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The Broken Heart and Violent Fantasies of Lady Gaga

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So you were saying earlier that you had gone to Deepak Chopra with your dream. What happened?
Oh, right. I was freaking out. I was hysterically crying before the show, like, "The devil's trying to take me, Deepak. I'm a good girl!" I don't know if I really believe in stuff like that. I think I was just worried about my dad. And Deepak goes, "You are so very creative, my Gaga. You should make this into a video." And I guess in his own way, he spoke to me about learning to respect and honor my insanity. It's part of who I am.

Do you have any recurring dreams?
[Hesitates] I have this recurring dream sometimes where there's a phantom in my home. And he takes me into a room, and there's a blond girl with ropes tied to all four of her limbs. And she's got my shoes on from the Grammys. Go figure — psycho. And the ropes are pulling her apart.

I never see her get pulled apart, but I just watch her whimper, and then the phantom says to me, "If you want me to stop hurting her and if you want your family to be OK, you will cut your wrist." And I think that he has his own, like, crazy wrist-cutting device. And he has this honey in, like, Tupperware, and it looks like sweet-and-sour sauce with a lot of MSG from New York. Just bizarre. And he wants me to pour the honey into the wound, and then put cream over it and a gauze.

So I looked up the dream, and I couldn't find anything about it anywhere. And my mother goes, "Isn't that an illuminati ritual?" And I was like, "Oh, my God!"

People keep reporting that you're exhausted from pushing it too hard on the road. You've been on tour for . . .
Three years. It'll be four years when we're done. And then I'm going to put out a new album. So, see ya! [Laughs cruelly] We're already designing that show.

Are you worried that you're going to hit a point where there's a backlash?
From where?

No one can predict it. But when you look at anyone who gets to a certain point in their career, all of a sudden something random happens, and everybody turns on them, and then of course at some point later, everybody loves them again.
I'm not worried about it. I believe in karma. I'm really good to the people around me. I don't know if you made any observations of our wonderful team, but I love everybody here. My assistant is one of my best friends. I'm not a diva, in any sense of the word.

But apart from that, the media likes to build people up so they can tear them down, then build them up again. Everybody goes through that.
I mean, they've tried everything. But they haven't done it. When they start saying that you have extra appendages, you have to assume that they're unable to destroy you. I've got scratch marks all over my arms, and they say I'm a heroin addict. It's from my costumes. When I pass out onstage, they say that I'm burning out, when I have my own (A) personal health issues and (B) it's fucking hot up there and I'm busting my ass every night. I've heard that Audrey Hepburn used to faint on the set all the time, and nobody thought she was a burnout.

What are your health issues right now?
I don't have lupus. I'm a borderline lupetic person, which means I have it in my system, and they don't know a lot about it. I don't want my fans to worry, so I didn't talk about it. But it's just more making sure that I reduce stress in my life to make sure that I don't develop it.

Did doctors give you a regimen of some sort to follow?
It's in my family, so I don't really listen to doctors very much when it comes to it, because it's so personal. I talk to people that I know that have it, or my father, whose sister died from it. There's nothing to worry about, but I do get very tired sometimes, and I naturally wonder . . .

Of course, you get to be a hypochondriac.
I don't want to be one, so most of the time I'm like, "Fuck it, I'm fine." At a certain point, you're so beyond the point of exhaustion that you don't know: Do I have a health problem that may or may not be real, or am I just really tired?

So what changes did you make in your life once you found out?
I make much more of an effort now to minimize the drama or the stress in my life. I take care of myself. I drink, and still live my life, but I could never let my fans down. That would kill me to have to face that extra obstacle every day to get onstage. It's completely terrifying, so I'm just really focused on mind, body and soul. And also Joanne — I believe that her spirit is inside of me so, you know, my closest friends have told me that it was just her way of peeking in to say hello.

That's an interesting way to think about it.
And I've got her death date on my arm. [Shows passage in German from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet"]

Next to the Rilke quote?
Yeah. She was a poet and a writer, and I guess I truly believe that she had unfinished work to do and she works through me. She was like, a total saint. So maybe she's living vicariously through a sinner [laughs].

There are all these videos of you on YouTube playing alternative and classic rock. Do you ever want to go back to that and do a Billy Joel kind of thing?
I totally wrote one for this new album. It's so good. And it's very personal. The song is about my sadness in the most real and honest kind of way, and the song is about how whenever I become so unbearably lonely, my father has always been my friend. He would take my calls, and he'd listen to me crying and poetically talk about my sorrow, and he would say, "You know, Loop, you're gonna be OK if your songs are on the radio."

[The tour bus stops at a hotel in Birmingham, where Lady Gaga's assistant boards the bus.]

I'll let you get to Manchester. Thanks for the time.
Use the stuff that's going to make me a legend. I want to be a legend. Is that wrong?

This is a story from the July 8th, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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