The very first announcement of a possible tour came to me through a friend. He had found a voucher for a Madonna concert in Denmark on June 27th and for Goteborg in Sweden on June 29th, think it was going to be a very hot summer indeed! Denmark was denied very quickly but Goteborg was a go, so we could safely say that the tour was indeed a fact! This was the ultimate opportunity for me to go and see more shows of Madonna. I really wanted to see her live in London, the magical Wembley Stadium (after I had seen Live Aid I just had to have seen her there). But how am I going to get tickets for shows abroad?
After two weeks of more uncertainties, a friend of mine told me that the tour had taken off in Tokyo Japan in a really strange outfit (I was shown the pic of the Like A Virgin performance). I really had to get used to her new look and her ponytail, and what and where would she be playing? There wasn’t even talk of European dates at that point. Only in April we learned that Madonna would indeed come to Europe! Goteborg Sweden on June 29th and London July 20th, so I just had to go! Those were the only dates confirmed as of then. The ticketsale for London would start on April 29th, since I didn’t have a creditcard we found an option of arranging tickets through a Dutch ticket agency (Keith Prowse). We learned from them that two more dates would be added to the London shows. Later we heard that Madonna would be coming to Holland, and once again in the ‘The Kuip’ in Rotterdam. So I was going to go to four shows as of now, and was planning on trying for Sweden.
At the end of may the Paris shows were announced, on July 3 and 4 she would perform in Bercy. Through an add in a newspaper I managed to buy tickets for both shows, my friend only was going to see the shows in London and Rotterdam. I really still wanted to get tickets for shows in Germany and Italy. But Madonna’s tour schedule was so vague that nothing was confirmed. German magazines spoke of Madonna performances in July in Berlin, Cologne and Munich. Tickets for Cologne was with a bustrip included. I was planning on traveling to Berlin from Goteborg and then on to Paris (by train). I thought I had everything planned, but things didn’t quite work out that way.
Ticketsale Rotterdam May 11th 1990
I didn’t want to end up with the worst tickets in the house like I did during the ‘Who’s That Girl’ Tour in 1987. So I left around 6 in the afternoon to the postoffice to camp out during the night for tickets. I picked out my spot in front of the building and brought all the necessary supplies. I was fantasizing about my upcoming holiday, then I started thinking ‘what if the show sucks?’ But I really couldn’t imagine, not after reading all those reviews from the show. Well here I was, all alone with people walking by asking me what I was doing there. At first I told people I was here to camp out for Madonna tickets, but when people reacted like ‘he’s crazy, Madonna is so over!’, I just stopped telling them. After a few hours some others joined me, so we started talking with some music, but then at midnight it started to rain. But everyone remained at their spot, the radio gave out after so many rain and my sleepingbag was soaked. The night went on quickly.
When the clock struck 9 in the morning, the door finally opened. We were allowed five at a time to buy our tickets. So I bought my ticket for the field, I went back outside and took a little walk around the building, just now I saw how many people were standing in the queue. I was very happy with my ticket. I said goodbye to the people who had spent the night outside with me and went on home.
Blond Ambition Tour Europe!
June 27th 1990
I had a four week holiday so my Blond Ambition Tour was safe to start. I had had some fights back home about my planned trip. They just didn’t understand why I wanted to see the same show so many times, in different countries. But still my mom wished me all the best when I left. I got on the train to Hamburg where I had to switch for Copenhagen and from then on to Goteborg. I had my walkman with me and the train took off. Trip went smoothly and I arrived on June 28th in the afternoon in Goteborg. Hello Sweden!, the hotel was good and from here there was a direct coach to Eriksberg.
The first disappointment was a fact, the show was delayed by a day. There were some technical problems, so I had to see to entertain myself for another day. I decided to do some shopping.
Still had no ticket and was wondering if I would be able to buy one. When I arrived at Eriksberg there were indeed scalpers selling tickets but for prices like $500. No thought in my mind was thinking of spending that much money for a ticket. I knew I was certainly going to see Madonna in London, Paris and Holland, so no way! I spent the day with some other fans, had a great time! When the hours started passing, we still had hope to find a cheap ticket, but no such luck. We just decided to stay outside and enjoy the show from here. When the clock turned 9 the show started. Of course we couldn’t see a thing, only hear it all, so we just imagined all the things going on. We heard lots of screaming, and we had goosebumps all over. ‘Alright Sweden, do you believe in love?!’ We danced and we sang along, halfway during the show someone came over to us trying to sell his leftover ticket, he still wanted $50 for it. We were like ‘bye bye, we’re having a great time as it is’. In the end he never managed to sell his tickets.
It was my schedule to now go to Berlin, but decided to ask around before I caught the train. I then searched through newspapers to see pics of last night’s show, I was quite surprised to see she didn’t have a ponytail, but her hair loose. When I asked around about M’s show in Berlin, it turned out that there was no Berlin show scheduled at all! I was so disappointed, the tour really didn’t start off the right way for me. I knew I was still going to see her in Paris, but kinda regretted the fact not buying a ticket for last night’s show. I was glad to have found out here that there was no Berlin show.
When I arrived back in Amsterdam, I just had a few hours to catch my train to Paris. I reserved a spot in the train and went to sleep.
The next morning around 7 we arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord. After finding a hotel and sleeping some bit, I made my way to Bercy. There I learned that another show had been added to the schedule in Paris. I couldn’t book one more night at my hotel, so no third Paris show for me! There were already people waiting to be the first in line tomorrow to enter Bercy.
Early in the morning I went to Bercy and sat down in the queue. There were about 50 people in front of me. We had a great time, I shared my experience of Sweden with them. They told me that Madonna arrived in Paris yesterday and that they had heard her soundchecking. I was so happy, I was finally going to see her for real today! When it was time to go in I just ran until I found a great spot in the front row on the right side. It was very hot in Bercy and the support act was really bad. The stage was almost empty, which made it look a bit boring.
At 21:15 the lights went off and Bercy just became a hot mess! Lots of screaming, shouting and pushing! There she is Madonna! She looked amazing, she put on an amazing show. Finally I see what all the controversy is about regarding Like A Virgin, and finally can put the pics I’ve seen together with the reviews. There is so much happening on stage that I don’t know where to look. I was just very grateful to know I was going to see the show 6 more times. Vogue was the absolute highlight for me, and holiday was just a lot of fun. After she finished Keep it together she throws her hat on the floor and makes her exit for the last time. I want more!! What a night!, I go back to my hotel take a shower and hit the sheets.
At 8 in the morning I was back at Bercy, the queue was just as big as yesterday. There is a lot more security and people with cameras are walking around. At 6 in the evening the doors go open and I aim for the same spot I was in yesterday. The support act was just as bad as yesterday. And at 9 there our lady is again!. She just keeps on surprising me how many things are going on on the stage. Why does it pass by so quickly? She speaks some in French but I don’t understand a word of it. Again the show is over too quickly and the Paris shows are a fact as of now.
Took my train back to Amsterdam and just thinking about the shows I have seen. In the evening I arrive back in Amsterdam. I tell everyone how my trip went and call my friend to tell him all about it. He told me that shows in Italy were going to be cancelled as they thought it was too sexy.
Did nothing for three days straight. In the morning I take the train from Amsterdam to Paris, Paris-Annecy and then the next day the train from Annecy to Turin. I read a lot, sleep a lot, and times passes by quickly. At 6 I arrive at Gare Du Nord, I catch my next train there to Annecy. In the evening I arrive there and go to find a hotel for the night, I quickly find one and go straight to bed. I have to catch my train to Turin at 9 in the morning!
The trip from Annecy to Turin would take about 5 or 6 hours, so I put on my walkman and settle back in my chair. Around 3 in the afternoon we arrive and feel my heart beating faster. I don’t have a ticket for the show in Turin, am I able to get one?? I quickly find a hotel and then I take off to Stadio delle Alpi.
The heat is driving me crazy and after a long search I finally found the stadium. The stadium is just huge. I then ask if there were still tickets available, much to my delight there are still normal tickets available for regular price! I just screamed out and started to laugh, couldn’t believe my luck! Went back to my hotel and had a whole day to get to know the city. I really wanted to be in the front so had to make sure what time to go to the stadium.
Decided to go to the stadium today and just to sit and wait for the show tomorrow. When I got there I was the only one except for some crew members. Decided that it was no use at all to stick around on my own and headed back to the hotel. I phoned my friend in Holland who told me that there was once again a change in the tour schedule. Cologne was moved to Dortmund and nobody was talking about a gig in Munich anymore. I then went into town, had a drink and watched people walking by.
I woke up at 4 in the morning, by cab I went to the stadium and found out that I wasn’t the only one there anymore. Day passed by really quickly, the Italian people were a lot of fun. You could leave your place to get something, and no problem to get your seat back at all. There was a moment when everybody went nuts when they heard the soundcheck that M was doing. A group of Italian fans were singing along with tears in their eyes, which was very touching. Around 5 the gates were opened and we ran like lunatics, the stadium was just huge! And I made it, I am at the very front. A dream that came true, seeing Madonna play in Italy from the front row! The amazing thing is that now there are two huge billboards on both sides of the stage.
There were two support acts. When the show starts the crowd just went nuts and she screamed ‘Ciao Torino, Ciao Italia!’ But there is a lot of pushing and a lot of screaming, I just play along. Because the stage is higher than in Paris, I am missing certain things on the stage. But I really don’t care because I am enjoying each and very moment of the show. Everyone loved the show and everybody just kept on clapping their hands and singing along. When ‘Vogue’ comes on I just lose it, this is such an amazing performance and Holiday just shakes up the whole stadium.
Very tired, but very pleased, I leave the stadium and try and find a cab. It takes about 90 minutes before I find one and can get back to my hotel. The rude thing was that the cab ride cost about 3 times more then it cost this morning!. But hey, I just take a shower and jump into my bed, what a night!
After a good night’s sleep I am on my way back to Amsterdam, my next show is not until the 17th in Dortmund Germany. After a couple of switches on my train and an unexpected switch at Cologne I arrive in Amsterdam, where I was in a train full of backpackers, so no place to sit at all.
I got up at noon and started to get things ready for my trip the next day to Germany. The company where I arranged the bus trip and ticket hadn’t been in touch at all, so decided to call them. After an hour of trying to get hold of them, I finally spoke to them and they confirmed that everything was still going ahead.
Today was the day, I first went to Venlo as that was where the bus would be picking me and a friend up. I was walking around with my bag and tickets for London, because tomorrow I would be on the boat on my way to Harwich. Yeah the tour was now really going to be hectic, I was going to see five shows in one week! Tonight there was the show in Dortmund, I had heard that the venue would be very small, so my picture taking option would be great! After a bustrip of about 90 minutes we arrive in Dortmund, we still had to wait there to get our tickets. While the rest of the crowd is already gathering in front of the gates ‘hurry up goddammit, we wanna get inside!’ Finally there’s the person who has our tickets, he gives us the tickets and a tourposter of the show in Cologne that never was.
We ran to the entrance and there was already a lot of pushing going on. I tucked my camera away and without any problems I walk inside the venue. It’s incredibly hot inside the venue, so I am not walking up to the front row, so I just wait halfway. I get my camera and put it in a plastic bag. I then get into a fight with a German guy who doesn’t agree with the fact that I brought a camera. And he tells me he will do everything to obstruct my pictures, I just pretend I’m deaf and ignore him. The support act was the worst thus far and thank God it was over before I knew it. During the support act however the German guy kept on bumping into me, I was getting so pissed at him that I punched him back and hard! And it worked, as he walked away.
At 9 the light went off and I just start to scream my head off. We are all screaming, and I am going to experience my fourth concert. The first thing I notice when I see her, is that her hair is all messy and not as curly as it was before. But she again is giving her all and dancing her ass off. She makes several naughty and funny jokes, she’s hilarious! Then there are some guys yelling ‘TITS!’ at her, during ‘Cherish’ you can see that Madonna didn’t really appreciate it and so she answers ‘No I am not going to show you my tits, if you wanted to see my tits, you should’ve bought the Playboy! She’s got everyone in hysterics! After ‘Vogue’ almost everybody is starting to leave, they don’t know that there are still two songs to follow. So I have more space and walk up to the front, perfect opportunity to shoot some more great pics.
Back in the bus I am completely soaked, and so are all the others. Even though the show was in such an intimate venue, it was the least favourite show that I had seen so far. But that was more because of the irritating German guy. When we arrive at our hotel in Venlo we split the costs of the hotelroom and go to bed.
It’s again an early day for me, I have to get to ‘Hoek van Holland’ to catch the boat to Harwich. When I leave the hotel the owner is so nice to give me something to eat to take with me. He just doesn’t get me, why see 8 shows of the same artist? They’re all the same aren’t they?. I get on the train to Hoek van Holland and arrive there at around 11, the weather is great and I check in at the Stena Line. The boattrip takes up about 8 hours and I spent my time by sitting in the sun. Around 6:30 we arrive in England and then have to take the train to London, which takes up one hour. But I enjoy every single moment. I take the tube at Liverpool Station to Tottenham Court Road and then after almost 15 hours I arrive at the hotel. I check in for today and tomorrow . Once in my room I just drop on my bed and close my eyes.
I wake up the next morning and take a shower and have breakfast. The weather is still fantastic and I am planning on visiting the Wembley Stadium immediately. Already Madonna is headlining the newspapers because of her so called bad attitude. When I finally arrive at Wembley Stadium there is absolutely no one there except for some crewmembers. I decide to go back to my hotel to pick up some things and spend the rest of the day on top of the stairs at Wembley Stadium.
In the hotelroom I grabbed some film rolls, my camera, my walkman and water and then head back to Wembley. When I get there I walk up the stairs and take up my spot. Tomorrow is a special day for me as I turn 21 years old and I just want to be in the front row on my birthday. The weather is still great and I am just relaxing in the sun, thinking several things through. Then suddenly Madonna starts her soundcheck and I hear ‘Express Yourself’ and go nuts! And I just think ‘Hans be yourself, whether you like boys or girls, who cares, just be yourself’. Madonna’s lyrics just only help me realize that more and more, after her soundcheck I scream ‘thank you Madonna!’ I just feel amazing, I hear some more of the soundcheck and then it’s silent again.
Later on four other people join me with sleepingbags and we start to talk. I tell them all about the shows I have already seen and we have a great evening.
The night’s a fact and they start to sing me ‘Happy Birthday’, I am now 21 years old! The later it gets, the more people that come to Wembley. In the morning I went to buy some breakfast at a fast food restaurant. I also speak to a security guard who congratulates me on my birthday and tells me that Madonna’s show of tomorrow night will be broadcast live on radio. I ask him to tape it on a cassette for me and give him my address in case I don’t run into him again.
Day passes by quickly, the sun is still shining, lots more people have ended up at Wembley and by now everyone knows that it is my birthday. I try to see if I can find my Dutch friend who is coming over for today’s show, I walk around but just can’t find him. Then suddenly the soundcheck starts and everybody is silent. We hear ‘Express Yourself’ and we just start to applaud, and then it’s quiet on stage, yes Madonna we are here already! The doors went open at around 5 and again we just ran! I had tucked away my camera but while running I feel it slowly slipping down my pants. But I made it, I am right at the front, still it would take almost 4 hours until the show will start.
Support act was a bit better (Technotronics) and this just sounds really nice, the best support act of the tour so far. I notice a dancer Oliver Crumes standing behind the barriers watching the performance. Then at 9 the time is there, the show starts!!. Wembley is just shaking in anticipation. There she is ‘Alright London, I just wanna know one thing, do you believe in love?!’ I dance and I sing and congratulate myself on my birthday, there is almost no pushing so I can easily take some excellent pictures, but still have to keep an eye on security. Madonna swears a lot during the show especially in Causing A Commotion (if you don’t have a fucking sense of humour, you can fucking go home). But the audience loves it, during Like A Virgin there was no curtain behind the bed. Her little conversation about Dick Tracy was hilarious as well (I have a Dick and he is very very hard!) Madonna’s in great spirits and extremely funny.
The show just goes by way too fast, and Wembley is just rocking and Madonna is the queen! Holiday gets sang along by 72000 people, which creates a fantastic atmosphere. Then the first London show is a fact and the 72000 people leave the stadium. I put my camera away and head to the hotel, hopefully I can find my Dutch friend soon because I really couldn’t wait to hear what his opinion on the show was. When I arrive at Tottenham court Road, I see that my Dutch friend walks out as well! We decide to grab a bite to eat and he tells me that he was amazed by the show, but that he couldn’t really make a judgement as it all went by so fast. This was truly the best show I had seen so far!
Today we go back to Wembley Stadium for the second show. The newspapers were filled with reviews on last night’s show, talking about Madonna’s supposed dirty mouth. The English press didn’t liked the fact that M said the F word so many times. It’s already very crowded at Wembley (it is now 1 in the afternoon). We now have to run a little further as we are on a different entrance. So when it’s time to run, we have to run just a little faster than yesterday. I lose my friend while running, but hey I will see him in the hotel. When I find my spot, I decide to photograph the thousands of people waiting. After that I can easily go back to my spot, nobody makes trouble out of it. The support act had some technical problems today, but they were still great.
At 9 it was Madonna time again, and no she wasn’t going to slow down today and we get the F word a LOT of times. But this time Madonna explains that Fuck is a good word, fuck is the reason I am here, fuck is the reason you are here, if your mom and dad did not fuck you would not be here today okay?! Audience loves it, and M continues doing her thing. Now during Like A Virgin the curtain behind the bed is down. But knowing that tonight’s show is being broadcast live, I know lots of homes won’t be very happy with the swearing. During Cherish Wembley seems like one big family, everybody sings along and just held on to each other. Vogue really brings the house down, it’s one giant party! After the show I make my way back to the hotel where I run into my friend again.
Today we got up early to go to a record fair in London. I bought the shaped picture disc of ‘Angel’ there but that was it, although I saw some amazing stuff but for amazing high prices as well. Also the newspapers were sill talking about Madonna’s swearing, they reckoned she should be banned all over the world, because a million kids were listening to her. We went to Wembley at noon, but it was soooooo crowded, much more than before. There was obviously no chance of getting to the front with so many people in front of us. I found the security guard again and he had indeed recorded the show on cassette for me. But he said that he found her terrible, her swearing was the worst! I started a discussion with him and basically he just couldn’t deal with the fact that she wore because she was a woman!
When the gates opened we managed to get quite to the front, there are about 10 people in front of me. But the crowd is very restless and there is a lot of pushing. Also people are throwing with water bottles and boxes of yoghurt, and of course one of them lands on me. And luckily I was wearing a black shirt, so now I am completely covered in yoghurt (YES! NOT!) The security finds the guy who is throwing with yoghurt and takes him to the back of Wembley. When Madonna comes on, the pushing gets heavier and I get pushed more and more forward. There is quite a big lady in front of me and because I am standing on some steal from the gate, I keep slipping off of it due to the water and yoghurt. During Causing A Commotion Madonna keeps on glancing my way. But then suddenly Madonna stands there with her arms folded and looks me right into my eyes! Wooohooo I can’t believe it! However the lady in front of me keeps on pushing me, I ask her to stop but she doesn’t respond. Then suddenly during ‘Live To Tell’ I again slipped of the steel and felt a bit strange in my head, and could think of only 1 thing: FOOD!
Before I knew it I was standing on the side of the stage, I had been pulled out as I apparently had fainted! I then went to go and buy something to eat and drink and sat down on a seat. After I finished my food and drink I just burst into tears, my shoes and socks were just soaked with dirt and water, and I just started to shake terribly. It was not until ‘Vogue’ that I finally gained myself together and could enjoy the show again. After the show finished I found my friend and told him all that had happened. He told me that he never even noticed that I had fainted. We then went on to eat something and went to bed because we had an early day tomorrow.
We bought some newspapers and caught our train, our trip went smoothly and we slept and ate some. My plan was to get back to Amsterdam, go to my house, get my stuff together and go to Rotterdam immediately. I arrived at home around 11 in the evening, I grabbed my things, said goodbye and left again. I had only forgotten one thing, there was no bus anymore, it was too late. So I went back home and decided to catch the very first train to Rotterdam.
Of course I had forgotten to set the alarm, so I woke up at 10:00 in the morning! I was extremely angry with myself and made my way to the train. The trip in the train was going to take up to 90 minutes. Around noon I arrived in Rotterdam and made my way to ‘De Kuip’. When I got there it was very crowded already and knew I wouldn’t have a front row spot. This is not how I imagined my last show to be. Suddenly a friend of mine saw me and asked what had happened and why I was this late. So I told her and she invited me to join her and the others right at the front. So of course I am very grateful and I am at the front again.
Around 4 Madonna begins her now for us famous soundcheck with express Yourself! Around 6 the gates open and we run to get a good spot. We get a wristband because we’re in the first section, which means that we get to walk around freely and I of course immediately use this opportunity. It’s a bit windy and cloudy and I just hope that the rain will stay away. We get again a different support act, King Bee (who?), they apparently had some hits (Back By Dope Demand). I again see Oliver the dancer and Slam as well standing behind the barriers and enjoying the performance.
The time has arrived and Madonna makes her grand entrance. She has some nice things to say again ‘For those of you who thought I was a lesbian, you’re wrong, I hate girls!’ She isn’t too happy about the weather either ‘So why is it so fucking cold in here, and why isn’t it fucking dark yet?!’ It’s a great feeling thought to see Madonna perform in your own country. But I agree with her, it’s very cold here compared to London!. People around me don’t like the fact that M mimes to ‘Now I’m Following You’ and start to boo her. Thank god they stop when she starts ‘Material Girl’. Then she goes and talks some more nice things about wearing fur coats. ‘Do you know how many animals I had to fuck to get this coat?!’ A funny thing happens during ‘Holiday’, she gets a girl on stage! The girl gets to sing and dance along with Madonna. During ‘Keep it together’ I am already making my way to the exit as I need to catch the train.
When I am in the train, I am already homesick to the tour, can’t believe that it’s over for me. I had had the best holiday ever. There were so many highlights, London and Turin, the great weather, Rotterdam. Downsides: the ever changing tour schedule, the little fight in Germany and my alarmclock. The perfect holiday that I hope to repeat!