Detecting hypocrisy in Madonna-bashers

….’After a brief lull in the conversation, the mother brought up Madonna, because she’d recently read a news story that included pictures of the megastar musician. “She used to be so great, I absolutely loved her,” she said. “But then she got too skinny and now she looks like a freak.”

“I think she’s trying too hard to appear young,” said the oldest among us. “Why can’t she just age gracefully? It’s embarrassing, really.”

As they continued, I learned there is a “right” way to age, and that the actress Helen Mirren is a good example. As though reciting a Buzzfeed article, the women began to list all the things no self-respecting woman of a certain age should be caught dead wearing, from shades of lipstick to articles of clothing that included the short-shorts in which Madonna was spotted.

I attempted to crack a joke by saying, “Could you guys stop ‘should-ing’ all over the place? It’s beginning to smell out here,” but the one woman who seemed to hear me just stared blankly, as though considering something, before offering yet another suggestion: “UGG boots,” she said. “They’re barely passable if you’re in college, but after that, they shouldn’t exist in your closet.” It was hard to argue with that.

They began listing conditions that determined whether or not a woman should be “allowed” to wear a given item. Are her legs smooth or is there visible cellulite? Is her belly flat or is there a pooch? Are her arms muscular or flabby? How old is she, and does she really look that age? Because if she looks younger than she is, she can get away with a little more. It was fatiguing.

These were the same women who, not ten minutes earlier, bemoaned a culture that failed to instill confidence in young girls. Now they were bashing Madonna for being “too skinny” and detailing, with frightening specificity, what any given woman should be able to wear based on her physical characteristics. I wondered if it made them feel better about themselves, all this “knowing what was right and proudly abiding by those rules.”

I thought of the four-year-old who was already fussing over how she looked, and I could understand why. It’s not enough for us to tell our children that they’re okay just the way they are. If we really want the message to sink in, we need them to see that everyone else is okay just the way they are too. Instead of hearing Mommy say, “Madonna is too skinny, she looks like a freak,” imagine if that child heard, “There’s a woman doing her own thing — good for her.”

Read the full article at SanDiegoReader

Read more


It’s hard to separate Madonna’s live performances from the mirrorball crosses, provocative garb and elaborate staging. But close your eyes and you can hear a pop marvel effectively—and often substantially—tweak her material from tour to tour. Here are some of the best examples, all found on YouTube.

“Holiday” (Re-Invention Tour, ’04) It’s hard to pick a favorite live version, but this finale went from tribal to funk-pop to French house. A literal showstopper.

“Into the Groove” (Sticky & Sweet Tour, ’08-’09) An infusion of old-school hip-hop and (more) French house—thanks to Cassius’ “Toop Toop,” among other samples—reinvigorated this chestnut.

“Like a Virgin” (Blond Ambition Tour ’90) This sensual, Middle Eastern reworking was Madonna at her sultriest and most unbridled.

“Deeper and Deeper” (Girlie Show ’93) An early mashup foray with “It Takes Two” and “Love to Love You Baby” made for retro, disco-blanketed reverie.

“La Isla Bonita” (Drowned World Tour ’01) This acoustic version lent Madge’s Latin-pop fan fave the intimacy of a Belizean street performance.

“Like a Prayer” (Sticky & Sweet) American gospel-pop met early-1990s London rave in this ferocious live remix.

“Lucky Star”->“Hung Up” (Confessions Tour ’06) ABBA’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme” sample wove through both a newly bangin’ “Lucky” and the climactic, perfectly segued “Hung.” Best Madonna show finale ever.

Madonna October 24, 8 p.m., $39-$351. MGM Grand Garden Arena, 702-891-7777.

Read more at LasVegasWeekly

Read more

Attend Madonna’s After Show Party in Las Vegas!



Calling all Live Pass and Legacy members who are to attend Madonna’s #RebelHeartTour show in Las Vegas on October 24th!

On that same night, Madonna will host an official after show party at Marquee and wants for some of her Iconers to celebrate with her! Thanks to the Marquee team, we are happy to announce that 10 of you + the guest of their choice will get to join the party!!

For a chance to be part of this exclusive event, just share what you are to wear to the show with us: Post a picture of you posing all geared up for the show and holding your Vegas tickets to your Twitter or Instagram before 11:30am EST on Thursday, October 22nd. Make sure to include your Icon Display name and the #RebelHeartTourParty and #MadonnaAtMarquee hashtags in your post. We’ll pick winners on a random basis and will e-mail them to confirm their prize.

– You must be a current Live Pass or Lifetime Legacy ICON member.
– You must be at least 21-years-old with Valid ID to enter the club.
– Entrants must take a photo of themselves, posing with the outfit they are to wear to the Las Vegas show and their Oct 24th tickets.
– Photos must be posted to your own Twitter or Instagram page.
– One entry per member.
– Your social post also must contain: your Icon DISPLAY NAME (verify on your profile page!), and the hashtags: #RebelHeartTourParty and #MadonnaAtMarquee.
– Finalists will be selected on a random basis.
– Each qualified winner will receive 2 passes to the Madonna after show party to take place at Marquee on October 24, 2015.
– Qualified winners will be provided details to collect their passes.
– This is a passes-only promotion. Tickets to the Las Vegas show, Travel, parking and accommodations are not included and are the responsibility of each winner.

Good luck to you all!

Read more

Concert Review: Madonna at Moda Center, 10/17 Consider this my formal apology for any negative thing I have ever said about Madonna.

I take it all back. Anything disparaging, unkind or even lightly mocking thing I ever said about Madonna. I renounce every bit of sarcasm in last week’s Madonna paper dolls. I retract even the sighs of annoyance I sighed, before her show started Saturday night at the Moda Center, while a house DJ named Michael Diamond wore a raincoat and spun boring dance music for an hour while the screen over my head played visuals that looked like a ’90s screen saver over and over.

Consider this my formal apology for all of the above. I know now that Madonna isn’t irrelevant, boring or totally over. I humbly acknowledge that she is the Queen of the World.

Her show on Saturday started late—or at least it felt late, since we arrived on time and sat through an hour of the aforementioned DJ with but one drink. The DJ ended at 9 and it was almost 50 minutes before Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” started blaring, the lights went down and the big Rebel Heart curtain that had been covering the stage dropped.

Then, the Michael Jackson music became Madonna music and dancers dressed as something like Genghis Khan-era warriors carrying tall medieval crosses appeared in front of a huge screen playing video from the song “Iconic,” with Mike Tyson talking, and then Madonna inviting the dancers and the screaming crowd to join her revolution.

Then, because this was Madonna and this was the beginning of the best arena show I’ve ever seen, Madonna was lowered from the ceiling in a cage.

“Iconic” turned into “Bitch, I’m Madonna,” which included the massive face of Nicki Minaj rapping on the screen, a warning to the legion of Gen-X women in the audience wearing mesh gloves that this show wouldn’t be just for them.

Those early songs were just appetizers for the first really big number, a “Holy Water”/”Vogue” sexy Catholic bondage party that included stripper nuns, a living re-creation of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” a sexy priest and—I swear to god—the lyrics “Jesus loves my clitoris best.” (Online it says the lyrics are “Yeezus loves my pussy best” but I stand by what I heard and I like my version a lot more anyway.)

It was spectacular.

Which reminds me: we need to talk about Madonna’s dancers.

They can’t really be called back-up dancers because a lot of the show was really about showcasing their extreme talents. Of course, anyone who dances on a Madonna tour is going to be a next-level professional, but these dancers went beyond that usual athletic, unbelievably bendy, music video “dancer-in-the-back” type thing. Each one, even from a distance, exuded a very specific and intriguing personality—and also, actual joy. In fact, in some ways the Rebel Heart show was really less of a concert and more a really good Cirque du Soleil performance, with live music, additional dancing and superior charm by Madonna.

There were a few moments in the production where the whole thing went beyond anything I’ve ever seen onstage. At one point a spiral staircase dropped from the ceiling down onto the tip of the stage which extended out into the audience and ended in a heart which looked like the tip of a penis. (Madonna thought so too. She even said: “It feels so intimate down here at the tip of my penis. Isn’t it interesting that a heart and a penis are the same shape? God didn’t make a mistake on that one. In my opinion, it’s all about the dick.”)

After the staircase came down, Madonna and her favorite dancer—I decided he was her favorite and convinced myself they were in love to which my boyfriend said: “She’s a professional, Lizzy”—did a “HeartBreakCity”/”Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” medley, which ended with both of them at the top of the very tall staircase and then Madonna pushing him off so he free fell through the air and through a hole that suddenly opened in the the stage so the audience never saw his impact.

I screamed.

Later, during one of the interludes for costume changes and water breaks (I assume), when a Madonna song would play but there would be no actual Madonna on stage, dancers sat atop tall polls and did a kind of crazy, bouncing, terrifying air dance to “Illuminati.”

How many ways can I say, “Holy shit, it was so fucking cool”?

And then there was Madonna. I wasn’t surprised that she put on a great show—any American human would know to expect that. What really shocked me was how personal she was, how real and oddly sweet. At one point, when she did the obligatory “Are you having fun, Portland?” thing, she added: “I am having a good time. I mean, this is nice work if you can get it.” And the audience believed her. The show felt like a gift to her fans. Even the small mistakes felt right, like, here, look at this human. You love this human and she is doing this all for you! Whether it was “True Blue” on the ukelele or “Like a Virgin,” which she sang all alone, running around the stage, not in a wedding dress but in pants, not trading on past glory but honoring the song and also who she is now. She missed some notes and that made it so much better. She’s 57. She’s putting on a show that would make an 8 year-old with ADD tired. And she’s singing live, alone, on a stage in front of thousands of people. It’s impossible to tell you everything. The show was one of the only ones I’ve ever been to where I didn’t once think, “OK, I’m ready for this to be done.” From the second her cage was lowered onto the stage, a little before 10 pm, to the end of her encore, “Holiday,” which saw her whisked up into the air on a trapeze, at midnight, it was perfect.

There was crazy gender stuff, sexy bed dancing, dancing with a flying sheet, dancing on a moving screen. There was indiscriminate, unapologetic cultural appropriation, sacrilegious imagery, a lot of six-pack flashing, a matador dance. There were outrageous costumes, beautiful costumes, costumes covered in diamonds. There was the moment when she sat on what looked like a big red cake and said, “I’ve been married twice, you know. You’ve probably heard about it,” scratched her knee and then led the audience in a “La Vie En Rose” singalong while she played the ukulele. It’s been 30 years since Madonna came to Portland. In 30 more years, she’ll be 86. I hope she comes back before then but if not, I think I’m willing to travel somewhere else to see her again. I’d like to make my apologies in person, genuflect, ask for forgiveness. I am sorry I ever doubted Madonna. She is right. She is the queen.

Read more and view photo gallery at Willamette week

Read more

Madonna in Portland: Couture, conga lines and righteous ‘Rebel’ pop

Early in the set during Madonna’s nearly two-hour Moda Center show, a man wrapped in Jewish religious gear—a tallit, or prayer shawl, and a yamulkah—danced in a gleaming group to the sounds of “Devil Pray.”

Well, I thought, I didn’t see that at my Bar Mitzvah. That was after the sexy nuns pole-dancing on crosses but before the “Get into the Groove” conga line. It was that kind of show.

No one operates on the level of Madonna, one of the rare American pop acts interested in pushing her arena shows to the level of actual art. Or at least couture. In the last few years, I’ve seen any number of arena superstars: Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Katy Perry, Drake, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, and the magnificent Cher among them. All had their highs and lows, their own version of a big-tent spectacle. And with Madonna drawing largely on this year’s “Rebel Heart” album, plenty of her peers have played more hits at the Moda Center.

But she was untouchable on stage creativity. The details of her and her dancers’ costuming, crafted by Gucci, Prada and other top labels, was immaculate whether her imagination steered toward bulls and matadors or provocative Catholicism. The set-ups weren’t one-and-done, or pointless costume changes: in one run, Madonna shifted the “Body Shop” scene—a Sexy ’50s Auto Shop—toward a diner’s exterior for vintage-style love song “True Blue,” and then into the restaurant toward the jukebox, an image that played on the video screen behind the stage as Madonna stood on a pile of tires. In other words: transitions and storytelling!

The narrative Madonna was trying to tell across the night—her first in Portland since two nights at the Arlene Schnitzer in 1985—was far from unified, or comprehensible: it started with medieval, cross-bearing warriors and wound up in top-hat-clad Prohibition, with a jumbled message about love and revolution and unexpected Mike Tyson video footage all in there somewhere. But at least it came with top-tier choreography, from the swarm of bodies that came together and fell apart in “Living for Love” to the stairway ballet that played out between Madonna and a doomed lover in “HeartBreakCity”: it ended with a gasp, as she pushed him from the second story off into a sudden hole in the stage.

Between songs, she spoke about the need to destroy bigotry. “We have so much more to fight for,” she said, a serious moment amid commentary on the male sex organ—she is, quote, “all about” it—and a profane request for the audience to count in Spanish with her. Like Cher, Madonna pulls on other cultures recklessly for her imagery: a critic who is younger and angrier about this sort of thing should probably take her to task for it, but then they’d be haranguing an incredible conga line.

And the music? It was fine. “Rebel Heart” is no Madonna classic, but it’s far from dull, and her more intimate showcases, including a ukulele treatment of French standard “La Vie En Rose,” revealed a vocalist capable of pleasant warmth but not multi-octave heat. Yes, Madonna’s a singer. But she is also so much more, and so much better, no matter how many kids keep coming up behind her.

— David Greenwald

Read more at OregonLive

Read more

Sean Penn attends second Madonna concert in a month

Madonna and Sean Penn are fast becoming the friendliest exes in Hollywood. The actor attended another of his ex-wife’s concerts in Vancouver, Canada on Wednesday night, just weeks after standing in the crowd at her New York show in September.

The 55-year-old stood front row at Madonna’s Rebel Heartperformance next to Amy Schumer, who has acted as a warm-up act during the tour. He could be seen gazing up and smiling at the Voguesinger while she performed her energetic set.


Sean Penn attended Madonna’s concert on Wednesday

Sean’s attendance at the show comes less than a month after her took his daughter Dylan Penn to Madonna’s Madison Square Garden show, and later wrote the singer a letter of praise to tell her how much he had enjoyed himself.

Speaking during a performance in Brooklyn in September, Madonna took the opportunity to reflect on her ex, telling the crowd: “I did a show at Madison Square Garden the other night if you heard about it. And my ex-husband was there! Could you imagine?

“He had been at my show 30 years earlier when I was at Madison Square Garden, and he was very upset with me for wearing a costume that was too revealing. That’s not a lie!”

Sean attended another Madonna concert in September

She continued: “Anyway after the show he wrote me a letter and said he finally appreciates my art. And that is what I have to say about marriage, OK? Thirty f**king years later.”

Madonna and Sean tied the knot in August 1985 following a whirlwind romance, before calling time on their marriage four years later. They have both since gone on to have high profile relationships, with Madonna most notably being married to Guy Ritchie for seven years, while Sean wed Robin Wright, with whom he had two children, Dylan, 24, and Hopper, 22.

The Milk star most recently dated Charlize Theron for almost 18 months, before the actress reportedly called off their engagementafter spending time with her partner in Cannes in June.

Read more at HELLO Magazine

Read more

Madonna pole-dances while standing on a nun during outrageous show

Madonna pole dances on a nun during outrageous show
Madonna performs on stage in Vancouver, Canada during her Rebel Heart (Picture:

You’ve got to hand to Madonna. Just when it seems she’s done it all, she manages to prove us wrong.

The 51-year-old popstar’s Rebel Heart show includes a routine involving a group of dancers wearing nun’s habits – and it’s quite raunchy, even by Madge’s standards.

Madonna proved she’s got some serious pole skills at her Vancouver gig on Thursday too as she pole-danced while balancing on top of a woman dressed as a nun. Casual.

The mother-of three then busts out a pole-dancing routine that we’ll just say gets pretty intense.

Her acrobatics seemed to go down well with the Madonna’s unshockable crowd – and comedian Amy Schumer, in the audience, who came down to the front row for a chat and a shot.

‘Do blondes have more fun?,’ shouted Madge. ‘They sure do!’

Madge’s one-time husband Sean Penn was also in the crowd and seemed to be having a whale of a time.

While her latest antics will no doubt get people talking, it will take more than a few pole-dancing nuns to eclipse her performance at this year’s BRIT Awards, which was shocking for all the wrong reasons thanks to her jaw-dropping tumble off the stage.

Sorry Madge, that moment is burned into our brains forever.

Her Rebel Heart tour comes to London in December when she’ll perform two shows at the O2 arena.

Watch a selection of clips from the show here:

Read more:

Read more

Review: Madonna concert kind of a blast at Rogers Arena

VANCOUVER – What the heck was that? 

That seemed to be the question on the minds of a lot of people as we filed out of Rogers Arena following a two-hour-plus concert by Madonna on her Rebel Heart Tour.

There were many moments that were more suited to a much less experienced artist playing mid-size club or perhaps theatre rather than a wizened pro in an arena.

There was the rambling stage banter, in which the 57-year-old seemed to be making a plea for sympathy .(“I’m schizophrenic and bipolar,“ she claimed at one point, leaving us to wonder if she was joking)

There were the shots (tequila?) tossed back onstage which had us wondering if the pop star wasn’t a little tipsy. There was an acoustic version of Secret (from her 1994 album Bedtime Stories) that the singer admitted she hadn’t practiced, and which came across as, charitably, unpracticed (if well-intentioned).

There was the broadside delivered to one of her male dancers (“Are you as dumb as you look?”) which left him looking uncomfortable (and the audience going “awwwww”). And there were too much drawn-out, not very well thought-out audience interactions that had this reviewer wondering if there was any end to the night in sight.

Musically, too, the pop music pioneer seemed off her game. This though might have as much to do with the setlist for this tour as with whatever mood she was in on this particular night.

With songs like Bitch I’m Madonna, Iconic and the title track, her latest (and 13th) album Rebel Heart celebrates Madonna’s survival as well as her ascent to the pop-music pantheon. That being the case, the accompanying tour would have been the perfect opportunity for her to re-establish her reign as pop queen and show young whippersnappers like Miley and Nikki how to get things done.

A set that was a greatest-hits career retrospective and included a smattering of new songs would likely have had the audience on its feet and cheering for a solid 90 minutes.

But it wasn’t until the third song that she dipped into her back catalogue, and even then it was for a version of an early but not particularly beloved track (Burning Up).

And there were hits sprinkled throughout the set, including Material Girl, Like a Virgin, Holiday, Vogue, to name a few.

But many of these came in un-energetic, charmless arrangements or were lost in Vegas-style medleys. And a preponderance of new songs – some but not all on a par with the best of her older stuff – and also-ran material dragged the show down.

While the pacing lagged, visually the Rebel Heart Tour is about throwing as much stuff against the arena wall as Madonna and her hirelings can think of, and seeing what sticks.

So we get Mike Tyson in an opening video before the star descends in a cage. We get a bunch of tires onstage as a backdrop for the song Body Shop (which was, along with a sweet, carefree version of True Blue, one of the highlights of the set).

We get religious imagery (half-naked nuns and dancers arranged in a Last Supper tableau) for some songs, Art Deco design and Roaring Twenties outfits for a couple of tracks, Spanish dress and flamenco guitar for a few others.

We get a stage in the shape of a cross, a floor-ramp, dancers who reveal their six-packs at the whim of their boss, dancers on swaying poles, fan art projected on the stage-spanning video screen, interludes where the singer herself is nowhere to be seen and we’re left to be entertained by drag queens in the audience, some of whom look more like Madonna than Madonna ever did.

Yet despite, or because of, all of these amateur-hour/drunken millionaire moments, it was kind of a blast to see Madonna let her hair down, or maybe just not give a damn for a while.

Who’s going to stop her if, say, she wants to do shots with comedian Amy Schumer (who was in the audience, along with someone who looked suspiciously like Madonna’s ex Sean Penn) before the show? (Madonna seemed to hint that this might have happened.)

And who if not Madonna has earned the right to indulge herself with a version of La vie en rose on ukulele, dedicated to her 19-year-old daughter? And so what if she wants to shamelessly dip into Jack Benny’s back catalogue for a joke? (“You’ve heard of the three rings that go along with marriage, right? The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.” Ba-boom!)

It wasn’t a great concert, but it was a heckuva show.

Read more:

Read more

Madonna performs ‘Secret’ in Vancouver and Sean Penn back in the audience!

Madonna, in a very good mood, decided to perform a special acoustic version of Secret last night in Vancouver, similar to the version she performed during the Drowned World Tour. This was her special surprise for her ‘special guest’. Whether this was for Amy Schumer or maybe Sean Penn who were both in the audience, who knows?

She then went on to perform Ghosttown

Read more

Then and now: Madonna fans remember 1985 Portland show (PHOTOS)

When Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” tour stops at the Moda Center on Saturday, it will be the first time in 30 years that the Material Girl has played Portland.

Earlier this month, The Oregonian/OregonLive dug into the archives and posted photos of teenagers who attended Madonna’s pair of sold-out concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in April 1985.

Recognizing their younger selves in the black and white pictures, a few readers contacted us to share their memories of “The Virgin Tour” coming to the Rose City.

Cue “This Used to Be My Playground.”

Danette Dollar

A Beaverton High sophomore in 1985, Dollar first heard “Lucky Star” at Portland’s underage Skoochie’s dance club. Then the singer became a mainstay on MTV. The teen became obsessed.

“I really liked her look,” Dollar, now 46, said. “It was really edgy for the time, especially being out in 1980s Beaverton.”

Before going to the concert, she scoured secondhand shops for fingerless lace gloves and 1940s braziers to wear as undershirts. She had the horn-rimmed sunglasses. But on the day of the show, Dollar’s outfit was missing something.

Danette Dollar remembers Madonna 1985 concertDanette Dollar remembers finding the right religious articles to wear and getting her picture taken with the Beastie Boys in 1985 at the Madonna concert.

She spotted a magnificent string of rosary beads with a large crucifix hanging from a statue of the Blessed Virgin in her friend Angela’s living room. The girls were alone in the house.

“Her mom was away at the Coast,” Dollar recalled. “I asked her if I could wear the rosary to the concert.”

Angela hesitated before saying yes. “Just don’t tell my mom,” she told Dollar.

In his tour diary “Life with My Sister Madonna,” the pop star’s brother, Christopher Ciccone, recounted how he feared for Madonna’s life because of what he saw outside the Schnitz.

“From the moment we arrive in Portland, Oregon, on April 15, it feels like one of the strangest cities I’ve ever visited,” Ciccone writes. “Outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, religious fanatics are picketing the show, milling around with placards proclaiming that Madonna is Satan’s spawn, and that she is going to hell.”

The picketers heckled Dollar outside the theater, telling her she was disgracing the rosary around her neck.  “I’m not Catholic,” she told them.

Before walking inside, she struck her best Madonna pose near a parking meter for a photographer from The Oregonian.

Girls dressed in Madonna outfits booed the Beastie Boys through their opening set. But once the headliner took the stage, they shouted every lyric and mimicked her dance moves. It was pure pop ecstasy.

Of course, the next morning, the photo of her wearing the rosary beads appeared in the newspaper. Her friend’s mother saw it. Busted.

“Oh my God,” she recalled, “did I get a lecture on the sanctity of the Rosary.”

Now the mother of a 25-year-old son and working at in a Fred Meyer furniture department in Hillsboro, Dollar said she has lost touch with Madonna’s newer music but she remains a big fan. “Sadly,” she said, “I wasn’t able to get tickets to the show this time.”

To read the rest of the stories please visit OregonLive

Read more

MadonnaUnderground presents: Madonna in ‘The Egg’ short 8mm film by Wyn Cooper

While we are currently in the process of the transfer of our Filmography from the old site onto the current one; we’d like to take you back to 1974 where M ate a raw egg and had one fried on her tummy, only for it to be eaten by someone else.

Our newest upload on our Vimeo channgel, we present to you: The Egg by Wyn Cooper

Madonna in The Egg short film by Wyn Cooper from MadonnaUnderground on Vimeo.


Read more

Sex and Candles – An oral history of the time Madonna made a movie in Portland

The last time Madonna was in Portland, she visited Pittock Mansion, hung out at the waterfront, poured candle wax on Willem Dafoe’s genitals, and fucked an old man to death.

That’s the plot of Body of Evidence, the alleged erotic thriller she shot here in 1992, but you’d be forgiven for forgetting. Critically eviscerated upon release, it quickly vanished from theaters, remembered only by the barely pubescent boys who’d come across it on cable and feel strangely aroused walking past Yankee Candle for years afterward. Along withthe Sex book, Madonna’s much-derided detour into softcore porn, the film represents one of the lowest points of her long reign as the Queen of Pop. But for Portland, it persists as an odd bit of local lore—that time, a decade before Portlandiaand all the New York Times travel pieces, when one of the most famous people in the world came to town, and all she got was a crappy Basic Instinct ripoff.

In honor of Her Madgesty’s return engagement—marking her first Portland performance since the Like a Virgin tour in 1985—we spoke to those who were there for our month with the Material Girl.

Stephen Simon, executive producer: I was the head of production of Dino De Laurentiis’ film company. When I was working for Dino, we made a deal to distribute Madonna’sTruth or Dare film outside the United States. We made a lot of money on it. Dino had a conversation with Madonna, then came to me and said, “Madonna wants to do a real sexy thriller. Find one.” I don’t remember the exact number, but basically he said, “With her being as famous as she is, and as well as Truth or Dare did, we can pre-sell this for $18 million. So you’ve got to make this movie for $15 million.” At that point, Dino didn’t really much care how the movie was going to be.

David Woolson, former executive director of the Oregon Film & Video Office: There was an intense focus around that film because it was really her first starring role after Desperately Seeking Susan. It was wild.

Simon: We didn’t want to be in L.A. because it’s too expensive. Portland had a lot of the moodiness that we wanted. She was going to live on a houseboat, so putting a houseboat in the Willamette was easy.

With the news that Madonna would be living in Portland for four weeks, local media promptly went into hyperdrive, with The Oregonian announcing “Madonna Watch,” asking readers to submit their most “candid photos” of the singer. To counteract the press frenzy, city officials set up a press conference at the Benson Hotel prior to shooting.

Mike Lindberg, ex-City Commissioner: The theory was that she, along with Willem Dafoe, can have this one-time, major interview where they were introduced and could answer questions, and that would take the air of future inquiries the press might be making. I was, oddly enough, in a political campaign for re-election. When it came up in my office, my campaign manager said, “Why don’t you give her the key to the city and get some publicity for yourself?”

Mindy Leek, Lindberg’s campaign manager: I had worked on the periphery of the film industry, and I just thought, “Let’s have some fun with it.” I had someone at this prop shop produce it for me.

Lindberg: It was about 2 ½, 3-feet high, made out of Styrofoam, and it had a black-knit stocking with a garter belt and a rose in the crotch. I kinda looked at it and went, “Oh my gosh.” Somebody introduced me, and then I stood up and someone delivered the key. She looked somewhere between horrified and disdainful. I got more negative letters about that issue than anything else I had done on the City Council.

To read the full article please visit Willamette Week

Read more