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The Who's That Girl/You Can Dance Era

  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:45 PM

·         The Pre- Madonna Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/11688-the-pre-madonna-era/?p=542015

·         The First Album Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/11796-the-madonna-first-album-era/?p=547412

·         The Like a Virgin Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12035-the-like-a-virgin-era/?p=557045

·         The True Blue Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12055-the-true-blue-era/?p=557777

·         The Who’s That Girl/You Can Dance Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558619

·         The Like a Prayer Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12134-the-like-a-prayer-era/?p=560321

·         The Immaculate Breathless Blond Ambition Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12230-the-immaculate-breathless-blond-ambition-era/?p=562946

·         The Erotic Body of Girlie Sex Show Era http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12452-the-erotic-body-of-girlie-sex-show-era/?p=570519



Legacy: http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558620


Sources: http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558622



·         1986 http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558623

·         1987 http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558624

·         1988 http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558626


WTG Press: http://madonnaunderground.com/filmography/whos-that-girl/

YCD Press:   http://madonnaunderground.com/madonna-live/album-promo/you-can-dance-promo-tour/#tab-1432754322-2-25


WTG Memorabilia: http://madonnaunderground.com/filmography/whos-that-girl/

YCD Memorabilia:  http://madonnaunderground.com/madonna-live/album-promo/you-can-dance-promo-tour/#tab-1432754748649-2-3


YCD Pictures:   http://madonnaunderground.com/madonna-live/album-promo/you-can-dance-promo-tour/


Videos: http://www.madonna-infinity.net/forums/index.php?/topic/12085-the-whos-that-girlyou-can-dance-era/?p=558627






Who's That girl

Film Facts:

  • 1987
  • Directed by: James Foley
  • Madonna as Nikki Finn

Movie Exclusives:


  • Madonna produced the soundtrack to this movie with Steve Bray
  • Originally titled ‘Slammer’, was later renamed to ‘Who’s That Girl’
  • Shooting began in New York in October 1986
  • Madonna recorded four tracks for the soundtrack, ‘Who’s That Girl, ‘Causing A Commotion’, ‘The Look Of Love’ and ‘Can’t Stop’
  • Can’t Stop was the only track to not be released as a single, ‘Who’s That Girl’ became Madonna’s second number 1 hit in Holland
  • Who’s That Girl bombed at the box office, but was a small hit in Europe
  • Madonna was present at the pre-release celebration in New York on Times Square on August 6, 1987. Almost 10.000 people showed up to see her.
  • The movie finally received a DVD release in 2006

You Can Dance

·         You Can Dance was Madonna’s first remix album and released on November 18, 1987. The originally planned 12″ers + 2 was withdrawn (only a Japanese promo cassette exists)

·         Spotlight was a brand new track added to this remix compilation

·         Spotlight was released as a single in Japan, a Spanish promo 7″ was also issued

·         You Can Dance was originally planned for early 1987, hence the earlier catalogue number than the Who’s That Girl album

·         This is the reason that there are no Who’s That Girl tracks on this release

·         Madonna performed the You Can Dance remix version of Into The Groove on her Who’s That Girl Tour in 1987

  • Breathless and blondebombshell like this


  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:45 PM


The Who’s That Girl tour was notable for giving rise to the term "new Madonna", a stronger and more intelligent sexual image of her former self which had given rise to the term Madonna Wannabe. Considine felt that "the important thing Madonna did on the tour was to demonstrate how female sexuality can be a source of strength. Traditionally in pop culture, there are two roles that a woman can play—the good girl and the bad girl, and the bad girl is never taken seriously. But Madonna shows up the trappings of a bad girl, and demanded to be taken up seriously because she just doesn't roll over. I got more sense of the strength and power that was under her image all along."

Another important fact noted in the tour by scholars is the extensive use of multimedia technique to its maximum potential. Says Mark Bego, author of Madonna: Blonde Ambition, that "Madonna transformed the concept of a concert tour being focused on the songs. She turned her Who's That Girl? tour into a ubiquitous multimedia blitz technique by including songs, dancing, choreography, videos, big screens, backdrops—not to mention the subtle preaching and messages—that made singing a secondary quality for concert goers. Evident from the people that thronged to see the tour, they were there for the spectacle—and not see Madonna standing in front of the microphone and singing.

In Italy, Madonna met some of her relatives from Pacentro, the village in which her grandfather and grandmother, Gaetano and Michelina Ciccone had been married. However, it was not the glorious home coming that she had expected; some of her relatives made it very clear that they were scandalized by her appearance and behavior. One good thing came from the visit, there were talks of making her an honorary citizen of the town. Ultimately, a statue of Madonna, wearing conical bra was elected in her name, at the center of the town. The Vatican was outraged by the plans of erecting the statue, with the Pope's spokesperson commenting: "The statue would be too sexy and might corrupt the morals of Italy's fine young people."


Legacy - You Can Dance

An album of dance remixes from the 1980’s is going to be rooted in that era and will inevitably sound dated.  But as a snapshot of the era that Madonna dominated, within the genre she excelled in, the collection of sequenced songs can still hold their own.  

At the time it was criticised for being a cynical marketing ploy, a re-hash of old hits with just the one rather standard new track thrown in as fresh meat and all repackaged just in time for the Christmas market.  However, author J. Randy Taraborrelli noted: "You Can Dance made one point clear about Madonna. While she was evolving into a serious pop star, musically she still knew how to host the best party." 

  • Breathless and blondebombshell like this


  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:46 PM


  • Breathless and blondebombshell like this


  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:47 PM

Madonna » 1986

After the commercial success of her film Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Madonna wanted to act in another comedy film titled Slammer, about a woman named Nikki Finn who was falsely accused of homicide. The film was later named Who’s That Girl. Madonna played the character of Nikki Finn, a young woman accused of homicide who insisted that she was innocent. Released on parole, she was determined to clear her name. Along with a character named Loudon Trott (played by Griffin Dunne), she gets caught up in 36 hours of high adventure, culminating in a scene where Nikki interrupts a wedding to reveal the identity of the real murderer. Regarding the character Nikki, Madonna commented,
"I had a lot in common with Nikki. She's courageous and sweet and funny and misjudged. But she clears her name in the end, and that's always good to do. I'm continuously doing that with the public. I liked Nikki's tough side and her sweet side. The toughness is only a mask for the vulnerability she feels inside."

However, in the light of the bad publicity surrounding Madonna and her then husband Sean Penn, coupled with the fact that their drama film Shanghai Surprise had failed commercially, she had to fight hard to persuade Warner Bros. to green light the project. She also wanted her close friend James Foley to direct the film, proclaiming him to be a "genius". Foley had previously directed the music videos of her songs “Live to Tell”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, and “True Blue”. Warner Bros. were looking for another way to cash in upon Madonna's success with soundtracks, and felt that her name alone might be enough to guarantee the success of the film as well as its soundtrack. So they felt that they had no choice, but to green light the project.

October: Filming began in October 1986, in New York.

December: Madonna began working on the soundtrack in December 1986, and contacted Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray, who had worked as producers on her third studio album True Blue (1986). She felt that an uptempo song and a downtempo song were needed for the album. Leonard composed the music for the uptempo song, with Madonna providing the melody and lyrics. The singer named the track "Who's That Girl" and, believing this to be a better title than Slammer, changed the name of the film to the same. Together, Madonna and Leonard also developed the downtempo ballad "The Look of Love". Two more songs were composed for the film with Bray, the first being the dance-y tune "Causing a Commotion", and the other being "Can't Stop", a track inspired by Sixties Motown and the group Martha and the Vandellas.

"I had some very specific ideas in mind, music that would stand on its own as well as support and enhance what was happening on screen and the only way to make that a reality was to have a hand in writing the tunes myself... The songs aren't necessarily about Nikki or written to be sung by someone like her, but there's a spirit to this music that captures both what the film and the characters are about, I think."
—Madonna talking about the music of the film
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  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:47 PM

Madonna » 1987
January 10: "Papa Don't Preach" is honored as America's Most Popular Video and World's Favorite Video at the 1st annual World Music Video Awards, produced by Canada's MuchMusic and Europe's Sky Channel.
January 26: Madonna makes a surprise appearance at the 14th annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, to accept her award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Video Artist ("Papa Don't Preach").

February 3: True Blue is certified 4x platinum (4 million units).
February 7: "Open Your Heart" hits US #1.
February 26: Madonna wins Best Female Singer and Sexiest Female Artist in Rolling Stone magazine's 11th annual Readers Poll.

March: La Isla Bonita" single and video are released. Madonna is voted "Favorite Artist Of Record Pirates" by Billboard magazine.
March 4: Shanghai Surprise is released on home video.
March 15: Madonna is named Favorite Female Musical Performer at the 13th annual People's Choice Awards.
March 29: Madonna wins a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in Shanghai Surprise at the 7th annual Golden Raspberry Awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Blossom Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA.

April: Madonna begins rehearsals for "Who's That Girl World Tour 1987".
April 2: Madonna wins Best Female Performance for "Papa Don't Preach" at the 5th annual American Video Awards at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.
April 25: Madonna becomes the only female solo artist to have 4 No. 1 singles in UK with "La Isla Bonita".

May 2: "La Isla Bonita" hits US #4.
May 18: Madonna is honored for Best Songwriting for "Live To Tell" at the 4th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA; the award is accepted on her behalf by brother-in-law Christopher Penn.

June 9: Madonna makes her first TV talk-show appearance on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show (hosted by Johnny Carson).

June 14, 15: "Who's That Girl World Tour 1987" opens at the Nishinomiya Stadium, Osaka, Japan.
The tour comprises 38 shows in total: 22 in North America, 11 in Europe and 5 in Asia. Who's That Girl was a commercial success, grossing in total of US $25 million ($52.70 million in 2016 dollars) by playing in front of 1.5 million audience. According to Pollstar, it was the second top female concert tour of 1987, behind Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule Tour.
Who's That Girl World Tour supported her 1986 True Blue album as well as the 1987 Who’s That Girl soundtrack. It proved to be a commercial success. Warner Bros. felt that they could encache on Madonna's success further and they sent her on a world tour. Musically and technically superior to her previous Virgin Tour, the Who's That Girl Tour incorporated multimedia components to make the show more appealing.

Madonna trained herself physically with aerobics, jogging and weight-lifting, to cope with the choreography and the dance routines. For the costumes, she collaborated with designer Marlene Stewart. The stage was huge, with four video screens, multimedia projectors and a flight of stairs in the middle. Patrick Leonard, who was the music director, encouraged Madonna to go with the idea of rearranging her older songs and presenting them in a new format.
Who's That Girl was broadcast in a number of international television channels and was released in VHS titled Ciao Italia: Live from Italy. Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli commented that "Many female artists behave like a diva for a period when they reach superstar status, and the 'Who's That Girl?' tour marked the beginning of Madonna's."

As the tour was confirmed, Madonna and her team started planning for it. Madonna wanted a show which consisted of theatrics, drama, dance and choreography in "full-force". Her publicist Liz Rosenberg commented, "She wants a visual impact that would knock people out. She was very determined about this. And she's the type that makes decisions quickly; If something doesn't work, she starts over. You'll see a different look this year, but it's still Madonna, still bigger than life." In order to engage herself completely and handle the grueling dance routines, she started attending aerobics classes at Hollywood health centre The Sports Connection. By the time the tour drew nearer, she hired a personal trainer, and her daily routine involved jogging, weight-lifting, dancing, gymnastics, trampoline, swimming and cycling. She ate vegetarian food with plenty of protein and carbohydrate and avoided the sun. British funk band Level 42 was the supporting act of the tour. Madonna's image was that of a blond girl with soft curls, making a striking contrast with the firm, almost hard lines of her eye make-up and lipstick; the idea of her friend actress Debi Mazar.

Calling the show a "theatrical multimedia spectacular", Madonna wanted a huge stage with a central platform from which a flight of stairs descended. The central platform was flanked by two lower platforms, which housed the band and the musicians. A large video screen was suspended above the stairs, which descended during the show. Two projectors were situated at the front of the stage, which projected images of The Pope and President Ronald Reagan during the show.

Patrick Leonard, who had produced True Blue, joined as the musical director for the shows. Instead of following every note on the records, Leonard encouraged the musicians to come up with new ideas for the songs. Hence a number of the old songs were rearranged, including introducing a medley of “Dress You Up”, “Material Girl”, and “Like a Virgin”—which contained a sample from the Four Tops song “I Can’t Help Myself”.

American choreographer Shabba Doo was signed to choreograph the show. 13-year-old Christopher Finch was signed to play the part of the small boy from the "Open Your Heart" video, since Felix Howard, who played the original part, did not get a working license, and hence could not join the tour. Madonna wanted three backup singers, a team of male dancers and a succession of costume changes. She took inputs from her then husband, actor Sean Penn saying, "I really respect Sean's opinion. He has great taste and is a very brilliant man. When I was putting my tour together, it was always in the back of my mind: 'I wonder what Sean will think of this?' He's extremely opinionated and has really high standards, and that sometimes pushed me into making decisions I wouldn't have otherwise made."

The title "Who's That Girl Tour" came to Madonna's mind during rehearsals one-day when she looked at a gigantic image of herself, projected on a screen on the stage. She commented,
"Oh god, what have I done? What have I created? Is that me, or is this me, this small person standing down here on the stage? That's why I call the tour 'Who's That Girl?'; because I play a lot of characters, and every time I do a video or a song, people go, 'Oh, that's what she's like.' And I'm not like any of them. I'm all of them. I'm none of them. You know what I mean.?

After the tour was announced, the first two shows at Wembley Stadium in London sold-out at a then record-breaking time of 18 hours and 9 minutes for 144,000 tickets. However around 10,000 concert tickets were still left unsold for her Leeds concert. Madonna's concert in Paris in front of 130,000 fans remains to this date, her biggest concert audience ever and largest crowd of any concert in French history. A concert was also planned in Basel, Switzerland for August 31, 1987, but negotiations between Madonna's management and local organizers failed due to the high fee of one million ($2.11 million in 2016 dollars) that Madonna's camp demanded. As a result, Nice, France was booked in the itinerary. But when a local mayor threatened to cancel the concert, citing crowd problems, Jacques Chirac, then Mayor of Paris, stepped in to overrule him. Her first-ever Italian concert in Turin, was presented by the Italian state broadcaster RaiUno and broadcast around the world. Just in Italy, the show was watched by around 14 million households. The show at Turin was watched by 65,000 fans and was a record there.

In Japan, a thousand troops had to restrain a crowd of 25,000 fans seeking to greet Madonna at the airport. When severe storms forced the cancellation of her first shows, despondent fans nearly rioted, and Madonna was confronted with out-of-control teenagers soaking themselves in the rain outside the stadium. Promoters had no choice but to refund U.S. $7 million to ticket-buyers.

Madonna's Madison Square Garden show in New York City was an AIDS benefit with all the proceeds from the show going to American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR). She dedicated her performance of :Live to Tell” to her late friend Martin Burgoyne, the designer of her 1983 “Burning Up” single cover sleeve.

June 20, 21, 22: Madonna performs 3 sold-out concerts at Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. (During the Japanese leg of the tour, Madonna is honored with The Grand Prix Artist Of The Year Award by the Recording Industry Association of Japan).
June 22: The concert at Korajuen Stadium, Tokyo was broadcast on June 22, 1987 in Japan only. It was later released on VHS and Laserdisc as Who's That Girl: Live In Japan. It was the first television broadcast using Dolby Surround Sound and was promoted by Mitsubishi, as Madonna had previously starred in television commercials for their video recorders.

June 23: "Who's That Girl" single was released on June 23, 1987, by Sire Records as the first album single. While shooting for the film, then called Slammer, Madonna had requested Patrick Leonard to develop an uptempo song that captured the nature of her film persona. Madonna came to the recording studio one Thursday, and Leonard handed her a cassette of a recording of the chorus, which he had just finished working on. Madonna went to the backroom and completed the melody and the lyrics of the song, while Leonard worked on the other parts of it. After finishing the lyrics, Madonna decided to name the song "Who’s That Girl", and changed the title of Slammer to the same, considering it to be a better name. In Fred Bronson's book The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, Leonard explained that the song was recorded in one day with Madonna recording her vocals only once. Additional guitar and percussion tracks were added later by Leonard and Bray.

"Who's That Girl" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 43, reached the top of the chart in its seventh week, maintained the top position for one week, and spent 16 weeks on the chart. It became Madonna's sixth number-one single in the United States, making her the first artist to accumulate six number-one singles in the 1980s, and the first female performer to get that many number-ones as a solo act. The song peaked at number 44 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. "Who's That Girl" was nominated for "Best Song From A Motion Picture" at the 1988 Grammy Awards and "Best Original Song" at the 1988 Golden Globe Awards. In 2000, the song came tenth in a vote conducted to determine the favourite Madonna song.

The music video was shot over two days, at A&M Soundstages in Hollywood, California. Madonna had adopted a garish, platinum blond hairstyle for the Who's That Girl movie which she used in the music video; it was her way of reviving the comedy heroine of the 1930s Hollywood screwball comedies. She continued with her Hispanic look from the "La Isla Bonita" music video, this time she appeared dressed boyishly in a wide-brimmed Spanish hat and bolero jacket—a combination which would later become a fashion trend.

The music video, directed by Peter Rosenthal, begins with Madonna entering a park. After meeting two children and a teenage boy, they start roaming around the park, with Madonna singing the song. These scenes are interchanged with scenes from the motion picture, which show Madonna as the movie character Nikki Fynn. As the music video progresses, Madonna is shown to be in search of an Egyptian treasure casket. After being directed to it by a version of the High Priestess tarot card displaying her cartoon impersonation, Madonna opens it to find a huge diamond. She looks up happily to the children. The video ends with them continuing dancing and Madonna carrying away the casket.

The video portrayed a different image of Madonna rather than her real self. According to Vincent Canby of The New York Times, Madonna at that time was shrewdly pragmatic about her persona and appearance—resembling Marilyn Monroe, but with the "comic tartness" of Jean Harlow. This persona was reflected in the second half of the Who's That Girl film. However, the music video chose not to capture her real self and qualities, or to promote the movie for which it was specifically created. Instead, it concentrated on the humorous off-putting personality of Madonna's film character depicted in the first half of the film.

June 27: Madonna opens the 19-city North American leg of "Who's That Girl World Tour 1987" at the Orange Bowl, Miami, FL.
June 29: Madonna performs at The Omni, Atlanta, GA.

July: "Who's That Girl" single and video (from Who's That Girl) are released.
July 2: Madonna performs at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, DC.
July 4: Madonna performs at CNE Stadium, Toronto, ON, Canada.
July 6, 7: Madonna performs 2 sold-out concerts at The Forum, Montreal, QC, Canada.
July 9: Madonna performs at Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA.
July 11: Madonna performs at the Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, PA.
In Canada, the WTG song debuted at number 83 on the RPM singles chart on July 11, 1987, reached the top for one week on August 29, 1987, and stayed on the chart for 23 weeks. It placed at number 12 on the RPM Year-end chart for 1987.
July 13: Madonna performs an AIDS benefit concert in memory of her friend Martin Bourgoyne at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, which raises $400,000 for the American Foundation For AIDS Research (AMFAR).

July 14: Like A Virgin is certified 7x platinum (7 million units).
In the United Kingdom, "Who's That Girl" was released on July 14, 1987, and debuted at number three on the UK Singles Chart, climbing to number one the next week to become Madonna's fifth number-one single in the United Kingdom. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 380,000 copies there. It received a silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Across Europe, "Who's That Girl" also topped the singles charts in Belgium, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands, as well as peaking in the top five in Austria, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. It was certified gold by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique for shipment of 500,000 copies in France.

July 15: Madonna performs at the Kingdome, Seattle, WA.
July 18: Madonna performs at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA.
July 20, 21: Madonna performs 2 sold-out concerts at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA.

July 21: Who's That Girl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP is released.
It was released on July 21, 1987 by Sire Records to promote the film. It also contains songs by her label mates Scritti Politti, Duncan Faure, Club Nouveau, Coati Mundi and Michael Davidson. The soundtrack is credited as a Madonna album, despite her only performing four of the nine tracks on the album.

The soundtrack, released before the film, sold a million copies in the United States, and five million worldwide. Taraborrelli felt that at that moment, riding on Madonna's coattails proved profitable for everyone involved, including Warner Bros. Records, which notched up big sales with a compilation soundtrack album that was basically a showcase for its marginal artists. But still they wanted to "milk-in" the success of Madonna, a view shared by Peter Guber and Jon Peters, executive producers of the film. Hence they felt a worldwide concert tour was the appropriate thing to do, since it would promote both the soundtrack and the film, as well as Madonna's successful third studio album True Blue, released the year before. As Madonna's first world tour, Who's That Girl ended up being a resounding success, although by its end, Madonna declared that she did not want to hear any of her songs again and she did not know whether she would ever write another one. "I returned feeling so burned out and I was convinced that I wouldn't go near music for quite a while", she said.

Three of the Madonna tracks were released as singles. The title track became her sixth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first artist to accumulate six number-one singles in the 1980s, and the first female performer to get that many number-ones as a solo act. "Causing a Commotion" was released as the second single, and reached number two on the Hot 100. "The Look of Love" was a European market-only release, reaching the top ten in United Kingdom. Another track, "Turn It Up" was a promotional release in United States, reaching number 15 on the dance charts. Who's That Girl received further promotion from the successful Who's That Girl World Tour.

July 24: Madonna performs at the Astrodome, Houston, TX.
July 26: Madonna performs at Texas Stadium, Irving, TX.
July 29: Madonna performs at St. Paul Civic Centre, St. Paul, MN.
July 31: Madonna performs at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL.

August 2: Madonna performs at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI.
August 4, 5: Madonna performs at Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH.
August 5: Madonna is interviewed by Jane Pauley on NBC-TV's Today and causes a controversy when she refers to her hometown of Bay City, MI as "a smelly little town" - a comment which enrages the citizens of Bay City.
August 6: Madonna attends the New York premiere of Who's That Girl at The National Theatre in Times Square.
August 7: Who's That Girl is released nationwide. Madonna performs at the Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI and apologizes to 42,000 fans for the comments she made about her hometown on NBC-TV's Today.
August 9: Madonna performs at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ. Who's That Girl grosses $2.5 million US on its opening weekend.
August 11: True Blue is certified 5x platinum (5 million units).
August 15: Madonna opens the European leg of "Who's That Girl World Tour 1987" at Roundhay Park, Leeds, England.
August 16: Madonna celebrates her 29th birthday at the Groucho Club, London, England.
August 18, 19, 20: Madonna performs 3 sold-out concerts at Wembley Stadium, London, England.
August 22: Madonna performs to a sold-out crowd of 250,000 at Wald Stadium, Frankfurt, Germany. "Who's That Girl" hits US #1.

August 25 : "Causing a Commotion" was released as the album's second single on August 25, 1987 by Sire Records. Its Silver Screen Single Mix later appeared on the 1991 UK compilation EP The Holiday Collection. Written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, the song was inspired by Madonna's relationship with then husband Sean Penn, and his abusive and violent nature.

"Causing a Commotion" was recorded and mixed by Bray along with Shep Pettibone who also did additional production on the track. Junior Vasquez was the mixing engineer along with Steve Peck; the former also did the audio editing. Background vocals were provided by Donna De Lory and Niki Haris.

After "The Look of Love", Madonna went on to develop two further songs with Bray as the producer. The first was called "Causing a Commotion", and was inspired by Penn and the couple's often tumultuous relationship. Madonna felt that her marriage to Penn was on the verge of breaking-up, due to Penn's abusive and violent nature. In a Rolling Stone article dated September 10, 1987, Madonna spoke about Penn's impact on her life and the song: "I don't like violence. I never condone hitting anyone, and I never thought that any violence should have taken place. But on the other hand, I understood Sean's anger and believe me, I have wanted to hit him many times. I never would you know, because I realize that it would just make things worse. [...] I felt like he was 'Causing a Commotion' to purposefully distract me. I wrote this song and vented my frustration in it." The last song developed was "Can't Stop", a track inspired by Sixties Motown and the group Martha and The Vandellas. In addition to this, the album also included tracks by some acts on Warner Bros. Records, namely Club Nouveau, Scritti Politti and Michael Davidson. Commercially unsuccessful and unknown in the US, these groups needed a platform to project their songs, and including them in a Madonna album seemed like the right thing to do for Warner. Two tracks by Duncan Faure and Coati Mundi were included on the soundtrack at the request of Madonna since they were her friends. Despite her only performing four of the nine tracks on the album, Who's That Girl was marketed as a Madonna album, with only her face and name appearing on the cover art.

August 25, 26: Madonna performs at Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam, Holland.
August 28: Madonna arrives in Paris, France and attends a reception at City Hall to meet French prime minister Jacques Chirac and his family; she presents him with a cheque for $85,000 to benefit AIDS charities in France.
August 29: Madonna performs for 130,000 people at Parc de Sceaux, Paris, France - the highest attendance at a concert in France.
August 31: Madonna performs at Stade de l'Ouest, Nice, France.

September: Causing A Commotion" single (from Who's That Girl) is released.

September 4: Madonna performs "Causing A Commotion" live by via satellite from the Stadio Communale, Turin, Italy and wins Best Female Video for "Papa Don't Preach" at the 4th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA.

On September 4, 1987, Madonna's concert special, Madonna in Concerto, filmed at the Comunale Stadium in Turin, Italy was broadcast live on TV in Italy (RAI), France (TF1), Germany (SAT1), Austria (ORF) and Spain (TVE). Other countries including Australia and The Netherlands broadcast this show in 1987. The concert was released commercially in 1988 as Ciao Italia: Live from Italy and was later available on Laserdisc and DVD. The video contains the full Who's That Girl show, produced using footage from three different shows: Tokyo June 22, 1987, Turin September 4, 1987, and Florence September 6, 1987. Heather Phares from Allmusic said: "Madonna's Ciao Italia: Live from Italy captures a performance from her 1988 world tour and features hits like 'Lucky Star', 'True Blue', 'La Isla Bonita', 'Like a Virgin', and 'Material Girl'. A much simpler, less choreographed performance than her later extravaganzas like The Girlie Show World Tour, Ciao Italia is still entertaining in its own right, and will definitely please fans nostalgic for some old-school Madonna hits." Mark Knopher from the Los Angeles Daily News commented that "Ciao Italia shows the glitz and the glamor that made this tour so remarkable." It charted at the top of the Billboard music DVD chart on for six weeks and ranked at two on the "1988 Year-end Top Ranked Tapes".Ciao Italia also charted at number three on the Finnish DVD chart in 2009

September 6: "Who's That Girl World Tour 1987" ends at the Stadio Communale, Florence, Italy.

September 12: Who's That Girl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack hits US #7.
"Causing a Commotion" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 41 the week of September 12, 1987, as "Who's That Girl" was descending from the top ten. September 29: Who's That Girl: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is certified 1x platinum (1 million units).

September 19: In Canada, "Causing A Commotion" debuted at number 90, on the RPM singles chart on September 19, 1987.] After six weeks, the song reached a peak of number two on the chart. It was present for a total of 31 weeks and ranked at number 47 on the RPM Year-end chart for 1987.
In the United Kingdom, "Causing a Commotion" was released on September 19, 1987. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number seven, and peaked at number four. The song was present for a total of nine weeks. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 230,000 copies there.

September 29: In Germany, the song debuted on the Media Control Charts at number 66 on September 29, 1987, reaching a peak of number 14 in its third week, and spending 12 weeks on the chart The song reached the top ten in Australia and the European Hot 100 Singles, peaking at number seven and three respectively. Elsewhere, the song reached the top ten in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland and the top 20 in Austria, Norway and Sweden.

October 5: Madonna is named top-earning female entertainer of 1987 by Forbes magazine.
October 12: Madonna contributes "Santa Baby" (a remake of 1953 Eartha Kitt song) to Special Olympics LP A Very Special Christmas.

October 24: "Causing A Commotion" hits US #2.
The single quickly climbed up the chart, ultimately peaking at number two the week of October 24, 1987, the same week Michael Jackson's "Bad" advanced to the pole position. It remained in the runner-up position for three weeks, before descending from the chart. "Causing a Commotion" reached the top 40 of the Adult Contemporary chart of Billboard and reached the top of the Hot Dance Club Play chart.

November 2: True Blue wins International Album Of The Year at the 17th annual Juno Awards at the O'Keefe Centre, Toronto, ON.
November 11: Who's That Girl is released on home video.

November 17: You Can Dance, a greatest dance hits remix LP, is released.
You Can Dance is Madonna’s first remix album that was released on November 17, 1987, by Sire Records. The album contains remixes of tracks from her first three studio albums—Madonna (1983), Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986)— and a new track, "Spotlight". In the 1980s, remixing was still a new concept and technology, by which a particular vocal phrase could be endlessly copied, repeated, chopped up, transposed up and down in pitch and give them more echo, reverberation, treble or bass. Madonna became interested in the concept, noting that she hated when others remixed her songs and wanted to do it by herself.

Madonna turned to her old friend and producer John "Jellybean" Benitez to help her remix the songs, and also enlisted the help of Patrick Leonard, the producer of True Blue. The mixes on You Can Dance exhibited a number of typical mixing techniques. Instrumental passages were lengthened to increase the time for dancing, which undermined the tighter structure of the original pop song. Vocal phrases were repeated and subjected to multiple echoes, panned across the stereophonic sound outlets. At certain points, almost no music is heard except the drums and at other times, the drums are removed with only the hi-hat left to keep time. The album cover denoted Madonna's continuous fascination with Hispanic culture.

In Australia, You Can Dance debuted at number 15 on the Kent Music Report albums chart, and peaked at number 13. It was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 70,000 copies of the album. You Can Dance reached a peak of number four in New Zealand. Across Europe, the album reached number six on the European Top 100 Albums chart, and the top five in Norway and Spain, while charting within the top twenty of Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland You Can Dance also reached number two in France and topped the charts in Italy. Worldwide, it went on to sell five million copies, becoming the second best-selling remix album of all time.

November 18: In the United States, the album was released on November 18, 1987, and reached a peak of number 14 on the Billboard 200. The LP cuts debuted at number 41 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and moved up to number 17 the next week. An extended series of remixes called "You Can Dance – LP Cuts" was serviced to the dance radio stations later. The LP cuts ultimately topped the Dance chart, becoming Madonna's seventh number one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of one million copies across United States.

November 25: "The Look of Love was the third and final single release from the album and was released on November 25, 1987 by Sire Records. While shooting for the film, then called Slammer, Madonna had requested that producer Patrick Leonard develop a downtempo song that captured the nature of her film persona. On the following day after writing Who’s That Girl, Madonna wrote the lyrics and Leonard compoed the melody for the downtempo song. Named "The Look of Love", the song contains the line "No where to run, no place to hide. From the look of love, from the eyes of pride". Madonna was inspired by the look that actor James Stewart gave actress Grace Kelly in the 1954 film Rear Window. Madonna said: "I can't describe it, but that is the way I want someone to look at me when he loves me. It's the most pure look of love and adoration. Like surrender. It's devastating.
"The Look of Love" was never released in the United States, and therefore did not enter any Billboard charts

November 28: In the United Kingdom, You Can Dance was released on November 28, 1987 and entered the UK Albums Chart and peaked at number five. It was Madonna's fifth top-ten album there present for a total of 16 weeks on the chart, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 300,000 copies of the album. The album re-entered the chart at number 69, on March 4, 1995, after being released in mid-price in United Kingdom.

December: Madonna is honored in The Guinness Book of Records 1988 as the most successful singer for selling over 11 million copies of True Blue which hit #1 in 28 countries and establishing herself as the world's highest selling solo singing artiste.
December 4: Madonna files for divorce from Sean in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA.
December 5: In Canada, the You Can Dance album debuted at number 55 on the RPM Albums Chart on December 5, 1987 After five weeks, it reached a peak of number 11 on the chart. It was present for a total of 21 weeks on the chart.

December 12: In the United Kingdom, The Look of Love was released on December 12, 1987, and entered the UK Singles Chart at number 15. The next week, it reached a peak of nine on the chart, her first single to miss the top five since "Lucky Star". The song was present for a total of seven weeks on the chart. According to the Official Charts Company, "The Look of Love" has sold 121,439 copies in the United Kingdom, as of August 2008.

December 16: Madonna and Sean decide to reconcile and she withdraws divorce papers filed in Los Angeles, CA on Dec 4.
December 17: "The Look Of Love" (from Who's That Girl) is released as a UK single and hits #9.
December 24: Madonna begins filming Bloodhounds Of Broadway, starring Matt Dillon and Jennifer Grey, directed by Howard Brookner.
December 26: Madonna wins 3 Billboard Music Awards: Top Pop Singles Artist, Top Pop Singles Artist - Female and Top Dance Sales Artist.
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  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:48 PM

Madonna » 1988

January: In Italy, Madonna is the center of a controversy between Roman Catholic groups and the residents of Pacentro who want to honor Madonna with the unveiling of a 13-foot statue of her dressed in a bustier; the Vatican and the mayor of Pacentro are outraged and fear that a statue of Madonna as a role model might corrupt the morals of Italian youths.
January 20: You Can Dance is certified 1x platinum (1 million units).
January 23: You Can Dance hits US #14.

January 24: In Germany, “The Look of Love” debuted on the Media Control Charts at number 38 on January 24, 1988 and moved to its peak of number 34, the next week. It was present for a total of seven weeks on the chart. In Ireland, the song reached the top ten and peaked at number six.  Across Europe, the song reached number nine in Belgium, number 23 in France, number eight in Netherlands and number 20 in Switzerland. On the European Hot 100 Singles, the song reached number 17.


February 23: Madonna begins rehearsals in New York, NY for David Mamet's play Speed-The-Plow, co-starring with Joe Mantegna and Ron Silver, directed by Gregory Mosher.


March 10: Madonna wins Worst Female Singer, Worst-Dressed Female Artist and Sexiest Female Artist in Rolling Stone magazine's 12th annual Readers Poll.
March 23: Madonna is certified 4x platinum (4 million units).
March 29: "Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour" video is certified multi-platinum (100,000 units).


April 10: Madonna wins a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in Who's That Girl at the 8th annual Golden Raspberry Awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Blossom Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA.


April 25: "Spotlight" - from her first remix album You Can Dance (1987) - was released as a single in Japan on April 25, 1988 by Sire Records and Warner-Pioneer Japan. Initially rejected during her True Blue album recording sessions, it was written by Madonna, Stephen Bray and Curtis Hudson. It was inspired by the song "Everybody Is a Star" (1970), by American rock band Sly and the Family Stone. The song was remixed by Shep Pettibone, with additional mixing done by John "Jellybean" Benitez.


In 1983, Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of the group Pure Energy had written the song "Holiday", which Madonna recorded and released as the third single from her self-titled debut album. After the single's commercial success, Hudson wrote a song sounding like "Holiday", in case Warner, Madonna's record company, wanted to release a similar song to it. He named it "Spotlight" and offered it to Madonna, who recorded the song for her 1986 album True Blue. However, Madonna didn't include it in the album because she felt that it was similar in composition and structure to "Holiday".


When Madonna decided to create You Can Dance, she and Stephen Bray reworked the demo composed by Hudson and Madonna asked Shep Pettibone, who had remixed her songs from True Blue, to remix "Spotlight" and included it on the album. John "Jellybean" Benitez, who had recorded the original demo during the True Blue sessions, assisted Pettibone in remixing the song.


"Spotlight" was featured in the last of a series of Japanese TV commercials Madonna filmed for electronics company Mitsubishi. The commercial promoted their VCR model F-5.3. In the commercial, Madonna was featured as coming out of a car and sitting down on a sofa, while watching a film on the VCR, as "Spotlight" is played in the background. The song was also used as cross-promotion for the Japanese leg of her 1987 Who's That Girl World Tour under the campaign name of "Dreams Come True"


"Spotlight" was not officially released as a single in the United States; therefore it was not eligible at the time to appear on Billboard's Hot 100. Even so, it managed to garner enough airplay to appear on the publication's Hot 100 Airplay survey in early 1988. It debuted on the Airplay chart at 37 on the issue dated January 16, 1988. After three weeks, "Spotlight" reached a peak of 32, but fell to 40 the next week before exiting the chart. It had also reached the Hot Crossover 30 chart beginning on the issue dated December 12, 1987, peaking at 15 for two consecutive weeks beginning January 9, 1988 and spending eight total weeks on the chart. The song was released commercially in Japan on April 25, 1988. "Spotlight" peaked at number 68 on the Oricon weekly singles chart, remaining on the chart for five weeks. It also charted on the Oricon international singles chart, reaching a peak of three on May 19, 1988, staying on the chart for ten weeks.



May 3: Speed-The-Plow opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre, New York, NY.
May 24: "Madonna - Ciao Italia: Live From Italy" is released on home video.


June 5: Madonna presents a special award to the founders of the South Coast Repertory of Costa Mesa, CA at the 42nd annual Tony Awards at the Minskoff Theatre, New York, NY.
June 27: Madonna and Sean attend the Mike Tyson vs Leon Spinks heavyweight fight at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ.


July 1: Madonna makes a surprise unscheduled appearance on NBC-TV's Late Night With David Letterman.
July 23: "Madonna - Ciao Italia: Live From Italy" hits US #1 on Top Music Videos chart.


August 16: Madonna and Sean celebrate her 30th birthday and their 3rd wedding anniversary at a private party in New York, NY.


September 4: Madonna plays her final performance in Speed-The-Plow on Broadway.
September 11: Madonna participates in "Sport Aid 88: The Race Against Time" marathon in New York, NY.
September 26: Madonna begins recording Like A Prayer LP in Los Angeles, CA with producers Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray.


October 5: "Madonna - Ciao Italia: Live From Italy" video is certified 1x platinum (100,000 units).


November 16: Madonna attends the opening night of HurlyBurly (starring Sean Penn) at the Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA.


December 12: Madonna signs a 2-year film contract with Columbia Pictures.
December  28: Madonna files assault charges against Sean at the sheriff's office in Malibu, CA: various newspapers and tabloids will report that Sean burst into their house and tied Madonna to a chair for 9 hours - both Madonna and Sean deny the stories.
December 31: Madonna and Sean are officially separated and will begin divorce proceedings. 

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  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:48 PM




Music Videos





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  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:38 PM

Wonderful work!!! Wish we had more material on the making of You Can Dance, I came to love that album so much. Thanks for your effort!
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  • Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:41 PM


    (Love everyone the same without prejudice)

  • 2,383 posts
  • Location:United States
  • M Fan Since:83


Amazing post @groovyguy.  thanks for your hard work you do. you make such awesome threads. wgBzKOw.gif

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                                                        (wishing everyone in the madonnainfinity family a very merry christmas)

  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 12:18 AM

really well put together thank you for all your hard work x

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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 01:57 AM

  • M Fan Since:1987


Wow thanks so much Groovy!! Along with the Erotica era, this is my favourite (and WTG & TB). I have so many great memories from when this album and WTG were released! I listened to the YCD album to death!

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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:31 AM

Donna De Lory shares her memories of the Who’s That Girl Tour with MadonnaUnderground


Interview with Donna De Lory



Donna De Lory has been touring with Madonna ever since the Who’s That Girl Tour in 1987 up until the Confessions Tour in 2006 and has become a very familiar face in the Madonna community. Donna has a fantastic solo career with the most stunning songs you’ll ever hear (scroll down for her iTunes music page). Since it’s been 30 years since she first started touring with Madonna, she is sharing some of her memories with us.


MU: This was your first time working on a live show with Madonna, how was this particular tour different from the other tours you have worked on with Madonna?

Donna: I was so young, ambitious and impressionable!!! All I wanted was to travel, singing and dancing and exploring the world. I felt that when I first got this job working with Madonna, my life changed completely. It was a dream come true.  I was so happy after years of working hard, to receive this recognition for my talents and years of practice.


MU: Can you tell us anything about the auditioning process for the Who’s That Girl Tour?

Donna: OOh it’s quite a story but I’ll try to make it short. 

Well I got a call from Patrick Leonard…who had first heard my voice on the demo I sang for “Open Your Heart”. He told me that he loved my voice and he asked me to come in to his studio and work with him on some records he was producing. When I found out that he was the musical director for the tour, I immediately suggested that I would be perfect for it. He had told me they already hired 3 girls hired from the show,  “Little Shop Of Horrors”. Every time I would go in to work with him I would bring it up. Then one day I got the call. He said, “Donna, what are you doing today?” He told me that there may be an audition for the tour because one of the girls was not working out. I said, Oh yes, I was available and he said he would call back to let me know when and where. So I had a friend come over immediately and do my make up(red lips) and hair(black to contrast Madonna) I picked out a black and white outfit that had a Pirate/Spanish flair. I went in later that day to SIR rehearsal studios where her band was set up and I saw every singer that I knew in LA there!! I knew that I would have an advantage because I also danced. They took us up on the stage to sing with M in groups of 3. The girls that I was with were not blending too well and I thought that it was over for me. Luckily, Pat said just Donna and Madonna sing the bridge to La Isla Bonita together.  Of coarse I was very nervous standing there with Madonna for the first time. She had her back turned when we were singing. Then she stopped and said, Why aren’t you singing?? Pat spoke up for me and said that I was singing and that our voices blended perfectly together. After that they had me come back to dance with the other dancers and it wasn’t for a few days till I knew I had the job. They even secretly taped my voice while I was dancing to see if I could sing and dance together?


MU: I know you’ve probably answered this one a million times already but can you share your memory of what it was like meeting Madonna for the first time?

Donna: I was nervous being at the audition and when she walked in I did not recognize her. She had short hair and small rimmed glasses and she was wearing a suit!! Then I heard her voice and knew it was her. She was very serious and I felt that she wanted to get the auditions over with right away and get on with the rehearsals. A few days later we were standing side by side in front of the bathroom mirror putting on our make up having girl talk. Then that night, we were riding in her Limo to visit Billy Idol at his concert when her music came on the radio. It was a moment I will never forget.  


MU: Do you remember once rehearsals started if certain songs were rehearsed that never made the final setlist?

Donna: I don’t remember. By the time I came in they had worked the songs out already.


MU: Was there any room for your own input? Were some of your ideas used?

Donna: When I first started to work on the tour I didn’t have much say and the concepts and music was already worked out but I would get excited about ideas and say yeah, we have to do that!


MU: Was there a certain stop during the tour that you remember most and why?

Donna: Really, every stop on that first tour made such an impression on me and my life.

The first stop was Japan. When we arrived at the airport we were swarmed with cameras and there were school girls everywhere. I loved visiting the Buddhist temples there as well.

Italy was amazing too!!! I felt like I was home there as one of my grandfather’s was from Parma.  I loved the people and the food!!! They just went CRAZY for us.


MU: What part/song of the show was your favorite and why?

Donna: The slow song that had this lyric “No where to run, no where to hide from the look of love from the eyes of pride”. It was great to see Madonna just be there with the people and sing this great heartfelt song. Everyone would hold up their lighters (not phones then). It felt like a dream as our voices floated through the air looking out onto the ocean of lights. She used to tell us how vulnerable she felt at that part of the show.


MU: Did you get the keep any of the costumes from the tour?

Donna: Yes!!! I gave some of them to friends and family….hope they still have them! I remember when I first saw the many costumes I thought.. I get to wear those??


MU: Do you remember the Rotterdam (Holland) stop of the tour? It was Madonna’s very first live show in Holland and things were crazy!

Donna: Yes it was crazy!!! We were wanting everyone to have fun and most of all BE SAFE. There is nothing like that feeling of being on stage with a great artist and all of those beautiful people!!! Thank you!!


MU: Was there a funny moment during the tour you think fans would love to know about?

Donna: We (not Madonna) had one day off in Amsterdam we were out doing our laundry when we decided to eat some hash brownies and go sightseeing.  We ended up at the Anne Frank house. I was climbing up the stairs thinking how am I going to get down these. It is a very serious historical place to be so I look forward to going back there one day.


MU: Do you miss touring with Madonna?

Donna: Some things I miss about it like being on stage and looking out and feeling all of the love from the fans. I loved to move around the world like that too (1st Class!) and it was a lot more effortless on that first tour.


MU: Which particular tour do you have the most fond memories of and why.

Donna: Probably Who’s that Girl since it was my first tour and The Blond Ambition Tour because Niki and I were a big part of the show and we really got to use our talents. It was such an exciting time in my life with the sky opening to my own artist career. The camera’s were there too filming the documentary and I felt like I was something great that would be remembered for a long time.


MU: During the Confessions Tour in Amsterdam stop you performed an in store in music store FAME, do you remember that? A huge amount of fans turned up, got to see you perform some of your own songs and after got the album ‘Sky is Open’ signed


Donna: I loved being there!!! I’ll never forget the support that the people gave to me there!!! I was there playing solo with my harmonium with all of those people. Maybe I’ll come back there and Play with Niki next year!!


MU: What are your plans for your solo carreer? Will there be more albums? My personal favorite is ‘The Lover and the Beloved’

Donna: Thank you!! That was my first Yoga Album. Yes I am working on a new Album mostly in English. Songs that are very personal to me including a Spanish song that I wrote with my Dad called “Amor Amor”  I am thinking that I would love to film a video for the song with Nick Spanos in Cuba. What do you think? (MU: fantastic idea!)


MU: You have been reunited with Niki working on a cover of ‘Rain’ which is stunningly beautiful and an EP, what was it like working with Niki again?

Donna: Niki and I are two Friends for life! When we sing together it is effortless. I love Niki and we have so much music in us to be created together. I am so thankful to all of the fans that have supported us with our music so far. I know that we will always sing together.  I am so thankful to Madonna for bringing us together 30 years ago and grateful for all of these life experiences and FOR YOU and your love and support you have given me over the years!!

Thank you! Namaste. May Love and Light fill you always, Donna


This interview with Donna De Lory was exclusively performed for MadonnaUnderground.com to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Who’s That Girl Tour. Please don’t share without permission. Promotional picture of Donna De Lory used with permission.


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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:38 AM


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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 05:30 AM

Madonna: You Can Dance

On November 17 1987, Madonna’s first remix collection, You Can Dance, was released by Sire Records.

The LP version included the following tracks:



Physical Attraction

Over and Over

Into the Groove

Where’s the Party

The CD release included the following bonus tracks:
Holiday (Dub Version)

Into the Groove (Dub Version)

Where’s the Party (Dub Version)

The cassette release included this track listing:



Physical Attraction

Spotlight (Dub Version)

Holiday (Dub Version)

Over and Over

Into the Groove

Where’s the Party

Over and Over (Dub Version)

Into the Groove (Dub Version)

Patrick Leonard had this to say about working on You Can Dance:
“Remixing is a form of secondary creativity. Dance music elevates the DJ and the mixer to being almost on a level with the musician. In my opinion this is false. Manipulation of pre-recorded sound sources may be creative in a secondary sense, and may be valid in its own field, but it is pseudo musicianship. That’s why we tried to have a fresh approach to the songs for You Can Dance, as if we were developing and composing them for the first time.”

In a 2012 interview with blogcritics.com writer Justin Kantor, Curtis Hudson recalled the circumstances surrounding the creation and release of Spotlight:
“During the time right after Holiday, when we’d go to her place and write, I presented Spotlight. I gave her a complete song, Spotlight. I had actually written it in case Warner Bros. asked her for another Holiday. She said she loved it and felt spiritual about it. But she didn’t use it or contact me again about it. It sort of popped up out of nowhere when she was getting ready to do You Can Dance. Her lawyer contacted our manager and said we needed to talk. We went over and met with him. She and Stephen Bray had already done the song; but I hadn’t even heard the version they had done.They took the demo I had given her and worked it into a different song. They gave me credit since I had the original song copyrighted. I would’ve collaborated and made changes. But I was told, ‘Well, she’s too busy. She’s overseas doing a movie.’ I was okay with it, though, because they gave me credit. But the original song had a certain magic, and the changes took that essence away. The original Spotlight was another Holiday—the rhythm, the basic groove. I think they were trying to get away from that sound. Sometimes artists don’t want their sound to be identified with specific writers.”

Here is Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s review (from AllMusic.com) of You Can Dance:
Released in 1987 as a stopgap, the remix album You Can Dance reworks material from Madonna’s first three albums. Actually, it keeps the spotlight on her first record, adding non-LP singles like “Into the Groove” for good measure, along with a bonus track of “Where’s the Party.” Since it’s a dance album, it doesn’t matter that “Holiday” and “Into the Groove” are here twice, once each in dub versions, because the essential grooves and music are quite different in each incarnation. It is true that some of this now sounds dated — these are quite clearly extended mixes from the mid-’80s — but that’s part of its charm, and it all holds together quite well. Not essential, but fun.
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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:04 AM

@groovyguy awesome work really but i have some things to ad to the timeline :)


1987.04 The Big Ballot - M wins Favourite Female Vocalist voted by the Kids of America (from my understanding the big Ballot became the Kids choise Awards one year later, but i could be wrong!) i could never figure out the exact date :(


1987.07.03 - M receives a Diamond Award in Canada at Four seasons Hotel in Toronto by warner Music Canada for over a Million sells of True Blue!


1987.07 or 08 It's that Girl promo tape was released! never figured out the exact date :(


1987.09.11 Madonna performed at the MTV 4th Annual Video Awards via Satellite from Italy causing a commotion and was nominated for Open your heart & papa dont preach as best female


1988.03 Madonna won Best International Artist at the Irish Milk Awards (don't know the exact date)


1988.04 Harpers Bazaar Magazin was issued


1988.04.18 First Annual Kids Choise Awards - M wins Best Female


1988.12.01 World Aids Day - TV Commercial was shown "Musicians For Life"



hope that informations help ;)


also one question when exactly was penn behind bars? do we know the exact dates?

1987.03.30 M was not at the academy Awards presenting! she is not listed anywhere nor could i find any picture!

  • groovyguy likes this

  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:43 AM


Thanks for the additional dates & the correction on March 30 1987!

Sean Penn started jail time on July 7 1987

Actor Sean Penn Gets 60 days in Jail
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  • Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:50 AM

@groovyguy thanx so much for the additional Information :)

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  • Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:17 PM







She’s been gamine and glamour queen, material girl and romantic, virgin and whore. In her new film, Madonna tries to have it all.


It’s New York, New York, and Who’s That Girl. Madonna’s first movie since Shanghai Surprise, is filming in front of Trump Tower on Marathon Sunday because the city doesn’t want midtown shopping blocked during the week. In the background, grimacing runners and their tired fans stagger into Central Park. Producer Rosilyn Heller is standing near the corner, chatting with Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, who’ve stopped by to see their nephew Griffin Dunne, Madonna’s co-star.


This is supposed to be a funny, sunny screwball romance, but the November sky’s rolling with rain clouds. Gaffers are bouncing lights off scrims to simulate spring. Director James Foley (Reckless, At Close Range) alternates anxious glances at the thunderheads with happy, mood-elevating smiles at Madonna, who glows back as if to reassure him that Reality stops here, no prob. She seems almost comfy in a forest of production, hair, and makeup people, crewmen, stand-ins, and extras, all surrounded by a swelling flock of oglers.


The character Madonna’s playing is Nikki Finn, tough, adorable, out on parole, and hell-bent on finding out who framed her for murder. Nikki’s bad, but not that bad; Madonna describes her as ‘Puck.” She’s costumed in a red tutu mini, pointy suede shoes, and a black leather jacket, accessorized (occasionally) with matching black handgun. It’s as if Jimmy Dean and She-Ra had spawned a biker daughter, the Rebel Princess of Power. Dunne is Loudon Trott, the twit of wealth and taste who loses his Rolls-and-Rolex heart to her, tick by tick and fender by fender. What drew him to the script, he says, was Madonna’s character getting into his Rolls, seeing a ferocious cougar in the backseat, and saying, “Oh, neat.”


Attitude, it turns out, is the attitude to take toward cougars, because, as coproducer Bernie Williams explains, “Cougars by instinct will go for the weakest of your species when they’re hungry. And they’re always hungry, because we skip their dinner the night before. We have four of these cougars because their trainer rewards them after each scene, and they get full and lazy and don’t want to do anything, so we switch them with a hungry one. Also, they cant work when they’re in a bad mood; they bite chunks out of the seat of the Rolls.”


Paparazzi, like crocs in a swamp, snap at Madonna’s every step. Middle-aged shutterbugs sight a canvas chair that says “MADONNA” on it and, trying to impress their daughters, shoot the star’s double by mistake. With so much visibility, the shoot would be a bit of a zoo even without the snack-happy cougars, their trainers, their Humane Society watchdog, and the four guards armed with sniper rifles [New York City cougar regulations). Madonna’s makeup man, Ed Ternes, can think of some stars who’d be having a breakdown. He won’t name names. The crowd-control crew is giddy. Producer Heller and unit publicist Stuart Fink volunteer to help corral gawkers.

“This isn’t happening; we aren’t here,” Fink suggests hopefully.


“Picture up …”


Some fat cat up in Trump Tower pitches a rock off his balcony.



Literally. Transit police help Madonna’s bodyguard bandage his bleeding arm. “It’s always worse in the better neighborhoods,” a cop confides. “In Harlem this morning, we had no trouble at all.” Then the rain starts, and another New York movie packs off to Los Angeles: cast, crew, cats, and cameras.


What kind of creature is this Madonna? Media taxonomists make her sound like the blind men’s elephant. Rolling Stone found her opportunistic. Time humorous, Vanity Fair cannily retro, the Village Voice brilliantly postmodern, and the New York Post synthetic. James Foley swears she’s all intuition, “not a preconceived bone in her body.” Whom to believe? “There are about a million opposites living inside of me,” she told New York’s Daily News, and it’s the best clue yet. Madonna’s self-presentations flash black-and-white, like a zebra’s attention-grabbing camouflage.


Drawn to controversy like a kid to a jam jar, she has toyed with crucifixes, dressed undies-out, and, at the height of her rock-pop appeal, hatched the hit video “Papa Don’t Preach,” which is about a pregnant teen who keeps her kid. Naively conceived as a minidrama, “Papa” was emotionally lucid. But its uncondescending kindness to its teen mom (good!) made it hazardous agitprop in her impressionable preteen market (bad!).


In other hit music videos — “Like a Virgin,” “Borderline,” “Material Girl,” and “Open Your Heart” — Madonna is intercut as slut and lady, gamine and glamour queen, goldbricker and romantic, decadent and innocent. “It has to be both,” she insists. “It can’t be one or the other.” Double or nothing, she lets you eat your cake and diet, too.


In Hollywood films, whose narrative conventions are newer to her, Madonna has to project her morally stroboscopic identity into one role at a time. When casting Desperately Seeking Susan, coproducer Sarah Pillsbury says she saw in Madonna’s “punk Mae West” a “total fantasy for both men and women.” Audiences agreed. Madonna’s insouciant Bad Girl stole the picture and parlayed a supporting role into a co-star’s. As a result, Madonna got offered more Bad Girls and Bad Women.


Fearing she’d smother in the cushions of some typecasting couch, Madonna took on the fizzler Shanghai Surprise, starring opposite her husband, Sean Penn. Madonna played the prudish missionary Miss Tallock, a Good Girl who turns Bad Girl to do Good. It was a nice twist in theory, but when Miss (“Just Say ‘No'”) Tatlock swaps her missionary zeal for the missionary position so as to “obligate” a traveling sleazeball to her noble cause, the words “fool” and “hypocrite” leap to mind. But even if Madonna’s character had been believable and likable (or anything else in the movie), it wouldn’t have helped her much. The bottom line was that she just wasn’t convincing as a goody-goody. Shanghai Surprise was her ticket back to Badland.


The problem is, Madonna’s Bad Girl doesn’t just want to have fun. She wants love, too. The happy-ending kind. Madonna’s one of the few stars in this stressed-out, immune-deficient age who can project the erotic elation of romance. But, alas. Bad Girls are rarely romantic heroines. Jane Russell managed it in Macao, but it’s hard to find her a recent rival. Despite rumors of permissiveness in Hollywood, Bad Girls still run afoul of sharks, the law, or Mr. Goodbar. They still end up in dunce caps, B-movies, or supporting roles. No no, Love don’t come easy in Badland.


Can Madonna wiggle her way out of the Bad Girl gulag? Though on-screen she has the frank sexuality, the irreverence, and the easy selfishness of a B-movie brunette, her Hollywood roots are love-goddess blonde. Critics have seen in her the innocence of Monroe, the munch of Mae West, the prole warmth of Holliday, the assurance of Lombard’s womanly brats, and the undertones of Dietrich’s sexual sophistication. The result is sweeter than B-queens or vamps, steamier than smart blondes, and smarter than dumbbelles. She’s not rerunning stereotypes, she’s rewriting them. Her desire to please reads as a generous form of self-interest, not a malevolent strategem or a neurotic need. It’s a win-win offer.

In addition to her fat account at the image bank, she projects an intensely charming personality: Quick to jettison anger (unlike Bad Boys, who marry theirs), her ego is open to new wisdom, and she has a sunburst smile, a collusively teasy wink, and clean energy to burn. Who’s That Girl will utilize Madonna’s Madonnaness. “There’s always been this twinkle in her eye, only now it’s in wide-screen technicolor, and her sexuality is an undercurrent to her playfulness,” says Foley, who directed Madonna’s videos “Papa Don’t Preach” and “True Blue” (Euro-version).


The film’s original script, written by Andrew Smith, was developed by producer Rosilyn Heller at the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company as Slammer. Its cheerful speed, fantasy mood, and street-level heart mix screwball tradition with Madonna’s video best. Heller, a fan of Foley’s film work, offered Stammer to him through Foley’s old friend. G-P president Roger Birnbaum. Foley saw Nikki as a “wicked but good kind of character,” for whom he felt instant affection. He thought Madonna would be perfect.


“Although Foley had never directed a comedy and Madonna had never starred in one. Roger and I loved the team,” says Heller. Foley met with Warner Bros. executives and allayed their initial doubts about his comedic inexperience. New writers were brought in: Ken Finkleman elaborated on the script’s action, and Andy Brockman gave it more romantic focus, tenderizing Nikki and distilling Loudon’s appeal. Once Griffin Dunne was cast, things finally felt right to everybody, and the “go project” finally “was go.”


“Madonna’s under a lot of pressure for this movie to do well, but she doesn’t wear the pressure on her sleeve says Dunne. Madonna attributes her discipline to her years as a dancer in New York: “Being there for other people, showing up on time, and making a go of it when you’re exhausted — I’ve done that all my life.” And she holds her workahol well. The oldest girl from a mid-western Catholic family of ten, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (“fat man”) Penn treats everybody as a quasi-sibling, from Warners exec Mark Canton to the grips. A kidder of the jab-and-spar school, she has your number before she learns your name. No tact, no malice.


One night back in Los Angeles. they’re shooting at Cartier’s. It’s been a long week, and fuses are short. A bit actress gets in a crewman’s way.


“Get that woman out of here” he barks. “That woman! That woman!” Madonna chirps, parodying his macho snit with a frown and a smile. The guy’s called but not humiliated, and the air’s clear.


Dunne wanted to work with Madonna after seeing her in the limited-run David Rabe play, Goose and Tomtom, at Lincoln Center last August. “She seemed to be very inside herself,” he says of her performance. “When she came out with a cigarette that needed to be lit — all you were concerned about was who was going to light it.”


“We work very differently — which worked well for our characters,” Dunne adds. “She likes her first take best. I think my best is around the fourth. She always says, ‘You got it, you got it,’ and she was driving me crazy, just the way her character would. I mean, she’s a very noisy girl. If you’re having lunch or something, she’s not at all like that, but on the set she’d use this talent she has for grating on my character’s nerves — talking nonstop between takes — and I’d look at her and I really would go: Who is this girl?”


In the long run, Madonna is a girl who wants to Open Your Heart, not simply conquer it. To do this, she’ll have to find roles that mine the emotional richness of her contradictory character and rework commercial standards to let her resident opposites breathe through the veils of myth. Diane Keaton and producer Joe Kelly (Heaven) are renovating The Blue Angel for her at Fox. It’s a Bad Girl role with depth potential. Kelly compares her Adorable Badness to Jack Nicholson’s. Meanwhile, Siren Films, Madonna’s development company, is nurturing two adaptations of French melodramas (including Agnes Verde’s Cleo From 5 to 7) about women — neither good nor bad — who act on the courage of their affections in a morally inscrutable world.


By now it’s late January, outside Studio 16 on the Warners lot in Burbank, where Who’s That Girl is wrapping up shooting, on time and only three Trump Tower Sundays overbudget. Inside her Linx Prowler trailer, we scrunch into a tiny dining enclave. This interview finds Madonna pushing twenty-nine and in transition. When she says, “I’d rather walk through a fire than walk away from one,” she’s jiving and accurate, both. Heads, she wins; tails, she won’t lose. Double or nothing.


Question: How is it going from the control you have in videos to working with the film studios?

Madonna: It’s a whole different ball game. But I want to know every aspect. When I do a video, I have to know how much it costs and who’s doing everything, and I worry like mad and I’m always getting this from people: “Just relax! Other people are hired to do these jobs.” But I can never be just in front of the camera.


Question: You were involved in developing Who’s That Girl?


Madonna: Mm-hmm. The thing I had planned doing right after Shanghai Surprise was Blind Date, over at Tri-Star. I was supposed to have approval of the leading man and the director, and they didn’t tell me they’d already hired Bruce Willis. That … just didn’t work out. But I was really excited about doing a real physical, screwball comedy, so when Jamie brought up this, it was like my reward.


Question: There was no punishment for Shanghai?

Madonna: No. Mark Canton and Allyn Stewart have a little more insight than that! All the Warners executives were real positive about the project. It was a process—with the writers — of honing the script, making it better.


Question: What did you wear when you met with the Warners executives?

Madonna: A navy blue suit.


Question: Really?

Madonna: Yeah. But it was Comme des Garcons, so it was [smiles] a bit off.


Question: Is there a big difference for you, as a performer, between rock video and film?

Madonna: It’s not that different, but the public’s perception of it is different. To them, the roles they’ve seen me do in videos are me. To me, they’re characters that part of me is in. After I did Desperately Seeking Susan, people went, “Oh, she’s really playing herself,” and I thought: That means I have to play an opposite character to convince everyone. Which is a trap.


Question: Is that how you got Shanghaied?

Madonna: Well, sort of. Sort of. But I actually liked the script. Then we got there and the director [Jim Goddard] just had no knowledge of what he was doing, and it was downhill from the second day. But it was as different as I could get from Desperately Seeking Susan, and a truly-miserable-experience-I-learned-a-lot-from-and-I-don’t-regret!


Question: Did it make you more cautious?

Madonna: Oh. yeah! Definitely! It’s deadly when you second-guess public opinion. Your best bet is to stay true to yourself.


Question: You seem to have great confidence in Foley—

Madonna: Jamie Foley is a genius.


Question: Do you consult Sean on creative decisions?

Madonna: My husband’s is a fairly respected opinion with me!


Question: Does anyone have veto power over your career decisions?

Madonna: No way!


Question: You’ve been turning down roles, like Evita, where you’d sing on screen …

Madonna: I had several meetings with Robert Stigwood, and in China I read tons of literature on Evita, but Stigwood really insisted on doing an operetta kind of thing, and the only way that doing Evita would be interesting to me is as a drama, so it didn’t work. I’d love to do a movie someday where I sing, but it’s hard to make a transition if I do movies about singers.


Question: Have you put sex scenes on hold, too?

Madonna: I loved the script of (Mary Lambert’s] Siesta, but I couldn’t deal with all the nudity in it. I’m at a stage in my career where any kind of nudity would be an incredible distraction within a given movie. As far as other movies go, it’s very hit-and-miss when nudity works. For instance, I loved Betty Blue and felt the nudity was very natural and important to the telling of the story. On the other hand, I was disturbed by the nudity in Blue Velvet and felt it was done for the sake of shocking the audience.


Question: Woody Allen, asked if he thought sex was dirty, said. “Only when it’s good.” Do you think sex is dirty?

Madonna: Only when you don’t take a bath.


Question: But romantic happiness makes so many people anxious. They start to anticipate its end —


Madonna: I fall into that trap once in a while, but usually. …I don’t know …I just don’t think it’s going to end! You know, I’ve been having a good time for a long time.


Question: Do you agree with [film critic] Michael Ventura that in American films, “Sex is the foreplay. violence is the climax”?

Madonna: I think it’s really difficult for Americans to express passion and desire in movies. Something bad always has to happen — violence — or the relationship doesn’t last. I will not be attracted to making violent films. I’m attracted to roles where women are strong, and aren’t victimized. Everything I do has to be some kind of a celebration of life.


Question: If your idea — of women, of life — isn’t marketable, will you forsake it?

Madonna: Oh [smiles], it’ll be marketable!


Question: Your work finds an elegance in street people —

Madonna: I think that’s the ultimate challenge — to have some kind of style and grace, even though you haven’t got money, or standing in society, or formal education. I had a very middle, lower-middle-class sort of upbringing, but I identify with people who’ve had, at some point in their lives, to struggle to survive. It adds another color to your character.


Question: Your mother’s dying when you were six—

Madonna: That period when I knew that my mother wasn’t fulfilling her role — and realizing that I was losing her — has a lot to do with my fuel, so to speak, my fuel for life. It left me with an intense longing to fill a sort of emptiness.


Question: Then you actually were a virgin mother in a way.

Madonna: Taking care of all my brothers and sisters. Yuh. One of the films I’m developing now is about a mother who does everything for the sake of her child.


Question: On the flip side, in the video “Borderline,” you’re longing to play with the boys.

Madonna: True. I had a traditional Catholic upbringing, and I saw the privileges my older brothers had. They got to stay out late, go to concerts, play in the neighborhood. I was left out. Then, when I was dancing, most of the men were homosexuals, so I was left out again. Somewhere deep down inside of me is a frustrated little boy. I’m sure of it!


Question: In your film career, will you resist the vehicle route?

Madonna: I like to switch gears, do a lot of different things. And as much as there’s a funniness about life that I understand. there’s also a sadness about life —


Question: As in outlaw guys?

Madonna: Bukowski and Hopper and Sean and cowboys out in the desert shooting guns — that’s just something I’m fascinated by. But in the films I’m developing, the sadness is the woman’s kind.


Question: Are there any Hollywood classics you thought of when you did Who’s That Girl?

Madonna: Bringing Up Baby. I just love those films where the woman gets away with murder, but her weapon is laughter. And you end up falling in love with her.


Question: It sounds like you’re revising Hollywood’s romantic traditions when most hip performers have taken a parodic stance toward them: Ghost-busters, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid –

Madonna: A comedy like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with Carob Lombard and Robert Montgomery, I remember forever. It’s really touching. Those other movies — I get a laugh out of them, but they don’t mean anything to me, ultimately.


Question: Not enough heart?

Madonna: Yeah. It’s, like, from the dick.


Question: And the head?

Madonna: Yeah. Which is a bad combination.


Question: And which body parts are you organizing?

Madonna: Heart and soul! [Laughs] With a little dick thrown in every once in a while.


© American Film Magazine

  • blondebombshell likes this


  • Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:26 PM







“I said, ‘Goodbye, I love you, goodbye.’ “


That’s what Madonna said were her parting words to her husband, actor Sean Penn, before he went to a California jail Friday to begin serving the first part of 60-day sentence for punching a movie extra.


“I said goodbye to him here in Chicago a couple of days ago,” she said Saturday afternoon, sitting on one of the many sofas in her two-story Ritz-Carlton hotel suite, which rents for $2,000 a night. “It’s nice they’re letting him serve only 32 days, and in chunks.”


Madonna was in Chicago for a Friday-night concert before 47,000 screaming, joyful fans in Soldier Field, where her powerhouse dancing to such hits as “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Material Girl” easily replaced memories of the Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle.


“They bait Sean in ways I can’t even tell you,” Madonna said, on this, her day off in between concerts. The next stop on her tour is Sunday night in Alpine Valley, Wis.””


“They call me obscene names in front of him just to get him to react. How would you react if someone said that about your wife? And that movie extra he hit, he wasn’t really an extra – he was a paparazzi posing as an extra. You’d have to be a pacifist or a Buddhist to be able to handle it.””


“But Sean is trying to learn not take the bait,” she said, “and I think he will emerge from jail as a better person and as an even greater actor. Now, that’s enough about Sean,” she said firmly.


Madonna was dressed in a black tank top and stretch jeans. Only her spiky, blonde-dyed hair and quick mouth provided color. She was asked her height. “I’m 5-foot-4 1/2,” she said. Told she looked much taller on stage dancing in flat, black half-boots, she replied, “That means I was coming across as powerful.”


About those boots: “They’re size 7 1/2, lace-up, wing-tip boots I bought at Neiman-Marcus. (Fans, take note: The boots are Neiman’s 1986 fall model, No. 8726; they sell for $205, if you can find them).


“I bought a whole bunch from a lot of different stores. You wanna know my measurements? I’m 34-23-33. You wanna know what kind of underwear I wear?!”


She’s a smart and tough and joyful entertainer, this Madonna, born nearly 28 years ago in Bay City, Mich., named Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Her birthday is Aug. 16.


Her first three albums have sold 15 million units; a fourth is just out and should put her over the 20 million mark. She fills outdoor stadiums now rather than auditoriums.


She has one hit movie (“Desperately Seeking Susan”) and one flop (“Shanghai Surprise”) under her boy-toy belt. Little girls and teenager girls follow her every fashion move, from bare belly to bangles to black shiny bustier.


Her latest movie, a screwball comedy called “Who’s That Girl,” opens Friday nationwide, but Warner Bros. has been reluctant to screen the film early for preview audiences or critics–not a good sign.


“Get mad at them, not at me or the movie,” said Madonna. “I think it’s a good film. I could have done others, but I liked my character in this one. She’s a very funny girl who gets thrown in jail on a false charge by this big businessman, who panics and then sends his superstraight, son-in-law-to-be (Griffin Dunne) to bail her out and get her out of town. That’s all he’s supposed to do, but of course we do a lot more.”


Madonna said she passed on playing opposite Bruce Willis in the lackluster comedy “Blind Date” to star in “Who’s That Girl.”


“I was going to do that film, but my contract with Warners (with whom she also makes her records) gives me approval of costar, script, and director. And while I was out of town, Warners cast ‘Blind Date’ with Bruce Willis and made Blake Edwards the director. So I passed. I thought it was a dumb movie.” Making more and different movies is one of the directions Madonna would like to take in her career. “Pop stars are trapped,” she said, “because they have to keep playing the same role over and over. I don’t want that. That’s why I designed this concert now as a bunch of completely different musical numbers. I play all kind of roles on stage.”


“I want to do lots of different stage shows and movies. My next film is going to be a remake of ‘The Blue Angel’ (the picture that made Marlene Dietrich a star in 1931), but we’re setting ours in the ’50s. We’re trying to get Robert De Niro to play the role of the professor.”


Of course, Sean Penn often has been compared with the great De Niro, but when Madonna worked with her husband in last year’s “Shanghai Surprise,” the result was a critical and commercial disaster.


“It stunk,” she said. “I hated it. Sean hated it. We knew after two days it was going to be terrible. We wanted it to be a period film, but the director, Jim Goddard, wanted to shoot it fast without any production values. It was like a bad music video.”


But how could Penn, she was asked, who gave such brilliant performances in “The Falcon and the Snowman” and “At Close Range” have taken the role at all? Was he blinded by love?


“No,” Madonna said at first. Then she relented. “The truth is, we had just gotten married. Sean wasn’t supposed to do the film. He didn’t want to do the film. But he also didn’t want to spend four months away from me.”


The real shocker in Madonna’s movie career, however, was not the failure of “Shanghai Surprise” – many films starring lovers or married couples fail as they lose perspective on the script or each other. No, the stunner in Madonna’s film career was the success of “Desperately Seeking Susan,” her 1985 movie debut as a punk character who takes a couple of straight people (played by Rosanna Arquette and Mark Blum) for a joy ride into a whole new way of life.


“I had no idea it would be a hit,” she said. “I think it worked because it’s a comedy that defies description. It’s not pratfalls, like so many teenage films, and it’s not a cult art film, like ‘Down By Law.’ It’s somewhere in between.””


“My favorite scene in the movie is when I’m in the straight guy’s apartment. It’s a complete mess; I’ve eaten all the food, and we’re in bed smoking a joint. I don’t have any method of acting, but I just knew that scene was funny.”

Told that her praise of a scene involving marijuana might make some of her fans’ parents shudder, she said:

“I didn’t write the script. It’s just a role. She’s rebellious, and kids relate to that and always have.”


But is there any limit to what she would portray on screen? “Yes. I don’t condone violence, and I don’t believe I would ever play a victimized character, unless it was properly resolved by the end of the film. With hard drugs the same would have to be true.”


Madonna’s strength, and humor, is apparent in her concert as well as her conversation. “I suppose my favorite number in the show is the medley with ‘Dress You Up,’ ‘Material Girl’ and ‘Like a Virgin.'” (She appears as a nerd in a button-festooned dress, looking like she just survived a car wreck at a Woolworth’s).


“In that number I’m sticking out my tongue at those old images, at the fans and at myself,” she said. “I also like dancing real hard during ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ I really lose myself. I’m throwing a tantrum. I’m stepping on every man who every told me to do something I didn’t want to do.”


Madonna had a difficult childhood. Her mother died of cancer when she was 6. Her father married the family housekeeper two years later.


But that’s 20 years ago. Today, she runs her own life and part of her daily life involves running, a lot of running. Here, in her words, was how she spent Friday, the day of her Soldier Field concert:


“I got up at 9 and had breakfast. I have to wait two hours for my food to digest. Then, with my trainer, I went for a run along the lakefront here. Then I came back to the hotel and ran up and down its stairs, twice (the hotel has 20 floors). After that I had a workout with pushups and situps, working out all the muscle groups. The whole workout lasted about two hours. At 2 o’clock I had lunch, a lot of fruit.”


“I left the hotel for the venue around 3:30. At 4, I began a sound check (with the other dancers and singers in the show) that lasted for an hour and a half. Then I had a vegetarian dinner prepared by my cook. From 6 to 6:30 I had a massage with my masseuse. Then I went in for makeup. Just before I went on (at 9:07 p.m.) I started dancing in my dressing room to some real loud music. Last night it was (her latest hit) ‘Causing a Commotion.’ Then I’m on. “After the show,” she said, “I jumped into the limousine, went back to the hotel, took a shower, ate mango sorbet and read ‘A Feast of Snakes,’ a novel by Harry Crews. Then I fell asleep.”

© Chicago Tribune

  • blondebombshell likes this


  • Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:32 PM







With a new movie, another hit record and a world tour, she’s bigger than ever. But does anybody really know the person behind the celebrity?


It is a severe, wind-swept Saturday night in the teeming city of Tokyo, and Madonna – the most notorious living blonde in the modern world – sits tucked into the corner of a crowded limousine, glaring at the rain that is lashing steadily against the windows. “We never had to cancel a show before,” she says in a low, doleful voice. “Never, never, never.” With her upswept hairdo, her cardinal-red lips and her pearly skin, she looks picture perfect lovely – and also utterly glum.


Madonna has come to Japan to launch the biggest pop shebang of the summer, the worldwide Who’s That Girl Tour, and since arriving at Narita Airport several days ago, she’s been causing an enormous commotion. By all accounts, the twenty-eight-year-old singer, dancer, film star and lollapalooza has been fawned over, feted, followed and photographed more than any visiting pop sensation since the Beatles way back in 1966. All this hubbub is nothing new. In America, Madonna has attracted intense scrutiny throughout her career: from fans, inspired by her alluring manner; from critics, incensed by what they perceive as her vapid tawdriness; and from snoopers of all sorts, curious about the state of her marriage to the gifted and often combative actor Sean Penn. But in Japan – where she enjoys a popularity that has lately eclipsed even that of Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen – Madonna is something a bit better than another hot or controversial celebrity: she is an icon of Western fixations.


Tonight, though, Madonna’s popularity in the Far East, may have suffered something of a setback. Just a couple of hours ago, after spending a difficult day trying to wait out a minityphoon, Madonna and her management were forced to cancel the opening date of a three-night stand at Tokyo’s Korakuen Stadium. It was a necessary decision, but it was also immediately unpopular: fans had traveled from all over the nation to attend these shows, and the late cancellation was seen by some media commentators as an affront. Now, as Madonna sits in the back seat of a car en route to a dinner that she has arranged as a morale booster for her band and crew (many of whom worked the entire day in the rain), things get worse. The show’s cancellation, she learns, sparked riots when many of the 35,000 fans refused to vacate the concert site. In fact, some admirers are reportedly staying in the stadium, chanting prayers for the rain to go away and pleading for Madonna to appear. For the woman who has always told her audience, “Dreams come true,” this is proving a disillusioning day.


A bit later, seated at the middle of a long dining table in an elegant Italian restaurant, Madonna pokes at a salad and sips halfheartedly at a liqueur as various members of her team, among them musical director and keyboardist, Pat Leonard, choreographer Shabba Doo, drummer Jonathan Moffett and thirteen-year-old dancer Chris Finch, offer their support.


Then, suddenly and quietly, a Japanese girl is standing at the end of the table, staring hard at Madonna. The girl – who appears to be about fifteen – is clutching an armful of Madonna souvenir programs to her breasts and looks as if she’d been out in the rain for several hours. Apparently, she was among the many fans who spent the afternoon waiting at Korakuen, and though nobody can figure how she has come to know that Madonna is in this restaurant, the girl is nonetheless standing here, her face quivering with adoration and disappointment. Madonna meets her gaze, and the room fixes on their silent exchange.


“Please, please, so sorry, so sorry,” the girl says in broken English, bowing deeply several times. There is something in her manner that says she is deeply embarrassed about how she is presenting herself, but it seems she can’t help doing it. A waiter rushes over to remove her, but Madonna signals him to stay back.


“Let her stay,” she says. Still meeting the girl’s eyes. The girl holds forth her souvenir books with a pleading look, indicating she would like Madonna to sign them, and Madonna nods. Watching the singer sign the programs, the girl begins to sob uncontrollably, and watching the girl cry, several people in the band and crew also give way to tears.


When Madonna is finished signing the books, the girl again apologizes profusely and signals that she would like to come closer. Gingerly, the girl moves down the length of the table until she is standing across from the singer. Then, reaching out gently, she clasps Madonna’s hands and kneels before her, bowing her head, tears falling from her eyes and landing on the tablecloth in widening pools.


After a few moments, the girl stands, gathers her books and, bowing deeply a few more times, backs out of the room, to applause from the band and crew. A half-hour later, when it is time for Madonna to leave, a few dozen photographers have gathered outside the restaurant. It’s the typical shoot-the-celebrity scene, and Madonna strides through it all wearing an exemplary mask of poised unconcern. But off to one side stands the Japanese girl, still clutching her treasures, still crying, and for her, Madonna saves her lone smile.


“When people make themselves that vulnerable,” says Madonna of the Japanese girl, “they always endear themselves to me. I mean, I was touched by it. She was obviously acting that way because she gets some kind of joy out of what I have to offer. And yet there was something so servile about it, all that bowing and stuff. Sometimes it makes you feel like you’re enslaving somebody, and that’s a creepy feeling.”


It is the day after the canceled performance, and yesterday’s bitter weather has given way to clear skies and a mild, warm wind. Madonna sits at the dining table in her hotel penthouse, wearing a tailored black suit with dark-gray stripes and munching steadily on some sort of greenish health nuts. She says she did not sleep much the night before – perhaps because 300 Japanese fans kept an all-night vigil outside the hotel, occasionally chanting her name – and in an hour, she is scheduled to leave for Korakuen Stadium to begin the sound check for this evening’s concert. For the moment, though, she sits picking through her health kernels and tries to account for her intense appeal to the Japanese.


“I think I stand for a lot of things in their minds,” she says. “You know, a lot of kinds of stereotypes, like the whole sex-goddess image and the blonde thing. But mainly I think they feel that most of my music is really, really positive, and I think that they appreciate that, particularly the women. I think I stand for everything that they’re really taught to not be, so maybe I provide them with a little bit of encouragement.”


Madonna runs her fingers through her blonde tufts and smiles. For a person who hasn’t slept much, she looks radiant. Indeed, the star quality that was so transfixing the night before at the restaurant is just as evident in casual circumstances. There’s nothing star conscious or affected in her manner. If anything, Madonna frequently seems indifferent to her own mystique, more bemused than imperious about it. Those who come in close contact with her not only have to adjust to the resonance of her beauty and fame – which can be considerable – but also to all those past images that her beauty echoes. There are moments when Madonna can recall Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich or Jean Harlow – blonde legends with whom she clearly shares a bit of aura and purpose.


In any event, to observe Madonna is clearly to consider a star of the times, a star, in fact, who seems to be growing bigger and bigger with every move. In four years, she’s had more than a dozen smash singles. And by the end of the Who’s That Girl Tour, she will have performed before nearly 2 million spectators on three continents, in what may be the most elaborately staged large-scale pop revue to date – and reportedly for more money per show (perhaps as much as $500,000) than any other entertainer in show-business history.


“I swore after my last tour I wasn’t going to do another,” she says. ” That whole living-out-of-a-suitcase business – I don’t know how Bruce Springsteen does it; I could never go on tour for a year. I told my manager the only way I would do the tour is if I could make it interesting for myself. Because that was the challenge: being able to make a show interesting in a stadium, where you’re not supposed to be interesting, where it’s like just this beg mega-show, real impersonal. I wanted to make it really personal, even though people would be sitting really far away from me. And I think that’s what we’ve managed to do.”


Besides the tour, Madonna is currently appearing in her third feature film, a neo-screwball romp titled (what else?) Who’s That Girl?. It borrows heavily from the spirit and plots of some of the singer’s favorite classic comedies, principally Howard Hawk’s Bringing Up Baby and Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve. The film may be a bit too modern-manic to live up to its sources, but as Nikki Finn – a streetwise woman wrongly convicted of murder and hell-bent on vindication – Madonna turns into a cunningly dizzy, often affecting portrayal that not only works as an homage to her favorite actress, Judy Holliday (“She could really come off as being dumb,” Madonna says, “but she knew exactly what was going on”), but also has inspired speculation in Hollywood that Madonna may become one of the most bankable new actresses of the decade.


“The project,” she says, “was brought to me by Jamie Foley, who directed it and who knew I’d wanted to do a comedy for a long time. The script needed some work, but there was just something about the character – the contrasts in her nature, how she was tough on one side and vulnerable on the other – that I thought I could take and make my own.”


Beyond Who’s That Girl, Madonna is set to star in an updated remake of the Marlene Dietrich film The Blue Angel (to be produced by Diane Keaton and directed by Alan Parker). Beyond that, she is currently considering producing several other movies, including an Alfred Hitchcock-style thriller and a film version of Lorrie Moore’s novel Anagrams. All this activity has led some observers to wonder how deeply committed Madonna is to her singing career. Madonna, though, sees a similarity in what she’s doing with her two careers.


“Acting is fun for me,” she says, “because, well…for most people, music is a very personal statement, but I’ve always liked to have different characters that I project. I feel that I projected a very specific character for Like A Virgin and that whole business and then created a much different character for my third album. The problem is, in the public’s mind, you are your image, your musical image, and I think that those characters are only extensions of me. There’s a little bit of you in every character that you do. I think I had something in common with Susan in Desperately Seeking Susan, and I think I have a lot in common with Nikki Finn in Who’s That Girl, but it’s not me. Still, I wouldn’t have been attracted to her if we didn’t have something in common.”


What is it that she and Nikki Finn have in common?


“Nikki? Um, she’s courageous, and manipulative.” Madonna pauses and giggles. “And she’s funny, and sweet. That’s enough.” She laughs again, running her hand through her hair.


Isn’t Nikki also terribly misjudged?


“Yes,” says Madonna, with a nod and a smile. “Yes, she is, but she clears her name in the end, and that’s always good to do. Clear your name in the end. But I think I’m continuously doing that with the public.”


Has that ever been a hurtful process – for example, weathering all those unflattering characterizations around the time of “Like A Virgin”?


“At first it was,” she says. “I mean, I was surprised with how people reacted to “Like A Virgin,’ because when I did the song, to me, I was singing about how something made me feel a certain way – brand-new and fresh – and everyone else interpreted it as “I don’t want to be a virgin anymore. F*ck my brains out!’ That’s not what I sang at all.”


Madonna pauses and glances for a moment at her reflection in the tabletop. “People have this idea,” she says, “that if you’re sexual and beautiful and provocative, then there’s nothing else you could possibly offer. People have always had that image about women. And while it might have seemed like I was behaving in a stereotypical way, at the same time, I was also masterminding it. I was in control of everything I was doing, and I think that when people realized that, it confused them. It’s not like I was saying, ‘Don’t pay attention to the clothes – to the lingerie – I’m wearing.’ Actually, the fact that I was wearing those clothes was meant to drive home the point that you can be sexy and strong at the same time. In a way, it was necessary to wear the clothes.”


So is it feminism she’s offering or a denial of it?


She considers the notion, then shrugs. “I don’t think about the work in terms of feminism. I certainly feel that I give women strength and hope, particularly young women. So in that respect, I feel my behavior is feminist, or my art is feminist. But I’m certainly not militant about it, nor do I exactly premeditate it.


“And when women didn’t like me, I just chalked it up to the reason women always have a problem with me: It think that women who are strong, or women who wanted to be strong or be respected, were taught this thing that they had to behave like men, or not be sexy or feminine or something, and I think that it pissed them off that I was doing that. Also, I think for the most part men have always been the aggressors sexually. Through time immemorial they’ve always been in control. So I think sex is equated with power in a way, and that’s scary in a way. It’s scary for men that women would have that power, and I think it’s scary for women to have that power – or to have that power and be sexy at the same time.”


Is that why so many critics seemed perfectly comfortable with male rock stars’ sexuality but were incensed by Madonna’s displays?


“Well, yeah! I thought about that, certainly. I’d think, ‘Why aren’t they letting all this stand in the way of appreciating Prince’s music?’ He was certainly just as sexually provocative, if not more than I was. I wasn’t talking about giving head. He was much more specific than I was.”


There’s a knock at the door of her suite, a reminder that it’s time to head over to the stadium. “Actually, I can’t complain,” Madonna says, getting ready to leave. “Plenty of people are getting my message. I’m not going to change the world in a day. I don’t know, maybe it never will be where men and women will be equal. They’re too different. I mean, it just seems like as long as women are the ones that give birth to children, it’ll never really change. I’m not saying that in a sad way. I think more and more women will be able to have more freedom to do whatever they want, and they won’t have so many prejudices thrown at them, but I think it would be too idealistic to say that one day we will never be discriminated against because we’re women.


“I don’t know, am I too cynical?”


Several hours later, Madonna stands onstage before 35,000 fans at Korakuen Stadium – outfitted in a brazen courset-bustier, executing fast, sure pirouettes and striking starkly bawdy poses that recall the cocky femmes of Cabaret and The Blue Angel. It rapidly becomes apparent that all Madonna’s talk about sexual pride was hardly trifling. Indeed, although it may come as a major surprise to many of her critics, there has probably never been a more imaginative or forceful showcase for the feminine sensibility in pop than Madonna’s current concert tour. In part, that’s because Madonna is simply the first female entertainer who has ever starred in a show of this scope – a fusion of Broadway-style choreography and post-disco song and dance that tops the standards set by previous live concert firebrands like Prince and Michael Jackson.


But there is more to the show than mere theatrical savvy. Actually, a majority of Madonna’s new song-and-dance routines amount to stirring statements about dignity and triumph. Some of these are simply fun – for example, the skit in “True Blue,” where the singer gets charmed and then used by a muscle-bound lady-killer (played slyly by the show’s choreographer, master break dancer Shabba Doo) but then wins the cad back. Other moments are both fun and serious, such as “Open Your Heart,” in which Madonna pulls off some eye-busting stripper-style moves that are not only enticing but also defiant and smart. And yet still other moments come off as unabashedly serious, particularly a rendition of “Papa Don’t Preach” that takes sharp aim at some of the current batch of male authority figures (including the pope and the president) who would presume to have the power to make key decisions regarding a woman’s control of her own body. (“Ronald Reagan,” Madonna says later, “is one papa who shouldn’t preach.”)


But it is in “Live to Tell” that Madonna makes her most forceful comment on feminine spirit. For the most part, the song is Madonna’s least theatrical performance. She sings her ballad of battered hope while standing stock-still at the front of the stage, under a giant projected photo of herself that strongly resembles Marilyn Monroe. At the song’s end, as the photo turns dark and deathly, Madonna slumps onto the floor, in a pose that suggests surrender and desolation, and then gradually forces herself back to her feet, as if recovering her strength and courage through an act of titanic will. It’s a moment that could be seen as a mourning of Monroe’s gloomy end or as a refusal of the very sort of despair that was the fate of the actress.


It’s also a moment that makes plain a link between the stars: like Monroe, Madonna is bent on epitomizing and championing a certain vision of female sexuality, and also like Monroe, she is often damned and dismissed as an artist for doing so. Whether this connection is apparent to the audience gathered here in Tokyo is hard to say, though this much is sure: in that instant in “Live to Tell” when Madonna rises from the floor and stands with her head erect, a decidedly feminine yowl – in fact, the loudest roar of the evening – greets the motion. It is an acclamation that will be repeated on several other nights in the weeks ahead, as the tour makes its way around America. Madonna will still have her detractors, but somehow little girls across the world seem to recognize a genuine hero when they see one.


The next evening, aboard a plane en route to Los Angeles, Madonna seems surprised, even a tad miffed, to learn that her performance of “Live to Tell” may be seen as a commentary on Marilyn Monroe. Apparently, she never intended for the portrait that accompanies the song onstage to bear such a striking resemblance to Monroe.


“Actually,” she says, “I think ‘Live to Tell’ is about something very different. It’s about being strong, and questioning whether you can be that strong, but ultimately surviving.”


But she’s aware, isn’t she, that many people see certain similarities between her and Monroe? After all, she was the one who deliberately evoked Marilyn in the “Material Girl” video. And both artists inspire arguments about sexual values and share a certain allure.

“Oh, sure,” she says. “I mean, at first I enjoyed the comparisons between me and her. I saw it all as a compliment: she was very sexy – extremely sexy – and she had blond hair, and so on and so forth. Then it started to annoy me, because nobody wants to be continuously compared to someone else. You want people to see that you have a statement of your own to make.


“But yes, I do feel something for Marilyn Monroe. A sympathy. Because in those days, you were really a slave to the whole Hollywood machinery, and unless you had the strength to pull yourself out of it, you were just trapped. I think she really didn’t know what she was getting herself into and simply made herself vulnerable, and I feel a bond with that. I’ve certainly felt that at times – I’ve felt an invasion of privacy and all that – I’ve felt an invasion of privacy and all that – but I’m determined never to let it get me down. Marilyn Monroe was a victim, and I’m not. That’s why there’s no comparison.”


But has she, like Marilyn, ever had times of wondering…


Madonna anticipates where the question is headed. “Of wondering, ‘Oh, God, what have I created?’ Oh yes. Like when Desperately Seeking Susan came out, and I was going with a well-known actor, then I announced my marriage, then the Playboy and Penthouse pictures came out – everything sort of happened at once, one big explosion of publicity. No matter how successful you want to be, you could never ever anticipate that kind of attention – the grand scale of it all.


“And at first the Playboy photos were very hurtful to me, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Now I look back at them and I feel silly that I ever got upset, but I did want to keep some things private. It was like when you’re a little girl at school and some nun comes and lifts your dress up in front of everybody and you get really embarrassed. It’s not really a terrible thing in the end, but you’re not ready for it, and it seems so awful, and you seem so exposed. Also, Penthouse did something really nasty: they sent copies of the magazine to Sean.” Madonna pauses and shakes her head, as if to dispel her memory.


“That whole time was almost too much,” she says after a moment. “I mean, I didn’t think I was going to be getting married with thirteen helicopters flying over my head. It turned into a circus. In the end, I was laughing. At first I was outraged, and then I was laughing. You couldn’t have written it in a movie. No one would have believed it. It was better than anything like that, it was just so incredible. It was like a Busby Berkeley musical. Or something that somebody would stage to generate a lot of publicity for one of their stars.”


Why does she think she and Sean Penn have attracted so much scrutiny? After all, other celebrity couples manage to avoid that much brouhaha.


“But they don’t love each other as much as we do!” she says, then lets go with a nice, loud, goody laugh. “Maybe people sense that. I don’t know. We’re both very intense people. Plus, he had a sort of rebellious-bad-boy image in Hollywood, and I had the same one, only, you know, for a girl, and I think the press really wanted to seize on that opportunity of that combination.”


Does she ever get the feeling that people want her marriage to fail?


“Oh yes, from the time we got married. They couldn’t make up their mind: they wanted me to be pregnant, or they wanted us to get a divorce. That put a lot of strain on our relationship, too, after a while. It’s been a character-building experience, and a test of love to get through all of it.” She falls silent for a time, studying the darkening sky outside the window. “A lot of the times,” she says, “the press would make up the most awful things that we had never done, fights that we never had. Then sometimes we would have a fight, and we’d read about it, and it would be almost spooky, like they’d predicted it or they’d bugged our phones or they were listening in our bedroom. It can be very scary if you let it get to you.”


Wouldn’t it be easier if she and Sean just accommodated the press?


“Well,” she says, “I can never speak for Sean. He will always deal with the press in his own way. For myself, I have accommodated the press a great deal. I’ve done numerous press conferences, numerous interviews. But I’m a lot more outgoing and verbal that way than Sean is. Also, in the beginning of my career I invited controversy and press and publicity, and I don’t think he did at all. He was a very serious actor, and he wasn’t interested in having a Hollywood-star image and didn’t do a lot of interviews, and it took him quite by surprise, whereas I had already kind of thrown myself into that whole world. And therefore we deal with it differently.”


Unfortunately, Penn’s way has often been belligerent: he has perhaps become more famous for fighting than for acting – which has led him to legal difficulties, as well as a troubled public image. Madonna herself has been present for some of the fisticuffs.


“It was traumatic,” she says. “I mean, I don’t like violence. I never condone hitting anyone, and I never thought that any violence should have taken place. But on the other hand, I understood Sean’s anger, and believe me, I’ve wanted to hit them many times. I never would, you know, because I realize that it would just make things worse. Besides, I have chances to vent my anger in other ways than confrontation. I like to fight people and kind of manipulate them into feeling like they’re not being fought, do you know what I mean? I’d rather do it that way.


“But yes, those were very traumatic experiences for me, and I think…” She pauses thoughtfully. “I don’t think they’ll be happening anymore. I think that Sean really believes that it’s a waste of energy. It antagonizes the press more and generates even more publicity, and I think he realizes that. But once they realized he was a target for that, they really went out of their way to pick on him, the point where they would walk down the street and kind of poke at him and say, “C’mon, c’mon, hit me, hit me.’ It’s not fair. And they insult me, and they try to get in to react that way, so, God, you just have to have the strength to rise above it all.”


Madonna looks suddenly tired. In just a few hours, she will be landing in Los Angeles, then shortly winging off to Miami, Florida, where the American tour begins. One has to wonder: with all this work, all this scrutiny of her private life, does she ever question whether the fame is worth all the trouble?


“Sure,” she says quietly. “There have been times when I’ve thought, ‘If I’d known it was going to be like this, I wouldn’t have tried so hard.’ But I feel that what I do affects people in a very positive way. That’s the most important thing, and that’s what I always set out to do. And you can’t affect people in a large, grand way without being scrutinized and judged and put under a microscope, and I accept that. If it ever gets too much, or I feel like I’m being overscrutinized, or I’m not enjoying it anymore, then I won’t do it.”


Isn’t it possible, though, that things are just heating up? That by the end of this year, she might be an even bigger star? Maybe even, if only for a while, the biggest star?


Something in Madonna’s face closes off at the question. “I don’t like to think about it,” she says. “It’s…distracting.”

But is the prospect…


“Is it scary? Sure, it’s both scary and exciting. Because who knows what will come of it and what responsibilities I’ll have and what things will be taken away and what I’ll lose and what I’ll gain? I mean, you don’t know until you get there.”


Madonna’s life stays interesting after her return to America. On the day she arrives in Los Angeles, the press is abuzz with the latest about Sean Penn, who has just been sentenced to sixty days in jail for punching an extra during the filming of his movie Colors and for a reckless-driving charge. Several local commentators seem downright gleeful about what they view as the actor’s comeuppance; some, in fact, urge his jailers to lock him up with dangerous criminals – an attitude that seems no less odious than Penn’s violence.


Matters grow even worse a few weeks later, when – after having won a reprieve of his jail term so that he can finish work on a new film in West Germany – Penn apparently violates his agreement with the court by turning up in New York to see his wife’s AIDS benefit concert at Madison Square Garden. Back in L.A., the city attorneys grow furious and obtain a warrant for the actor’s arrest, then quash the warrant when Penn belatedly heads for Europe to make his movie. Madonna, meantime, prefers to stay mum on the issue. “I don’t know all the details,” she says, “and I don’t want to know.”


Still, the whole affair manages to kick up several rumors – namely, that Penn’s sentencing has either saved or helped finish what has reputedly been an often tempestuous marriage. “All this talk,” says Madonna, “is heightened dramatics. We are a ‘Hollywood couple,’ so people are going to pay a lot of attention to our marriage and whether it’s going to work or not…If we have our fights, I think that’s pretty normal for young people in their first few years of marriage. It’s normal for anybody who’s married, but when you put all the pressures that we’ve had on top of that, I think the fact that we’re still together is pretty amazing You know, we’re working it out, and that’s all I can say…It’s easy to give up, but it’s not easy for me to give up.”


Amid all the hoopla about Penn, Madonna’s AIDS benefit is relatively overlooked. Shaken by the death of a good friend, artist Michael Burgoyne, and mindful that much of her initial support came from the gay, black and Latin communities – the same groups that have been hardest hit by AIDS – Madonna decided to lend her name to the cause of raising money for medical research against the deadly disease and, in the process, became the first major American pop star to stage such a large-scale fund-raiser. Not surprisingly, many of the concert’s songs, such as “Open Your Heart” and “Holiday,” take on a new resonance in the context of the event, though none is more affecting than “Live to Tell,” dedicated on this evening to Burgoyne. Indeed, the moment when Madonna pushes herself up off the stage floor and back to her feet comes across as both an act of hope and a gesture of solace in the face of terrible, fearful impossibilities. Two days later, The New York Times calls the show, “shallow, kitschy pop entertainment.” Madonna says, “There are still those people who, no matter what I do, will always think of me as a little disco tart.”


As the tour progresses, “Live to Tell” seems to take on more and more of the focus in the show. By the time she hits Los Angeles, Madonna has taken to halting in the middle of the song and gazing thoughtfully up at the large photo of herself that looms above her head. What is she thinking about while looking at her own larger-than-life image? “I see it and I say, “Oh, God, what have I done? What have I created? Is that me, or is this me, this small person standing down here on the stage?’ That’s why I call the tour Who’s That Girl: because I play a lot of characters, and every time I do a video or a song, people go, ‘Oh, that’s what she’s like.’ And I’m not like any of them. I’m all of them. I’m none of them. You know what I mean?”

© Rolling Stone Magazine

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