As twin agents of creative expression fashion and music have long shared a powerful mutual attraction: from the Sex Pistols to Madonna, Kylie Minogue to Lady Gaga, fashion has consistently amplified our understanding of the band (and in many cases the brand) – fuelling the fantasy, giving context to the sound and adding depth to artists’ wider agendas.
From pop videos to editorial shoots, via the evolution of some of the industry’s most significant and era-defining pairings/collaborations this book will focus on the power of fashion as a make-or-break tool within the music industry’s creative process – making it an essential reference point for anyone interested in fashion’s role as a medium with which to innovate, communicate and build enduring brands.
Providing fascinating insights and behind-the-curtain journeys into the usually closed world of the fashion/music industry it will include original interviews with stylists, photographers, video directors, record label reps, hair & make-up artists, graphic designers and the artists themselves.
- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (August 23, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780677480
- ISBN-13: 978-1780677484
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Three of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour dances recall the night they wished to get busted with Madge while performing in Toronto
Ester Gould with Jose Gutierez, Oliver Crumes III, and Kevin Stea
Keith Beaty / Toronto Star
There’s nothing like the prospect of spending a night in jail with Madonna over lewd behaviour onstage to give a show some edge.
That’s how three of Madge’s dancers saw it and why they say Toronto got “one of the best shows” on Madonna’s smash 1990 Blonde Ambition world tour.
Oliver Crumes III, Jose Gutierez and Kevin Stea recalled their last time in the city, 26 years ago, on their recent return to promote the documentary Strike a Pose, which screens at Hot Docs.
“It energized us. We wanted to be dirtier than ever,” laughed Stea, after they learned Toronto police would be at Madonna’s final of three shows to see how far she was going onstage — and might bust her for being too sexually provocative.
“I think I grabbed my crotch in all these areas I never grabbed before,” he said.
“I was excited, honestly,” added Gutierez, who relished the idea of going to jail with Madge. It also gave Toronto some prissy infamy, thanks to the incident’s inclusion in the 1991 hit behind-the-scenes feature film about the tour, Truth or Dare.
“They wanted to censor us and we were like, ‘OK, we’re going to give them a reason to censor us,’” added Gutierez, who was one of the dancers who sported oversized, velvet conical bras for Madonna’s famously raunchy “Like A Virgin.” “It was so funny, because after, (police) just came backstage and said, ‘Oh, the show was fine.’”
A Toronto TV news clip about the event also shows up in Strike a Pose, co-directed by filmmaker Ester Gould (her film A Strange Love Affair With Ego is also at Hot Docs) and journalist Reijer Zwaan.
Gould said she and Zwaan didn’t want Strike a Pose to be “a trip down memory lane.” They wanted to look beyond memories of Madonna in her Gautier-wearing pop goddess heyday (the energetic concert footage that opens the film is a pure rush of heart-thumping nostalgia) to explore what became of the seven male dancers made famous by the tour and Truth or Dare.
Dance captain Stea and Gutierez, who helped popularize Voguing and appeared in Madonna’s “Vogue” video, were joined by Crumes, one of the young dancers who answered an ad to find “FIERCE male dancers . . . wimps and wanna-bes need not apply.”
All except Crumes are gay and, with Madonna’s encouragement, the dancers became queer icons at a time when acceptance was far from secure.
“What struck us was the paradox,” Gould said. “On one hand, these guys are iconic figures, these paragons of pride and homosexual freedom, and at the same time there’s this back story which is different for each of them. They all have very different lives and very different stories.”
They saw themselves as family and Madonna responded with genuine openness and affection, evident in Truth or Dare through cuddle sessions in her bed, enthusiastic games of Truth or Dare, and heartfelt scenes of their final farewells with the singer.
“Just to be clear, we were in love with her, too,” said Stea.
The dancers also had secrets; three were HIV positive and terrified they would be found out. And once the tour wrapped, there were feelings of abandonment and isolation. Some struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and questioned their self-worth.
Dancer Gabriel Trupin, dubbed Madonna’s “favourite child” on the tour, wasn’t comfortable being outed onscreen and sued Madonna for dismissing his request to cut footage of a steamy kiss between him and dancer Salim “Slam” Gauwloos during a round of Truth or Dare. Trupin died of AIDS in 1995 and his mother appears in Strike a Pose, still angry about her son’s betrayal.
The men were naive when fame landed. Some were teens. Gutierez turned 19 while on tour and had to get his mother’s permission to go on the road.
“We were so young and so talented, and we just wanted to be on the stage doing our thing, never once realizing that we were put in the forefront to lead this parade, and we were leading it and we led it good,” said Gutierez. “I think the fact we were so unaware made it more powerful.”
It was “amazing” working with Madonna, they said, where nightly parties were filled with celebrities and artists. Gutierez described being exposed to “the best of everything, taken care of to the fullest.” And then there was the shopping.
“It was going in there blind, not sure what you were going to get into and then it just turns into this. It was beautiful,” said Crumes.
Gould said the five minutes of Truth or Dare footage used in Strike a Pose — Madonna was a producer on the film and had to approve its use — was “expensive.”
So has the Material Girl seen the doc? The singer has a copy but no word on whether she has screened it.
“The fact she hasn’t made a comment makes me feel like she saw it,” said Stea.
“I look at it this way, I don’t think she would hate it,” said Crumes. He and Gutierez expect the singer, who they knew to be far more sensitive than her brash public persona makes her appear, would be made emotional by it.
“I think she’ll be kind of mad that it’s not about her,” Gutierez added with a chuckle.
Strike a Pose screens Saturday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Go to hotdocs.ca for details.
When Madonna walked on stage to greet the crowd, she described the show as a work in progress, and promised that she would disappoint those looking for perfection. The Rebel Heart Tour this was not, she reiterated.
And she was right. The show was imperfect, and at times, Madonna’s thoughts seemed scattered and her timing a little off. However, it’s also Madonna’s most interesting artistic statement in years.
Naturally, the mainstream press didn’t get it. A number of reporters speculated that she was drunk during the show, a claim Madonna angrily debunked on social media. (”Madonna says Playing Character, not Drunk, in Australia Show”, by Jill Sergjeant, Reuters, 150 March 2016) The media has always misunderstood Madonna. They take her too seriously when she’s being silly, but at the same time, never treat her like an artist with something to say.
In the ‘90s, to provide just one example, Madonna was heavily criticized for her Eroticaperiod. She had always been provocative, but many felt that her sexual expressions had gone too far. She was called a slut, and the unfortunate narrative that plagues many female stars—that she’s only famous for showing her body—spread like wildfire. What the press failed to understand at the time, and continue to miss to this day, is that Madonna was playing a character.
The first words of “Erotica”, the album’s lead single, are clear enough: “My name is Dita, I’ll be your mistress tonight”. The song is meant to be a playful commentary on sexual expression, but rather than call attention to Madonna’s alter-ego, the press assumed that it was she who was the whore. When Madonna had children years later, many worried that she would be an unfit fit mother, and often cited “Erotica” as a reason for their concerns. Little did they know that she was playing around.
There’s no doubt that Madonna still has the ability to be creative, but if there’s one thing that’s lacking in her most recent tours, it’s a grand artistic statement. The Sticky and Sweet Tour, for example, was a blast from start to finish, but it lacked the inventiveness of the Drowned World Tour. The Rebel Heart Tour was entertaining enough, but it had Madonna going through the motions, as if she needed to do the concert to fulfill a contractual obligation. This show was different. Madonna had something to say, and she wanted the world to know it.
Madonna portrayed the sad clown for a night. The audience laughed at her absurdity until they realized that she was expressing the pain inside her soul.
Or was she? That’s the thing with Madonna. We never can tell if she’s serious or not. Is this show, the most intimate of Madonna’s long career, a vulnerable cry for help and understanding, or is Madonna just screwing with us, as she often does? I couldn’t tell, and that’s what was brilliant about it.
In one of the show’s most talked about moments, Madonna performed her song “Intervention” and dedicated it to her son Rocco. It was Madonna exposed, letting us experience her emotional pain. For those who don’t know, Madonna has been involved in a custody battle over Rocco with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
There’s a strong possibility that Madonna was trolling us. Of course she loves her son, but maybe this was less about her pain and more about the press’ exploitation of her pain. As the show got more intimate with each song and personal anecdote, a disturbing thought crept into my mind: what if it was meant to be a joke.
It’s not unreasonable. Madonna is one of the first pop stars to call attention to the genre’s inauthenticity. Known for reinventing her image with each new project, she constantly reminded us that it was all fiction. Unlike most pop artists who present a carefully crafted image to the public and then pretend it’s who they really are (Taylor Swift comes to mind), Madonna was never shy about confronting the artifice of her image(s).
Even the show’s theme is suspect. Everyone knows about the sad clown cliché, and Madonna surely wouldn’t incorporate that concept into her art without some kind of ironic twist. This is troubling to come to terms with precisely because Madonna was so candid on stage, sharing stories about her son, her failed marriage to Sean Penn, and her career in general.
I’m reminded of her iconic documentary concert film Madonna: Truth or Dare (1992), in which she provides us with a backstage pass to her Blonde Ambition Tour. This is Madonna at her most revealing, complete with a brief flash of her breasts.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that Madonna had control over the final product. The Madonna we see on screen is the one she wants us to see, and we’ll never know what she’s really like when the cameras are off.
That’s what’s so fascinating about her art. The most famous pop star in the world needed some anonymity, and the only way she was able to get it was by presenting a version of herself to the masses. This version may not be the real woman, but it was enough to satisfy the die-hard fans who hang on to her every word as if it were gospel, not knowing that she may not mean anything she says.
“Madonna: Tears of a Clown” has the potential to represent a transitional point in the pop star’s career. After decades of spectacle, Madonna may pull a Marlene Dietrich and spend the rest of her career in intimate clubs singing slow songs and telling stories about her life.
Or then again, maybe she won’t. Maybe she’ll put out another pop album in a few years featuring the most in-demand producers, and sell out another tour complete with a by-the-numbers dance extravaganza. If that’s the case, “Madonna: Tears of a Clown” will always be remembered as the time she decided to step out of her comfort zone and try something different, even if it’s still unclear what, exactly, she was going for.
Read more at PopMatters
Madonna returned to Monday’s celebrity-packed Met Gala with another eye-popping look.
The singer, 57, made sure she had all eyes on her – and her bum – at the annual bash.
While most stars dazzled in sequins and floor length frocks, Madge opted for something pretty unique.
As well as her boobs, the star also had most of her peachy rear on show in the sheer black Givenchy gown.
Madonna, who was joined by the brand’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, teamed the look with a pair of sexy knee-high boots and an intricate jeweled headpiece.
The star took the red carpet in her stride and proudly posed for snappers with her hands on her hips and a huge smile.
According to Vogue, the star’s look was “inspired by the therapeutic kinesiology tape she wears for her fatigued muscles on tour.”
More at Mirror
Madonna is never afraid of wearing something daring on the red carpet, and at this year’s Met Gala she took the sheer dressing trend to the next level in a black lace Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci gown with no underwear on underneath. But it turns out this gothic look is surprisingly inspired by a practical item you’ll often spot athletes wearing at the Olympics: therapeutic kinesiology tape.
Madonna walked the red carpet with the house’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, who created her custom black lace look which she says was “inspired by the therapeutic kinesiology tape that she wears for her fatigued muscles on tour.” This is the tape, which usually comes in bright colours, that athletes wear to enhance performance and reduce injuries. More Rio 2016 than Met Gala 2016.
Madonna wore black lace tights and a body, with straps of black material winding around her legs and arms resembling kinesiology tape. She might be wearing a floor-length skirt, but there is fabric missing over her breasts and derriere, so the look leaves very little to the imagination. Madonna said to E! on the red carpet that there was one downside to wearing so little fabric – it makes it “hard to pee.” As for her jewellery, she wore stacked rings by Lynn Ban, a cross body chain and a necklace by Neil Lane.
This isn’t the first time the singer has collaborated with Givenchy for the Met Gala, as in 2013 she also went pantless in custom Riccardo Tisci. The designer created a fishnet body stocking and tartan jacket for the punk-themed event.
More at Telegraph
We are celebrating the fact that we have been online for TEN years this year! MadonnaUnderground was launched officially in 2006 even though we had set up events in 2005, it wasn’t until 2006 that the website was given a name and a layout.
We are working on a full length video of everything we organised, participated in, collaborated on in the past ten years. Not only that but we will be giving away various Madonna goodies made available by various collaborators, more on this soon!
In the meantime, enjoy our video teaser
Remembering songs that feature the combined talents of musical luminaries, but that were either never singles or whose chart lives paled in comparison to the artists’ legacies.
Amid all the retrospectives of Prince’s legendary catalog, one song has perhaps been largely overlooked.
Oh, only that duet between … Prince and Madonna.
Prince and the Queen of Pop recorded “Love Song” for Madonna’s Like a Prayer album (which was ruling the Billboard 200 on this date in 1989). Despite its blinding starpower, the collab was never released as a single. And, considering the strength of Like a Prayer, it’s hard to say that “Love Song” should’ve been one. Driven more by its funky groove than a pure-pop hook, the song took a back seat to the set’s five hit singles: the title cut, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks (and was also No. 1 on this date 27 years ago), “Express Yourself,” “Cherish” (both of which reached No. 2), “Oh Father” (No. 20) and “Keep It Together” (No. 8).
Among other Like a Prayer songs, “Dear Jessie” was a U.K. top 10 single, while “Till Death Do Us Part” is hooky Madonna pure-pop , while “Promise to Try” and “Pray for Spanish Eyes” are sweet ballads.
Meanwhile, rounding out the set, and much like “Love Song,” the album’s “Act of Contrition” would be an extremely atypical single choice, as it features Madonna reciting the Catholic prayer of the same name.
How did “Love Song” come about, by the way? “We were friends and talked about working together, so I went to Minneapolis to write some stuff with him, but the only thing I really dug was ‘Love Song,'” Madonna has recalled. “We ended up writing it long-distance, because I had to be in L.A. and he couldn’t leave Minneapolis, and, quite frankly, I couldn’t stand Minneapolis. When I went there, it was like 20 degrees below zero, and it was really desolate. I was miserable and I couldn’t write or work under those circumstances.”
Prince And Madonna Almost Toured Together, But He Said ‘The World Isn’t Ready’
So, a song by two of pop music’s biggest icons remains largely an afterthought … which is kind of amazing. Imagine if the Beatles and Elvis had teamed up for a song (instead of merely meeting one night in 1965) … and it was never released as a single. (Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney duetted, and, conversely, scored the No. 2 Hot 100 hit “The Girl Is Mine” and the six-week No. 1 “Say Say Say.” And, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, both of whom owned the Hot 100 in the ’90s, spent a record 16 weeks at No. 1 in 1995-96 with “One Sweet Day.”)
In the spirit of songs that feature the combined talents of musical luminaries, let’s remember some in addition to “Love Song” that were either never singles or whose chart lives paled in comparison to the artists’ legacies. Ultimately, they remain essentially hidden gems among star acts’ hit-packed catalogs.
When asked for examples on Twitter, you came up with some good ones (including more by Madonna).
Read the full article at Billboard
Our newest video: Madonna Rebel Heart Tour live in Ziggo Dome Amsterdam – The Netherlands, December 2015 compilation
Yes we are still finishing up on our Rebel Heart Tour archives. Hereby we present to you the following video with footage exclusivey filmed by MadonnaUnderground. This little compilation contains live footage from the December 5 show in Amsterdam as well as footage from her speech on the second night. Enjoy.
Filmography presents: Madonna as Rebecca Carlson in Body Of Evidence (rare articles, memorabilia, videos and more!)
Let’s go back to 1992/1993 where the whole world was obsessed with Madonna, and not necessarily in the most positive way. Madonna had just released her new studio album titled ‘Erotica’ with sensual music video and lead single. There was the extremely naughty (but beatifully boundbreaking) photobook SEX and then there was….Body Of Evidence. An erotic thriller, very similar in storyline to the very succesful and previously released ‘Basic Instinct’ starring Sharon Stone. The general public had seen enough ‘sex’ and made it a daily job to bash Madonna and her projects. It was a rough time but when looking back at it all, was it all really that bad?
Not at all. People now praise ‘Erotica’ for being so ahead of its time, an absolute brilliant underground record. SEX the book is still one of the most sought after books of all time, photographers and artists of today speak very highly of it. It was and is art in its purest form.
Body Of Evidence though we don’t hear a lot of anymore. Madonna starred in this movie together with Willem Dafoe, M actually put down quite a nice performance and the movie wasn’t that bad. It did very well as a rental video and M looked stunning.
To move on further with our extensive online Filmography, we hereby present Body Of Evidence:
- Press articles – lots of original magazine and newspaper scans
- Memorabilia – rare from our own collection including promo box set, promo VHS, various releases, posters and more
- See the trailer
- Watch rare interview videos M did to promote the film
- See press stills (please don’t share)
- Buy the film!
Direct link HERE, enjoy
THIS Friday April 29th Touché will be hosting the Official after party for the HotDocs Film Festival Premiere of Madonna’s ‘Strike a Pose’ film. The original dancers from the Blonde Ambition Tour will be in attendance as well as special guests. Email email@example.com for guest list and make sure to catch the film at the festival!