along to his records, and he would pick me up and throw me around the room and laugh and cry with me while I would sing Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel records with him. My father gave me — I believe it was for Christmas — it was a Bruce Springsteen songbook for the piano, and on it was ’Thunder Road,’ which is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song. And my dad said, ’If you learn how to play this song, we will take out a loan for a grand piano, a baby grand.’ I didn’t know the difference. There was the big one and a small one.”
The lead track off Springsteen’s 1975 breakthrough album, Born to Run, is a swirling ode to the melancholy of love, a theme that Gaga often explores in her own songs like “Dance in the Dark” and “Speechless.”
“So I remember it was the hardest thing for me. I was playing these huge pieces, like 15 pages long. … I opened up the book and there was, like, chords, guitar chords. I was so confused, I didn’t understand it, so I just started to read it,” she recalls. “Eventually, I got it down.”
For her album Born This Way, which comes out on Monday, Gaga says she took her love and fandom for Springsteen to the next level, getting E Street Band member Clarence Clemons to play sax on two tracks, “Hair” and “The Edge of Glory.”
Catch an exclusive teaser trailer for “Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside” on Thursday (May 19) at 10:58 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, after a new episode of “Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew.” And then tune in for the full show next Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.