FAME – Pulse – Avro – Wetten Dass – Koko – Children In Need – G-A-Y
Of course I knew that with the release of a new single (Hung Up) and new forthcoming album (Confessions On A Dance Floor) Madonna would embark on a promo tour. I started early with ringing and e-mailing several TV shows in Europe asking if anyone knew anything of a possible Madonna appearance on their show. Nobody knew anything, and nobody wanted to help.
The promotion of the new single and album in The Netherlands was a big deal for me. I was busy for months planning a premiere party for the new album in Holland. Ever since I had attended a listening party of Mariah’s ‘Mimi’ in Dutch megastore FAME in Amsterdam in March 2005, I had said ‘I will be the one organizing a Madonna listening party one day’. It was my dream to organize this, so I started e-mailing Warner Holland and FAME as well. FAME loved the idea instantly and urged me to write another letter to Warner detailing what my ideas were, so I did. Thank God after weeks of e-mailing and organizing it was a deal! Holland had the world premiere of Confessions On A Dance Floor!
I also did a short interview on the radio release date of ‘Hung Up’ in Holland at BNN radio. They called me in the afternoon and I was live within seconds. The questions were asked so quickly that I didn’t even have time to think about my answers. I just said that Hung Up sounded amazing, that I thought Madonna was sexy no matter what she did, and that she and Guy were probably still very much in love (they asked me about divorce rumours). I was satisfied with my little interview though.
The FAME party went ahead, we had the world premiere on November 10 at 9 in the evening! Went to FAME to talk about it and asked people to sign up for the party. I had also arranged to attend the taping of ‘Pulse’ on November 11th. The host of ‘Pulse’ had gone to London earlier that month to interview Madonna, the interview would be shown on live tv November 11th. So we were just going to be in the audience at first, but one day I got a call from someone from ‘Pulse’ asking me if I wanted to be interviewed live on TV about my passion for Madonna and if I knew any other fans as well. So I spoke to him for quite a while and gave him details of other fans that I knew.
Wetten Dass, Mannheim Germany
November 5th 2005
Since I still didn’t have any confirmation of any Madonna promotional appearance whatsoever (was too late with buying tickets to see her at Parkinson in London), Simon and me just decided to try and attend Madonna’s taping of Wetten Dass in Germany. This was the second show in Europe she would do to promote ‘Hung Up’ (the first one being the MTV Awards in Lisbon, didn’t even try for that one as it was a bit too far away). It was a long known fact that Madonna would attend the November 5th taping, but seen as tickets can only be ordered a long time beforehand, it was virtually impossible for us to get tickets. Even ebay was a big no-no as tickets were going for more than 500 euros! So then we were off to Mannheim with the ICE train. After 4,5 hours of boring travel and lots of hold ups we finally arrived. It still took us a full hour to finally make our way to our hotel, as we didn’t understand the public transport in Mannheim. We got dropped off in the middle of nowhere by the train and then just decided to call a cab. Thank God the sun was shining, so after dumping our stuff at the hotel we quickly made our way to the Mai Markt Hallen.
After a long walk in the middle of nowhere we finally arrived at the spot. There were only a handful of people and like us were in search for tickets. Later on we decided to leave as nothing was going on and grab a bite to eat. But somehow we couldn’t find a restaurant anywhere, so we settled for some sandwiches from the local supermarket. We then went back to the Mai Markt Hallen. Time went by and it got a lot more crowded, now there were loads of Madonna fans searching for tickets, asking anyone that came along. Chance of getting a ticket was getting impossible. A short while after the box office opened their doors, where people got tickets that were assigned to them. We were very lucky and got restricted view tickets for free, we were so incredibly happy to get in!
It had seemed completely impossible to attend tonight’s show, but here we were with free tickets!
When we got inside there was a lot of food for us to eat, a great reception. After a while we were allowed to enter the studio (we had heard Madonna rehearsing, just before we got in). Studio was quite big and our seats were on the right side just in front of the spot where the bets would take place. We were seated on the fifth row and our seats weren’t so bad at all. When the show started we felt so lucky to be there, after so many years of seeing this show on TV, and now actually attending was just great.
When ‘Green Day’ finished their performance, I suddenly saw people working on the stage and lots of disco balls came from backstage. So I knew that Madonna would be the next performer! I also saw Chris Lamb (M’s tour manager) walking around, checking to see if everything was in order. Within ten minutes the stage was ready and looked incredible. Thomas (the host) was ready to announce the next performer. I saw the dancers walking on stage, followed by this tiny woman, and yeah that was her, there was Madonna! Of course immediately people in the audience started to scream, so Thomas had to rush announcing her.
Immediately we stood up from our seats and when we heard the intro ‘Time goes by so slowly…..’ We sang along and screamed with excitement! M looked really good in her silver boots and silver jacket, she had superstar written all over her. It was absolutely amazing to hear ‘Hung Up’ this loud from the speakers and see the incredible choreography for real. After the performance Madonna had a little chat with Thomas and even put her leg on his shoulder. She looked radiant!
So fresh, young and full of energy, totally healthy. Was this the same woman that had broken so many bones just few weeks before by falling off her horse? Unbelievably so! After her chat she waved at the fans and left the stage.
I was very happy to have seen her again and just sat back and relaxed for the rest of the show. It wasn’t all too interesting to me, sure it was nice to see Cameron Diaz in person and so close by. But Shakira couldn’t bother me at all while she ironically sang ‘Don’t Bother’. I had a very friendly man sitting next to me who gave me a promo press kit with info on tonight’s show, that had all the details. When we left after the show we also got a free ZDF goodie bag, which was really nice. We then took the taxi to our hotel. Next day we watched the re-run of Wetten Dass on TV and later on took the train back to Holland.
FAME Confessions On A Dance Floor World premiere Amsterdam NL
Amsterdam, November 10th
The day had arrived that I had anticipated and had worked on for so long! I was going to be at FAME early to set up the store in typical Madonna mode. Right before we started my phone rang and it was the guy from ‘Pulse’ he told me that 3 people would be interviewed tomorrow. Among the three selected were me and Hans. He didn’t say anything else, only that we had to be at the studios tomorrow at 8 in the evening, for make up. After putting up posters all over FAME, we were the very first ones in the world to buy ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ which made us very happy. Then the hundreds of fans waiting outside were let inside the store to buy their copy. After that we went upstairs where the disco party was and danced to Madonna’s old hits. At 10 in the evening it was time for the premiere of the album! Of course we all knew ‘Hung Up’ and just went crazy dancing to that. It was the funniest thing when ‘Get Together’ started as most of us hadn’t heard anything of the album as of yet. After that we just kept on dancing and be surprised by all the songs, we had a great time.
Meanwhile we had to search for the ‘best dressed fan’ who got a promotional disco ball as a gift. ‘Push’ was the song that really stood out for me that night, amazing song! We all got a free poster, free window sticker and free laminate. I also received a mini disco ball to thank me for all the trouble. Later on I even received the promotional COADF disco ball in big box as well, to thank me for organizing the party and making it come true.
It was a great night spoke to lots of people and met my friends again. COADF had an amazing first week sale, so yeah I accomplished my goal thanks to the people of FAME and the great help of Warner Holland!
Hilversum November 11th
Exactly one year after meeting Madonna at Sefridges in London, I was off to the studios to attend the taping of ‘Pulse’. When we got there we immediately were taken to the studios. We were told we could consume everything we wanted from the dinner and even had our own dressing room filled with drinks and candy. Dutch celebrity Gerard Joling was already eating dinner when we joined the table. After this we received our TV make over with a load of foundation. The host Peter v/d Vorst came in to introduce himself. We had fun with Gerard Joling, and sat around enjoying all of it.
We then had to record the introduction to ‘Pulse’ we had to stand next to the host, while we had to dance to Madonna’s new music. It was live TV so it was all a bit awkward and my smile was so fake that it looked like I was promoting new toothpaste. A while into the show during a commercial break we were told to sit down at the table where Peter sat. Then it was time for LIVE TV!
I was annoyed by the questions that he asked Madonna. I mean after asking three times if she really didn’t have any regrets, and getting the same answer over and over, pffffff. I thought Madonna was being very kind. Also asking how it felt to be a middle aged woman and if Lola had seen her SEX book already, COME ON!! After the interview he said that he thought there was tension during the interview. I simply responded by saying that I had met Madonna myself, and that to fans she acted differently. That she was just very down to earth and very sweet. He apparently didn’t like the fact that I was saying that to him live on tv. But who cares, I was there to speak the truth, not to kiss his ass.
After the interview we went backstage, got some more candy and got ready to leave.
KOKO, Confessions On A Dance Floor Album Launch – London UK
London, November 15th
I entered every competition out there to win tickets for the official album launch, but as always with contests I didn’t win. It was also known that Madonna would perform at G-A-Y on November 19th but for this you needed to queue in order to get wristbands. Also Madonna would be performing at BBC’s Children In Need on November 18th, but I was told that you couldn’t get tickets for this at all. So again, without any real confirmation of any ticket, we went to London with the Eurostar.
We arrived on Monday November 14th, our hotelroom was the smallest ever, but of course that couldn’t spoil the fun. We went shopping that same day in Oxford Street and Soho. We stopped by the kaballah Centre where we spoke to a Dutch teacher. That evening I decided to visit an internetcafe just to check if there was any news about Madonna’s performance at Koko. To my surprise I read that 200 tickets would be handed out to the first 200 fans waiting in the queue at Koko. But then I also read that fans were already queuing now, and it was the night before! We were extremely tired and just couldn’t do that as well, we hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for three weeks. We decided to go to the hotel, go to bed early, wake up and catch the first train to Camden.
So we did, in the morning we took the train at 5:30 and arrived in Camden a little while later. We got off the wrong stop so had to walk the entire Camden High Street until we finally reached Koko. We saw fans waiting outside already, but when we turned the corner a whole lot more were standing there. We quickly found our way in the queue and we were number 72 and 73. We started to talk with the guys standing in front of us, named Chris and Gabriel. Together we survived the couple of hours standing in the rain and in the cold. Suddenly we heard that we could go and pick up our ticket already, it was only 11 in the morning! And that it was our own choice if we wanted to go back into the queue or not.
Before I went in to get my ticket I was interviewed by a man from the English newspapers. Once we got in we had to fill out a form with our name and phone number. We then got our ticket and gorgeous pink wristband. Back outside the same interviewer continued his interview with me and a photographer took some shots of me and my everlasting fake toothpaste smile. Then I spoke to some friends and we decided to leave to catch some hours of sleep. Chris invited us over to watch the Parkinson interview and performance at his house. We sat there very relaxed and then went on to our own hotel.
We agreed to meet at 3:30 in the afternoon at Koko with Chris and Gabriel. We saw some more friends and time passed by very quickly. Some more interview people came by and one interviewed and filmed me as well (even though I didn’t feel like doing it anymore, as it was so not spontaneous).
Later on we finally got to go in, Koko was extremely small but very cosy and very red! We found a good spot on the third row on the right side of the catwalk, behind the people who had spent the night outside. Of course there was the pushing, and the heat, the usual stuff. Bob Geldof showed his face as he was sitting in a box. And then we just waited for Madonna.
The stage was very tiny, it was going to be a very intimate performance.
Finally Madonna’s band entered the stage in their white suits, which caused everybody to flip out. We started to scream for Madonna and then the intro to ‘Hung Up’ blasted out the speakers. We all started to jump and scream and anticipate Madonna’s entrance. And there she was! Madonna wearing glasses, purple jacket, boots, black pants and she came closer and closer. It was so good to see her again, she looked beautiful. After the first great song she performed ‘Get Together’ which sounded amazing live, her vocals were very pure and just suited the song so good. She got close a couple of times, but didn’t touch any of the ‘fingers’ that she gave the crowd.
When ‘I Love New York’ came on she completely turned into a rock chick, it was amazing! She just went crazy and so did the crowd. But the real surprise was the new remix to ‘Let It Will Be’, this rocked and brought the house down! Madonna’s moves to the beat and the new way she used her vocals on this song, was just out of this world! The crowd went nuts when she brought the song to a climax by putting her hand down her pants. Madonna was back! This truly was one of her all time best performances, and to actually be there and feel her energy was just spectacular. After this breathtaking performance she was going to perform an oldie. I already knew it was going to be ‘Everybody’ but it was so good to hear her very first single live again. She performed it like she had released the song only yesterday. After this song, she went off stage and the screens closed.
We were beat after the show but felt so privileged that we were part of the official album launch. I bought a promo shirt and poster, then ran into Stella McCartney and Bob Geldof (he said it was OK and we could take a pic of him). We took the train back to our hotel.The next day I was mentioned in ‘The Daily Record’ together with a supposed quote of mine, that I hadn’t actually said. God, they’re so good with switching your words and turning it into something else. It wasn’t that bad though.
I bought a ton of newspapers with reviews on the show. Later on I heard that my videotaped interview at Koko had been shown on TV in Holland! That was really surprising, second time that week that I had been on TV. The rest of the week we just shopped, met our friends, went to the kaballah Centre, met Chris Lamb on the street at G-A-Y and had a chat and that was about it.
Children In Need BBC London, November 18th
We knew that today was the day of Madonna’s performance at BBC’s charity show Children In Need. We didn’t have tickets and didn’t knew anyone who had. We just decided to go there anyway and see what happened. When we arrived we just went in, spoke to the people of Children In Need and asked if they had any spare tickets. The girl went behind the counter, came back up and said ‘you’re lucky, I have exactly two spare tickets left!’ We absolutely couldn’t believe our luck, we thanked the woman and went to sit in the lobby. Oh my gosh, this was so unexpected! The third time we got to see Madonna for free and again by luck. We then went to the building where the actual show was being taped. We dumped our stuff in the cloakroom. And made our way to the actual studio. The studio was very very small and we quickly made our way to the very front section in front of the stage and found an amazing spot on the fourth row.
We spoke to some crew members and they told us that Madonna would be the very first performer. The organisation had been told she would no longer attend than 25 minutes, that is why they had to film her performance first. We couldn’t believe how close we were to the stage. Then suddenly M’s band entered the stage. We seemed to be the only fans around, the studio was filled with fundraisers and mothers with children. Out of nowhere very quietly Madonna walked on stage wearing the same silver dress she had worn on her Star Academy performance. She looked so tiny and cute when she walked up to her spot as she was facing the floor.
The audience was pleasantly surprised to see Madonna and didn’t quite know how to react. But of course we did and applauded her immensely. They first started with ‘Get Together’, we were soooo close and Madonna was so cute. The crowd wasn’t really familiar with ‘Get Together’ but enjoyed it nonetheless. Simon and me were just dancing and singing along. Madonna at one time pointed at Simon while she sang ‘Come on over here..’
She was non stop smile and the funny thing was, every time when she was about to do a sexy move, she quickly changed her mind and did something else instead. She was such a different woman from the one we’d seen performing at Koko earlier that week.
After the song she went away for a bit, they shot something on stage and afterwards Madonna came back to perform ‘Hung Up’. Of course everyone knew this song so the audience went wild. Simon tried to take some pics but couldn’t use flash, so unfortunately they turned out very dark. “Hung Up’ was great, Madonna sang to a lot of kids and they all loved it. After ‘Hung Up’ she had to tape reading a phone number from a screen that was right behind our heads. And she read it wrong, which was very funny. Then she left the stage quietly and waved to the people in the audience.
Liberty X performed next and some guys we never heard of. Then Sharon and Kelly Osbourne entered the stage and that was just enough for us to leave the studio early.
G-A-Y London, November 19th
We took the first train to Tottenham Court Road where the queue was at the G-A-Y bar. We arrived around 06:00 and already there were loads and loads of fans. Gladly not long after we were there, Chris, Gabriel, Hans and Peter arrived. It was pretty cold, but we brought a blanket from the hotel so it was ok. Once in a while we left the queue to go to the restroom, buy something warm to drink etc. The queue for the people with a voucher seemed to be much longer at first until suddenly our queue went all the way up to the park.
At noon it was time for us to pick up our wristbands, inside the G-A-Y bar we paid 20 quid, got our purple wristband and a fact sheet of the do’s and don’ts. Hans was extremely happy to get his wristband as this would be the very first time for him to see Madonna again since the Re-Invention Tour. We now went back to the hotel to catch some sleep. In the evening we had dinner with our friends and then together we went to the G-A-Y club.
Around 10 in the evening we entered the club, I had never been here before so it was all new to me. The club was really crowded and quite big, only after a while waiting we put our jackets in the cloakroom and then went downstairs to find a good spot near the stage. The stage was quite high and bigger than at Koko, also there were A LOAD of people there. We found an amazing spot on the very first row on the right side of the stage, the good thing was that we were allowed to take pictures!
Finally at around 1:30 in the very early morning Madonna’s band entered and started to laugh at all the people cheering for Madonna.Then ‘Hung Up’ started and Madonna made her grand entrance all in pink! She looked fabulous, like a copy from her COADF front cover artwork! She was looking so amazing and the crowd went nuts at once. I was so close and could see everything perfectly. Madonna was very funny and joked around a lot. At one time she took her shirt off and ordered the front row to do the same. I refused to do so, but Hans did. When people threw their shirts to Madonna she kindly asked to stop as they were
a bit stinky.
She was having so much fun on stage and was going crazy. Telling us that Koko was just a warm up and that this gig was kicking that gig’s ass. And that she made COADF for us fuckers, well thank you Madonna. But she was so amazing, she looked amazing, hotter than ever! And she was just so much fun, actually the most fun I have ever seen her. She played the same setlist as at Koko, but just gave a little bit more of herself in each song. She came over to our side lots of times, and drank her water right in front of us. I have never felt so much energy in one room as I did that night, she’s such an amazing performer, there is truly no other like her! ‘Let It Will Be’ was again the highlight and Madonna took it even further this time. She added a bit of ‘Jump’ after ‘Everybody’ which was of course a very pleasant surprise! And as a response we all jumped to ‘Jump’. She was such a tease, coming close to you, so close that you could almost touch her and then when you were about to touch her, she just walked away!
I truly have never experienced anything like this, it was one of her best performances ever (if not the best!) it was certainly the most fun ever. When she left after ‘Jump’ we got our jackets and lost each other, then again after a while found each other and tried to get home. But that wasn’t very easy, after 30 minutes we finally found ourselves a bus and got to the hotel. We were again beat after the performance, now we just had to sleep for a bit and head back home the very next day.The trip had been amazing! We went with nothing but left with everything.
Thank you once again Madonna!
Kimberly – written in 2005