I knew Stefani Germanotta before she was famous.
It's not like we grew up together or anything. Stefani - who you might know these days as Lady Gaga - was a cool and eccentric New York kid, prone to singing to strangers in restaurants when she was out with her parents, and loving being the centre of attention.
Whereas I grew up in laid-back New Zealand preferring to live life on the down low.
We met a few years ago in Los Angeles. I was doing some interviews with people who were far more famous than her. Of course, these days she's far more famous than any of them. Good on her.
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She's done well for herself and with a busy schedule like hers it's hardly surprising we haven't had the chance to hook up since our friendship blossomed.
Right from the moment I walked into the room I knew we would be mates.
She was lounging on the couch of the hotel suite, already looking very famous, but with a sweet and mischievous grin that belies the weird and wild outfits she wears these days.
And sure enough, we hit it off straight away. She even touched my leg once.
Being from big bad New York I think she thought I was cute, not in a lovey dovey romantic way, but in an innocent and naive way since I was from little old New Zealand.
And me, well, I was intrigued by her plans for world domination ("I've become great because I decided to be great"), her staunchness ("I live and breathe [my music] so show me where it's fake. Find it"), and her exhibitionist qualities ("If you watch the video the most comfortable I look is humping that blow up whale").
I thought to myself that while, er, humping a whale is not exactly like making love to a black Jesus Christ a la Madonna in the Like A Prayer video, it's still a loud, proud and funny vent from my home girl.
Also back then, around the time her first single Just Dance came out, she wore a few more clothes than she does now.
Still, her outfit was something else. Similar to Madonna's cone-shaped bra, Stefani wore a bustier with crystals adorning it, a jacket with sharp Ziggy Stardust inspired shoulder pads, black latex tights that snapped and pinged when she pulled at them, a pair of six-inch heels, and to top it off she had a lightning bolt painted on her cheek.
If we hadn't become such good pals within the first five minutes of meeting each other I would have mistaken her constant hitching up of her bustier for flirting.
But we were just friends.
Albeit fleeting ones because like I said, we haven't had time to speak since that day in L.A., nor have we even had time to email each other, and unfortunately while I'd love to catch up with her when she is in Auckland this weekend for her two sold-out shows at Vector Arena I doubt we will be able to.
Stefani is very busy and in demand now that she's famous. But as a good friend I can't begrudge her her fame, because it's what she always wanted.