Metal Insider Top 5: Monte Pittman’s 5 favorite Prong, Madonna songs to play

We recently caught up with Monte Pittman to talk about his first solo album for Metal Blade (and his third overall), The Power of Three. And while he’s certainly a renowned enough artist in his own right, he’s also been Madonna’s guitar player for the last 13 years and logged time with Prong, among other endeavors. We asked him to rank his five favorite songs to play from both Prong and Madonna. Here’s what he told us

5) “Secret”
This a great song to play on the acoustic. There are some great chord changes and something to always keep your fingers occupied. On “The Drowned World Tour” in 2001 we did this song. I tuned my guitar down and Madonna played using a capo on her guitar. That was inspired by Joni Mitchell at the time. This way we were both playing the same chords but in two different places on the guitar neck, or inversions, to work together as one part.

4) “Burning Up”
Usually we will take one of Madonna’s songs and make a “rock” version of it somewhere in the set. It’s incredible how so many of her songs can be played in different styles. On the “Reinvention Tour” in 2004, we played this one that way. People sometimes ask me “do you ever do any guitar solos with her?” and I don’t believe in adding a guitar solo just for the sake of showing off. This is a song where a guitar solo made sense and was a lot of fun to play.

3) “Hung Up/A New Level”
I’ll never forget the night I heard the demo for “Hung Up” for the first time. I had just finished giving her a guitar lesson and she had just gotten a CD from Stuart Price of some songs he had been working on to start the “Confessions Of A Dance Floor” album. She put in the CD, and as soon as that song kicked in, you couldn’t sit down! On the “Sticky And Sweet Tour” we ended this song by going into the Main/chorus riff to Pantera’s “A New Level.” The set and one of the themes to the “Sticky And Sweet Tour” built like it was a game. Playing “A New Level” had several meanings to it. It was almost at the finale of the game, paying tribute to Dime, enjoying such an amazing piece of music, and possibly turning new people on to something they might not normally know. Also, when else would you get to jam on some Pantera in front of a sold out stadium of 80,000 people?

2) ”Don’t Tell Me”
This is the song that started it all for me with Madonna. Our first performance together was when she asked me to play on David Letterman with her and this is the song we did. My experience playing in a band like Prong helped me execute the main guitar part live and approach it like I’m playing the individual samples that make up this riff.

1) “Papa Don’t Preach”
This song is pure genius and one of the best constructed pop songs of all time if not THE most. Every part of this song can stand on it’s own. In the multi tracks to this, there are 3 different guitar parts which I assume are 3 different guitar players having their take on the song. It all works together beautifully. I can’t think of another song that has so many parts that could arguably be the part you remember most.

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Madonna’s Trainer Talks Working With the Icon: “She Is the Most Incredible Woman in the World”

Celebrity personal trainer Nicole Winhoffer has worked with a bevy of stars, including Stella McCartney, Rachel Weisz and Abbie Cornish, but she’s most known for working with the one and only Madonna.
In fact, Nicole and Madonna are opening their 8th Hard Candy Fitness club today in Toronto. But busy as Nicole is, she caught up with E! News to talk about her relationship with Madonna and all things fitness.
Nicole and Madonna met up in 2009 when she was working as a trainer on the Sticky & Sweet tour, but their real partnership came with the concept of Hard Candy, which opened up its first gym in Mexico City in 2010.

“Madonna stands as an icon. Her body, work ethic, and persistence is an inspiration to the people,” says Nicole. “The gym is a place where people can experience the ‘Addicted to Sweat’ workout that is inspired by the workouts I have been doing with Madonna for five years. I update the program every three months, so the gym always has fresh new content.”

And of course it comes as no surprise that Nicole had nothing but high praise for the music legend. “She is the most incredible woman in the world. Her dedication, persistence, intelligence and work ethic are bar none,” gushes Nicole. “I couldn’t ask for a better workout partner.”


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From Madonna to Hollywood: Coming Out and Learning to Thrive With HIV

Carlton Wilborn performed with Madonna in front of tens of thousands of fans around the globe, but learning to come out — about being gay, about having HIV, about surviving sex abuse — helped him achieve an even richer kind of fame.

Standing in front of 140,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, performing with the woman who is arguably among the most iconic and successful pop stars of the 20th century, should have been a pinnacle of Carlton Wilborn’s professional life. He was one of Madonna’s lead dancers for The Girlie Show and Blond Ambition, two of her biggest concert tours, and two of the biggest tours overall of the 1990s. Rolling Stone called Blond Ambition a “sexually provocative extravaganza” and “the best tour of 1990.”

Blond Ambition wasn’t just a tour, though. It was a spectacle that, after it was filmed, became the most watched TV special to date for HBO (with 4.3 million households viewing), and it spawned the 1991 documentary Truth or Dare, which became not just a mainstream success (it grossed $29 million, making it one of the highest-grossing documentaries ever) but a bona fide gay hit. Two of her male dancers kiss, the troupe attends an LGBT pride parade, and Madonna pays tribute to her friend Keith Haring, who had died of AIDS complications in 1990. It is a very gay film that was as huge culturally as the concert series. And Wilborn was there in the midst of it all, in the film, performing onstage.

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Madonna’s W.E. tonight on Dutch Film1

Popicoon Madonna regisseerde dit romantische kostuumdrama waarin twee liefdesgeschiedenissen centraal staan. Vanavond om 20:30 uur voor het eerst te zien bij Film1 Premiere.

Engeland, 1936. De Amerikaanse Wallis Simpson heeft het hart van koning Edward VIII veroverd, maar trouwen mag niet. De Kerk laat Edward via de minister president de keus: de gescheiden Wallis of de troon. Hij volgt zijn hart en besluit na nog geen jaar koningschap af te treden. Wereldwijd worden ze als hertog en hertogin van Windsor gezien als meest romantische koppel van de eeuw. Parallel aan dit verhaal loopt de romance van Wally Winthrop in het New York van 1998. Hoe ongelukkiger Wally zich voelt in haar eigen huwelijk, hoe groter haar obsessie wordt voor het verhaal van koning Edward.

W.E. is na Filth and Wisdom 2008 het tweede regieproject van Madonna. De hoofdrollen in dit ontroerende verhaal zijn voor Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough en James D’Arcy.

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So far Madonna fans from over 15 countries have confirmed they have flights booked for the 21st London Madonna Fan Party UK Event, including HOLLAND! We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of friends from the Netherlands as usual!

Madonna has had a special relationship with her Dutch fans since her first performance there in 1987 on the Who’s That Girl Tour, and many of our Madonna Fan Party UK attendees have been flying across to London for the Madonna Fan Parties for years!

Our friends at MadonnaUnderground are also based out of Holland!

We’re looking forward to welcoming our Dutch friends!

#Madonna #MadonnaFanParty #LikeAPrayer25#LikeAPrayer #LAP25


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Madonna’s first time on the ‘back’ of a magazine

Everyone is familiar with Madonna’s very first actual magazine cover: Island magazine from October 1983. She appeared on the front cover of an industry only magazine before in 1982 (Dance Music Report), but this was not a full cover. The very first time Madonna appeared on a back cover, was on this Billboard magazine from December 1983 (Barbra Streisand on front cover).

Warner Music advertised Madonna in full ‘A Star Is Born’ and they knew what they were talking about. This image has been added to the press section of The First Album promo tour


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Fans vie for chance to sweat it out with Madonna at Toronto fitness club

TORONTO — Jamie Madigan has been a Madonna devotee since his teen years when he was listening to “True Blue” on cassette and watching the music icon perform during her Girlie Show tour stop in Toronto — his first concert in high school.

So when Madigan learned Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness was opening in Canada, the pop idol’s connection to the luxury gym brand was his main motivation for enrolling.
“She’s a smart businesswoman who from Day 1 knew what she wanted, went after it, didn’t really listen or care about what anybody else said and just fought until she got. To me, she really hasn’t changed that model,” said Madigan in reference to Madonna’s career longevity.

“She’s always aware of what’s current, what’s trending, what’s hot. Just when people think she’s maybe falling out or she’s being quiet, then here she is coming out with something new.”
In recent weeks, the Material Girl has given Madigan added incentive to squeeze in additional training as the 37-year-old competes for the chance to break a sweat alongside Madonna during her upcoming Canadian visit.
She will be in Toronto on Tuesday for the official launch of the Hard Candy Fitness facility. The Canadian club opened for workouts in October, joining international locations in Berlin, Rome, Sydney, Santiago, Mexico City, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Madigan is among the hopefuls vying to fill 30 spots in the cardio-based Addicted to Sweat class that the pop diva will be leading. The classes were created by Madonna and are based on her daily workouts. Tim Anderson, Madonna’s personal trainer from her “MDNA” tour, will be making the final selections at callback auditions on Monday.

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Official Charts Flashback: 30 years of Holiday, Madonna’s first Top 10 hit

By Justin Myers

1984: A song called Holiday jets into the Top 10 for the very first time – but certainly not the last. Madonna’s debut hit and signature song has been a Top 10 hit THREE times.

Can you remember a time before Madonna? If you can’t, and only know her as the global superstar she is now, there’s every chance you won’t know just how exciting, different and interesting this ragtag American singer with a kind of squeaky voice seemed when her ditty about skiving off work entered the Top 10 this week in 1984.

Sassy solo female singers were nothing new, of course and another young American lady named Cyndi Lauper was enjoying her first Top 10 hit with Girls Just Want To Have Fun a little further up the chart, but Madonna seemed to have something special from the start. Brutally honest and funny in interviews, her music was unashamedly poppy and devoted to having a good time and Holiday, now one of her most famous songs, perfectly encapsulated Madonna’s whole ethos: “Awww, just have a day off, it’ll be fine”.

Watch Madonna perform Holiday on Top Of The Pops before we tell the story of her very first feelgood smash. The guy dancing to the left of her with the impressive sweatpatches is her brother Christopher.

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Madonna Dines With Punk Stars After Charity Gig

Madonna proved her dedication to the newly-free members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot by reportedly dining with them in New York City following their appearance at a charity gig this week (beg03Feb14).

The pop superstar introduced Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova during the Amnesty International concert at the Barclays Center on Wednesday (05Feb14) and made a speech about their activism and legal woes.

It has now emerged Madonna spent time with the pair following the concert and was spotted engaged in conversation with the Russian women via a translator at the Big Apple’s Antica Pesa restaurant, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.

A source tells the publication, “Madonna in head-to-toe black, fingerless gloves and a gold-and-diamond grill. She was in deep conversation with the Pussy Riot girls all night. She looked very interested in what they said.”

Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were jailed for two years along with their bandmate Yekaterina Samutsevich after performing a protest song against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.

Samutsevich’s sentence was commuted in October, 2012 and Alekhina and Tolokonnikova were released as part of an amnesty in December (13).


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