The time Toronto Police nearly arrested Madonna

TORONTO – Few people tell Madonna what to do, but Toronto police certainly tried.

It all came to a boil nearly 26 years ago — on May 29, 1990 — at the third and final Toronto show of the “Blond Ambition World Tour.”

Friction between the pop singer and local police had captured global headlines and Supt. Frank Bergen remembers it well — because he was assigned the unenviable task of standing up to the “Material Girl” at the height of her stardom.

As the story went, police told Madonna’s management they’d received complaints from audience members at the previous evening’s show over her simulated masturbation while singing “Like a Virgin.”

Officers said if she didn’t scrap her crotch-grabbing antics at the SkyDome, now known as the Rogers Centre, they’d be forced to arrest her on obscenity charges.

Bergen, a 29-year-old Toronto constable at the time, was grappling with his own perspective on the situation.

He says the obscenity kerfuffle was led by a police detective and Crown attorney who took a strong position that Madonna’s show shouldn’t go on.

“What I was struggling with was how do you go to the microphone and tell everyone the show is cancelled,” Bergen says.

“My role and my position was we were not going to shut the show down.”

The confrontation was immortalized in “Madonna: Truth or Dare,” the singer’s 1991 documentary. Looking back, he says the film didn’t exactly capture the full story.

“We were portrayed as being real knobs, if you will,” he says.

“I don’t think we were.”

Some of Madonna’s dancers still fondly remember the backstage drama.

“Oh, we wanted to get arrested, we really did,” says Kevin Stea, who was part of the tour.

“That may have been the most powerful moment I ever felt with Madonna. As a team we were all together.”

Cancelling the show was an option — but one that Madonna didn’t want to entertain.

The tour had already been generating controversy for its racy themes. Toronto concertgoers were handed a $1-off coupon for condoms as they entered the stadium.

Madonna also took a scripted moment in the show to encourage her male dancers to practice safe sex, in a nod to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was near its peak.

Both moments placed extra scrutiny on the show and led some critics to accuse the singer of encouraging young fans to partake in casual sex.

A scene in “Truth or Dare” depicts Madonna gathered with her dancers and backup singers before the show for a prayer.

“Dear Lord, this is our last night in Toronto — the fascist state of Toronto,” she said.

“Remember that in the United States of America there is freedom of speech.”

She then marched past Bergen and his colleagues, hand-in-hand with her singers singing “Holiday,” as he and his fellow officers watched the documentary cameras capture it all.

The concert began and Madonna took advantage of the opportunity to tease Toronto police.

“Do you think that I’m a bad girl?” she asked the crowd to cheers. “Do you think that I deserve to be arrested? I hope so.”

When “Like a Virgin” began, Madonna started the performance as she always did, curled up on a red velvet bed.

Jose Gutierez, one of the dancers in the number, will never forget gazing into the abyss of the audience.

“From the stage you could see their (police) badges at all the exit signs around the arena,” he recalls.

“All you saw was shimmers.”

Madonna writhed and groped herself with the help of the dancers as her 1984 single reached its climax.

Then she moved on to her next hit.

When the show wrapped, Madonna’s entourage approached police to ensure they weren’t going to cart the singer away.

The officers assured them there were no problems.

“I think they just wanted free tickets,” jokes Gutierez with a hint of disappointment.

“I was into seeing what the jail system in Toronto looked liked with Madonna. I mean, how bad could it be?”

Madonna’s dancers recall touring with the pop singer in the upcoming documentary “Strike a Pose,” which recently screened at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival.

Bergen says he respects concerns over obscenity but concedes it would’ve been difficult to satisfy a “loose interpretation of the Criminal Code.”

It took a year before the officer would hear about his cinematic debut in “Truth or Dare.”

One afternoon, his teenage neighbour excitedly shouted across the backyard that he’d spotted him on the big screen.

Bergen admits his musical tastes didn’t sway towards Madonna, so the sheer magnitude of her celebrity was lost on him at the time.

And while he never spoke to Madonna himself, he ponders how the situation would’ve played out had officers arrested her that night.

“I don’t think we ever got to the (point), nor would we have, where we walked up onto the stage — and onto her bed — and handcuffed her,” he says.

“Then we would’ve been part of a different history.”

More at TorontoSun

Read more

Truth Or Dare / Strike a Pose Kriterion Premiere Night – live report + pictures

Truth Or Dare on the big screen again after 25 years! It happened in the Kriterion in Amsterdam last night. I was stunned by how incredible the quality of the film was, it was like looking at a movie that literally just came out. The live footage was just stunning. At the beginning of the movie the sound was set too low so I told the people and they turned it up a bit. The movie hasn’t aged at all and it grabs you from the start and never lets go until the very end. However seeing Madonna the way she was back then and to compare to what she is like now, is quite a difference. She’s still the megastar, the living legend and she still can be a bitch sometimes but she did change a whole lot.

The film followed by Strike a Pose with one of the directors Reijer Zwaan in the theater as well. Even though loads of people were talking before the movie started, they were dead silent during it. The movie was just as impressive as I had witnessed it during the official Dutch premiere in EYE on Monday. It still made a huge impact and I was still crying during certain scenes. I was only a little annoyed by some people that kept on walking to the bar throughout the movie to get something to drink. Just stay in your seat, forget all around you and watch please. It makes for a much more comfortable viewing.

The movie received a very welcome round of applause at the end of it and then Ester Gould and Carlton Wilborn entered the theater. During the Q&A they spoke about the idea behind the film, why Donna and Niki and most of all Madonna herself were not included, and then Madonna and management are very aware of the film and own a link to it. So they are welcome to see it and hopefully one day they will. For all those fans still afraid that it’s a bash Madonna movie, you are so wrong. Not only is there quite a bit Madonna footage in it, but the dancers all speak very highly of her. They have missed her in their lives and Luis just adds at the very end that ‘Madonna doesn’t owe them anything’. Please people, I cannot urge you enough to just go ahead and see it. You will not regret it one bit, you will be walking out of the theater teary eyed though and have gained such respect for these beautiful men that are so honest and sincere here.

Strike a Pose it OUT NOW, don’t hesitate but appreciate!


Read more

New independent release pre-order: The Girlie Show Live (2Cd) Japan 1993 by Left Field Media

Product details

  • Audio CD (8 July 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Left Field Media
  • ASIN: B01G3QF6IA

 Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Erotica 4:12
  2. Fever 5:03
  3. Vogue 5:30
  4. Rain 10:00
  5. Express Yourself 5:24
  6. Deeper And Deeper 7:48
  7. Why’s It So Hard 5:26
  8. In This Life 7:58
  9. The Beast Within 6:00

Disc: 2

  1. Like A Virgin 5:57
  2. Bye Bye Baby 4:26
  3. I’m Going Bananas 2:31
  4. La Isla Bonita 5:32
  5. Holiday Pt. 1 8:12
  6. Holiday Pt. 2 8:21
  7. Justify My Love 8:19
  8. Everybody Is A Star 2:00
  9. Everybody 10:00
  10. Finale 1:24

Product Description

LIVE GIRLIE SHOW BROADCAST JAPAN 1993 Despite claiming that after her Blond Ambition Tour she would never tour again, within three years Madonna was back on the road with The Girlie Show Tour, which started in September 1993. In the mean time she had published Sex, her risqué coffee-table book of explicit photographs which sold 1.5 million copies, and simultaneously released her fifth studio album, Erotica; both projects came out on her newly founded Maverick Label. To support her latest endeavours, Madonna set out on The Girlie Show Tour on 25th September 93. Her first live jaunt to encompass the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, the tour consisted of extravagant, multi-section performances with the events being described as a mixture of a rock concert, fashion show, carnival, cabaret and burlesque. This double CD set is taken from a performance given at the Fukuoka Dome, Japan, on 8th December 1993, which was also the subject of a live broadcast. Available here on CD for the first time, this rarely heard transmission includes a show from Madonna while at the very peak of her success, her most challenging and contains some of her finest ever work.

Pre-order HERE

Read more

Tomorrow! Truth Or Dare + Strike a Pose Premiere party in the Kriterion in Amsterdam

Are you ready for the exclusive screening of Truth Or Dare tomorrow in Kriterion in Amsterdam?

There’s a double bill with Truth Or Dare starting at 19.30 followed by the incredibly impressive Strike a Pose at 21.45 including a Q&A with Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan and the unstoppable Carlton Wilborn. The night wraps up with an afterparty at the Kriterion.

For more info please click HERE


Read more

Reminder! Celebrating 10 year anniversary, massive Madonna goodies giveaway

We are celebrating our 10th year online and of course we can’t let it pass without handing out some very nice Madonna goodies!

Throughout the years we have been very fortunate to have collaborated with a lot of people. To show our appreciation to our many visitors, we have arranged for a very nice goodie giveaway made available by the one and only original Madonna store in Paris ‘Lucky Records’, Warner Music Holland and MOJO.

  • Lucky Records have sent us 10 copies of the latest Spotlight magazine and a bunch of bookmarks for the giveaway.
  • Warner Music Holland provided us with 3 sealed copies of the European vinyl pressing of ‘Revolver’
  • MOJO were friendly enough to sent us 5 huge original Rebel Heart Tour posters for the Amsterdam stop (these are the large billboard posters, not the tiny ones)

We are very grateful for their input and support!

What do you have to do? Please share this picture on social media and tag #madonnaundergroundanniversary through Facebook (MadonnaUnderground) Instagram (@madonnaunderground) or Twitter (@madonnaundergr). Next to this, please add which item your prefer to win.

Important info, so please read! We will be handing out these gifts at the exclusive screening of ‘Truth Or Dare’ in the Kriterion next Friday during the afterparty in Amsterdam, if you win make sure you are able to come and pick it up there. If you won’t be able to make it to the party (or are abroad) please be aware that we cannot sent these items out for free. We are not a company, do not have an income as MadonnaUnderground is a 100% free organisation that does not ask for money. If you want one of the items and can’t make it to the Kriterion, please know that you need to be willing to pay for shipping fees only.

Note that we probably have a few more giveaways coming up later this year…



Read more

Strike A Pose: Topdocumentaire over dansers Madonna

Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990 was spraakmakend in veel opzichten: indrukwekkende decors, een choreografie vol seks en religieuze symbolen (de katholieke kerk stond op haar achterste benen), de beroemde punt-bh van Jean-Paul Gaultier, de documentaire In Bed With Madonna die naderhand uitkwam en de op de top van haar roem verkerende Madonna zelf, uiteraard.

Veel fans hebben vooral goede herinneringen aan die waanzinnig dansende, goed uitziende mannen door wie Madonna zich tijdens de tour liet omringen. Met name in de gayhoek groeiden ze uit tot rolmodellen. Stoer en trots oogden ze, waarmee ze in het aidstijdperk waarin The Blonde Ambition Tour plaatsvond, een periode waarin homo’s vaak in dubieus daglicht stonden, voor veel in de kast zittende of daar net uitgekomen pubers van grote betekenis waren. ‘Het was de eerste keer dat ik homo’s zag, homo’s die gewoon zichzelf waren’, aldus een Amerikaanse fan in de documentaire.

De zeven dansers deelden vier maanden lang lief, leed en schijnwerpers met Madonna, de op dat moment grootste ster ter wereld. Daarna verdwenen ze letterlijk van het toneel. In Strike A Pose worden ze daar weer even opgehesen door de Nederlandse regisseurs Ester Gould en Reijer Zwaan, die besloten om de mannen, van wie er een is overleden, vijfentwintig jaar na dato weer op te zoeken.

Madonna zelf, de spil van alles, komt niet in Strike A Pose voor. Althans, wel op archiefbeelden natuurlijk, maar niet om met Gould en Zwaan op deze episode in haar carrière terug te blikken. Het is het enige smetje. Voor de rest heeft Strike A Pose alles: vreugde, tragiek en lessen over de harde wetten van de showbizz. Het levert een documentaire op die lang blijft hangen.

Strike A Pose gaat op 26 mei in première in de Nederlandse bioscopen

© 2016 Metronieuws

Read more

Film Totaal review for “Strike A Pose” documentary

In 1990 was superster Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, een in Detroit opgegroeide dochter van een Italiaanse immigrant, op het toppunt van haar roem. De popster had grote hits gehad met Like a Prayer en Vogue, waarmee ze het imago van zoetsappig popsterretje inmiddels achter zich had gelaten. Het resulteerde in misschien wel de belangrijkste wereldtournee van haar inmiddels vier decennia tellende carrière. De Blond Ambition Tour zou tevens de eerste concertreeks in een rijtje van vele zijn waarin Madonna opschudding veroorzaakte. Aan haar mierzoete hitje Like a Virgin werd een geheel andere betekenis gegeven, toen de Queen of Pop op een bed midden op het podium masturbatiebewegingen maakte. De tour resulteerde in de documentaire In Bed with Madonna, waarmee de wereldster wederom de media choqueerde. Hierin was de innige band met haar mannelijke dansers te zien en berucht was de tongzoen tussen twee van hen. Madonna is een artieste die altijd de controverse heeft opgezocht, deze ook nodig had, niet uitblinkt in één discipline, maar altijd de juiste mensen om zich heen wist te verzamelen om relevant te blijven.
Read more HERE

Read more

Ex-dansers Madonna doen boekje open in Strike a Pose


Het is niet alleen een lekkere throwback naar de nineties, de documentaire Strike a Pose over de ex-dansers van Madonna; het is ook een ontroerend relaas over angst en schaamte en de tol van doen alsof.

Toen ze in 1990 werden gecast voor de Blond Ambition Tour was dat voor jongens als Salim uit België en Oliver uit een achterstandswijk een droom die uitkwam. Luxe hotels, uitzinnige fans, één grote familie met Madonna als moeder. Alles kon, alles mocht. En alles moest.

Zes van Madonna’s ex-lievelingetjes, 25 jaar later niet meer even slank en arrogant als toen, vertellen over hun ervaringen. Hoe ze op het podium en op camera – de succesdocumentaire In Bed with Madonna legde de tour vast – een voorbeeldrol aannamen die niet altijd strookte met de realiteit. Hard roepen dat je oké bent met je homoseksualiteit en dat je niet bang bent voor aids, is wat anders dan het ook echt (niet) zijn.

Houd het maar eens droog op het eind. Dit is een bescheiden Nederlands project met internationale allure.

Regie: Ester Gould & Reijer Zwaan. Hoofdrollen: Luis Camacho, Oliver Crumes, Salim Gauwloos.

Read more

Laatste dag! Win 3 x vrijkaartjes voor ‘Strike a Pose’ en exclusieve tas / last day win 3 x free Strike a Pose tickets and exclusive bag

  • Win 3 x 2 tickets to see ‘Strike a Pose’ in the cinema (Holland)
  • The exclusive official ‘Strike a Pose’ promotional bag (x3)

What do you have to do? Share this picture on social media with the hashtag #strikeaposecompetition, share it on Twitter (@madonnaundergr) Instagram (@madonnaunderground) or Facebook(MadonnaUnderground). Enter until this upcoming Wednesday

Good luck!


Read more

Strike a Pose / Truth Or Dare night in Kriterion this Friday update (in Dutch) Carlton Wilborn will attend the Q&A

Strike a Pose, de indrukwekkende documentaire over de achtergronddansers van Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour, zal bij ons draaien vanaf 26 mei. Dit kan natuurlijk niet onopgemerkt blijven en daarom organiseren we een première-evenement in Kriterion!

Vertoning Strike a Pose | 21:45 | reserveren reeds mogelijk
Uiteraard zal de film Strike a Pose vertoond worden op deze avond. Regisseurs Esther Gould en Reijer Zwaan en één van de dansers Carlton Wilborn zullen na afloop van de vertoning op het avondslot naar Kriterion komen om te vertellen over Strike a Pose. Dit zal deels gebeuren aan de hand van een Q&A maar uiteraard zijn de twee Nederlandse regisseurs ook bereid om vragen uit het publiek te beantwoorden. LEES MEER →

Vertoning Madonna: Truth or Dare | 19:30 uur (extra vertoning op zondag 29 mei | 21:45) | reserveren reeds mogelijk
Madonna: Truth or Dare is een Amerikaanse documentaire uit 1991 over Madonna en haar wereldtournee Blond Ambition Tour die ze maakte in 1990. De film toont ook af en toe concertfragmenten. Deze film onthult haar ware schoonheid, zowel tijdens haar optreden als daarbuiten een moederfiguur voor haar dansers die zij als haar familie beschouwt, sexgodin voor haar miljoenen fans, zakenvrouw, zangeres, danseres… de grootste ster uit de muziekwereld. LEES MEER →

Feestje | 00:00 – 03:00 uur | gratis toegang
Na afloop van de films is er de gelegenheid om onder het genot van een drankje en muziek na te praten of je eigen vogue-choreografie te laten zien. Er zal in ons café een feestje zijn waar de beste nineties house, Madonna-hits en ballroom vogue zullen worden gedraaid. Gekleed in thema komen is een must!

Special act: House of Vineyard | gehele avond
Deze avond zal er een special act komen, verzorgd door de dansers en danseressen vanHouse of Vineyard. Bij de inloop van de vertoning van Strike a Pose en tijdens het feestje zullen ze jullie eens een poepie laten ruiken met de beste voguemoves. Probeer dat maar eens na te doen. House of Vineyard staat bekend van shows op onder andere Milkshake Festival, Schouwburg Rotterdam, AIR, Club NYX en hun vernieuwende en verrassende waacking- en vogueing-moves.


Read more

‘Strike a Pose’ Amsterdam Premiere at EYE – full live report + personal review #strikeaposethemovie


It was September 2015 when I was approached by someone in Holland asking MadonnaUnderground if we could help with Madonna archive material from the Blond Ambition Tour era for a new Dutch production. We quickly learned that it was a documentary on the dancers of the Blond Ambition Tour titled ‘Strike a Pose’ and that they were in the last stages with editing.sappremiere (21)_resize

When we learned what the movie was really about and it wasn’t going to be a ‘bash Madonna’ movie we were happy to help. The months that followed I updated the site regularly with updates surrounding the documentary. When the movie was finished and premiered in Berlin, I was so excited I had difficulty waiting for the Dutch release date.

I was very honored to learn that we were selected to be part of the official Dutch premiere at the EYE in Amsterdam on May 23, 2016. The premiere was an exclusive event for those that made this movie possible, including the production company, directors and dancers. Fred was joining me at the premiere and flew in especially. The dresscode was festive so we needed to drop our daily outfit and get into something stylish.

When we arrived at the EYE we were surprised seeing so many ‘Strike a Pose’ posters, billboards, postcards and goodie bags. Happy when we got one upon registering with the lady that checked people on the guestlist. We saw a red carpet and a lot of people in suits, even some ‘well known Dutch celebrities’. We were quite thirsty but drinking the free prosecco made it all better. There was a buzz in the air and we were completely excited to finally see the movie the best way possible.

We saw the people that attended the early screening leave, and afterwards got to enter the cinema for the 21.00 premiere. We were seated on the third row right behind the seats that were reserved for the dancers and directors. It was fully booked and some people were even left without seats.

The dancers walked in to a very warm welcoming applause and quickly took their seats.

What can I say about the movie? I won’t be using difficult grammar, just to make me seem like a very intelligent ‘writer’ applying for a job as a columnist at a serious newspaper. No, I’ll leave thasappremiere (47)_resizet to others.

From the start of the movie I was deeply impressed by how humble and sincere the guys were. How incredibly difficult this must’ve been for them, after 26 years talking about that time with Madonna and what happened to them after the tour. Discussing how difficult it was to hide the fact that for example Salim and Carlton were diagnosed with hiv before the tour started. How scared Carlton was to be kicked out of the tour, so he kept it a secret. How incredibly uncomfortable Salim was on stage when Madonna spoke to the audience about the passing of Keith Haring and that he had died of aids. He couldn’t wait to get off stage. Gabriel Trupin’s mother…….so sad.

How Jose’s mother wsappremiere (35)_resizeished for her son to have continued to show his incredible talents so he could buy her that certain house. Let’s not forget Oliver the parrot who used to be homophobic but completely changed when he met these guys. The beautiful Carlton that seems to be such a strong man, an invincible individual and a true inspiration. The legendary Luis and beautiful Kevin stea. While viewing the documentary you feel like you begin to really know them, feel like hugging them, telling them that they’re all so brave for doing this documentary. When they cry, you cry with them.

It’s very rare that I watch a movie and cry from start to finish but that’s what happened here. It moved me to such an extent that I wanted to hug them all and tell them how much I admire them and how important they are to so many people, and that they should never ever forget that. They have been role models ever since being on that stage in 1990 with The Lady M. They starred in the most iconic tour documentary ever made (Truth Or Dare) and now here they are, starring in their own extremely impressive Strike a Pose film.

Throughout the movie I noticed the guys were shedding tears just as much as I was. By the end of it I was so blown away I could not say a word without sobbing like a baby. I just really wanted to see it again, and again…..and again.

Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan have done an outstanding job on this documentary, I cannot put into words how important this movie is especially in this day and age. It’s a movie all about love, it is what we need right now. You can’t help but fall deeply in love with Jose, Luis, Salim, Carlton, Kevin and Oliver. They are all such unique characters and deserve every bit of love in this world and I with all my heart hope the very very best for them.

This documentary has done so well everywhere it has been screened and it deserves every award that it will get. I cannot rate this highly enough, I cannot tell you how this is a must see film for everyone out there. It will make you feel love again, trust me.

The Q&A that followed was equally as impressive and emotional….the speeches they gave. The speech by Oliver was heartbreaking…..I thanked God for my sappremiere (42)_resizewaterproof mascara. There was so much love in that room and everybody felt it. A complete surreal experience.

After the Q&A we got to go to the Amsterdam Tower next door and party with the lot on the 20th floor. It was so nice to be able to chat to Jose, Luis, Salim, Carlton, Oliver and Kevin again. Our merchandise was signed, they were happy to pose for pictures with anyone that came up to them. So much joy!

When it was time to leave I felt heartbroken to say goodbye to them, they already felt like family, like friends….like my ‘brothers’ and I am an only child….how in the Hell do I know what it feels like to have a brother?

If you want to know what love is…….Strike a Pose will show you

Kimberly van Pinxteren


Read more