Three years after attending the Blond Ambition Tour I learn through ICON (Madonna’s official fanclub) that there is a possibility of an upcoming tour. Rumor has it the tour will start in Europe, in London to be precise, so that is a very good sign! I immediately contact ticket agency Keith Prowse to ask if they are able to get any tickets. They confirm that they can and I instantly make a reservation for two people (I know that my Dutch friend will be coming along). My boyfriend decides not to come as he doesn’t feel like hanging around a stadium all day…….


July 10, 1993

Today the tickets went on sale in London for The Girlie Show on September 25th in Wembley Stadium! I was so excited to know that I was actually going to attending a world premiere of a Madonna tour! I made a phone call to Keith Prowse and they told me that they had received no confirmation as of yet. But after three very anxious hours they were finally able to confirm our tickets, they told us that a second show would probably be announced soon! Indeed two days later the second show on September 26 was announced and we completed our journey. We booked a trip and hotel. I decided to stick with these two shows in London and not book more dates in other countries. Still two more months to wait until the tour would kick off!


The Girlie Show

London England

Hoek van Holland – London September 23

Today we are traveling to London by train and boat, the next day we planned to walk through London and go to Wembley Stadium. When we’re in the train to Hoek van Holland we already have so much fun, but I do feel that we’re very nervous. I brought my camera and lots of film and of course the vouchers that we have to switch in London for the actual tickets. Once we arrive we get on the boat and to celebrate the upcoming weekend we drink a beer, but in just one hour we are ready for our beds.


London September 24, 1993

Early morning we arrive in Harwich and take the train to London, again the weather is great! We arrive at our hotel, dump our stuff and hit the town. We’re searching for Keith Prowse to switch our vouchers for the tickets. When we get there we’re told that we can only switch these tomorrow at Wembley Stadium. This sucks as this means that we are not able to just queue at Wembley as we don’t know which entrance is will be ours. But hey, we’re not going to let that spoil our shopping fun.

After a bit of walking around we end up at Madonna’s hotel (The Lanesborough) and hardly anyone was there. I tell my friend that I am not planning on hanging around for hours as I think it’s a waste of time. There isn’t too much happening at the front of the hotel, we do see Madonna’s brother Christopher leaving, some fans are running after him (come on guys get a grip). We decide to check out the back entrance of the hotel. A couple of people are there as well as a car and a driver that will be driving Madonna to Wembley we assume. We climb on top of the fence and wait. After no more than 15 minutes the unthinkable happened, Madonna exits the hotel with her bodyguard and I shoot some great pictures! Before she enters her car she looks at me with the biggest smile ever and after she gets inside, the car drives off.

Wow! She looks amazing with the short blond hair! After this nice but unexpected experience we ate dinner and went to bed early.


London September 25, 1993

We ordered room service at 5am and I took my breakfast with me outside. The weather was cold, windy and chilly and I didn’t really feel very well. London was still asleep but the closer we got to Wembley, the more we realized that we made the right decision as more people shared the exact same thought. We decided to sit and wait at Turnstile D even though we still didn’t know if that would be our entrance, decided to risk it anyway. We started talking to other people there, sharing experiences and discussing which songs she would be singing tonight. Somebody tells me that she will be performing ‘Justify My Love’ twice, why twice? I just hope she will perform a lot of songs off of ‘Erotica’.

At noon my friend heads over to the box office to change the voucher for the tickets and yes of course, the tickets say Turnstile C and we’re at D! My friend was expecting some friends to come around who hopefully have entrance D so maybe we could switch. And yes thank God, they indeed had D and were prepared to switch, but my friend had to convince them though. The weather is bad, cold and windy and it seems like it’s going to rain, gladly it didn’t. It’s about time for me to put my camera away and the last hour of waiting has arrived. When the gates open we run up the stairs and then I get searched by security, but they quickly tell me to continue my way, I have such an honest face, lol! I just ran to the stage and yes mission completed I am in the first section of the stadium! My friend is right behind me and we make a deal that I will give him all my films when they’re full during the show.

The stage looks amazing, it’s huge and on both sides there’s an image of someone with a mask on. At the top of the stage is the sign of the tour logo ‘Girlie Show’ and of course there’s the catwalk which we’re really close to. The support act starts UNV and they’re quite good. Finally it’s time for the world premiere of The Girlie Show, all we see now is a huge red curtain covering whatever is going on on stage. Then we hear music coming from the speakers and suddnely a  clown appears on stage and the curtain drops, we see a pole with a naked lady on it. First everyone thinks that it’s Madonna but soon we see that it’s a dancer. Erotica starts and the dancer descends down the pole. Madonna rises from the stage and starts to perform ‘Erotica’, WOW!! Amazing!! I am already taking pictures!

After Erotica she comes walking down the stairs onto the catwalk as she drops her props and clothes, takes off her mask and starts ‘Fever’. The crowd is going nuts, we’re all just so exited as we don’t know what else Madonna has in store for us. Fever is just spectacular and I got to take some great pictures, she ends this with ‘a Lovely way to burn’ and disappears into flames, or so it seems. First I think I hear Rescue Me but then a new version of ‘Vogue’ starts. The new version is just amazing, everybody loves it. ‘Rain’ is the first moment to really sit back, relax and enjoy (not that we’re doing that), an amazing version! Madonna’s voice amazes me, strong, clear and just very good. Then it’s disco time and Madonna descends on a huge discoball to sing ‘Express Yourself’. She takes us back to the 70s with the colourful costumes and the crazy afro wigs. M is on the catwalk a lot and she then performs Deeper & Deeper. Madonna takes the time to say something to the crowd after ‘Why’s It So Hard’ about Aids and then performs a very moving ‘In This Life’. Wembley is silent, and Wembley listens to Madonna’s words, and we all start to get a bit teary when Madonna herself has trouble fighting back tears. She then walks up to the stage and the curtain closes.

After her dancers dance to ‘The Beast Within’ Madonna rises from the stage dressed in a suit. She starts her song with a German accent and then finally when she gets to the chorus we know which song she’s actually singing ‘Like A Virgin!’ This version is so original, we never expected this! Bye Bye Baby is being performed the same way as at the MTV Awards. She ends the song by telling us that she hates (fucking) women! I can already imagine the headlines tomorrow. The most unexpected song of the night has to be ‘I’m Going Bananas’, but it’s absolutely hysterical and she mixes this with an amazing version of ‘La Isla Bonita’. She takes her time after ‘La Isla Bonita’ and thanks God ‘for not raining on her show’ and gets down on her knees. She asks if we like the show, if we like the band, and tells us that after a year of being beaten up, she feels great thanks to our positive energy.

When she announces that she needs a vacation, we get a military style ‘Holiday’ that rocks the place! ‘My jock is loose, my pants are tight, my balls are swinging from left to right!’ Holiday is amazing and everyone sings along and dances their asses off. After ‘Holiday’ we’re waiting for the encore, which appears to be ‘Justify My Love’ which is absolutely breathtaking! I feel like I am watching a painting come to life, truly the highest form of art on stage! I never really liked the song, but this performance just gives it a whole another meaning. After another pause Madonna sings ‘Everybody’ and I just go crazy! But then suddenly security notices me taking pictures and takes me to the side of the stage and tells me to empty my camera. The films are being destroyed in front of me, I am so thankful that I handed over the other films to my friend earlier! I am not allowed back into the crowd, so I leave the stadium and buy some tour merch. I decide to go back to the hotel and wait for my friend there.

A little while later my friend arrives and yes he still has the films! He told me that he was in doubt whether to throw them away when he saw I was taken away, but luckily he didn’t. We then got a bite to eat and went to bed.

London September 26, 1993

The fire alarm went off in our hotel, but it turned out to be false. As expected the newspapers are filled with reviews on Madonna’s show. The reviews are fairly negative but still they like to overdo it, which makes their reviews absolute rubbish. We still purchase them for our collection. We decide to check out a record fair, where I find the Deeper And Deeper promo 12″ vinyl. We then returned to Wembley, this time without camera as I wanted to really enjoy tonight’s show.

When we get there it’s very crowded, I get my voucher and walk up to the box office. When it’s my turn, the lady takes the voucher and doesn’t come back for a while. When she comes back she asks how we ordered our ticket, and so I tell her. The lady tells us that tickets have been stolen on their way to the stadium and that our tickets probably were part of that package as well. Unfortunately there’s nothing she can do as the show is completely sold out. I am pissed off and walk back to my friend, at first he thought I was making a joke but when he saw how serious I was, he believed me. We called the Dutch agency and they told us they could give us a refund but only in Amsterdam, and no new tickets for tonight’s show.

What to do now? We’re certainly not going back home, we’re here, so we are going to see the show no matter what, but how? We found a ticket through a girl whose friend couldn’t come because she was sick. One ticket in the pocket, now just needed to find another one. The other available tickets were all seated ones, and way too expensive. Then my friend went out to search and after almost one hour he had found me one, but the seller requested too much money. My friend told him 30GBP and not a penny more! The seller gave in and we got our second ticket! When we compare our tickets, it turns out that mine looks a bit different, and I come to the conclusion that I might have bought my own stolen ticket.

When I enter Wembley now, I am being turned inside out by security. We then ran to the left side of the stage as we were on the right side yesterday. We’re in the first section of the arena so are free to go wherever we want to. The show again is just amazing, and now we get to see things that we weren’t able to yesterday. Now I get to see all of ‘Everybody’. Madonna returns to the stage after ‘Everybody’ dressed as the clown, takes off her mask and sings ‘Everybody is a star’ and then she leaves.

London is a fact, both shows are over and so are our dates! We noticed how funny and relaxed Madonna was. We head back to the hotel, take a shower and go back to bed.

 Harwich – Amsterdam September 27, 1993

After breakfast we head to Liverpool Station to catch the 10 o’clock train to Harwich. My friend wants to buy some more newspapers but the train is almost ready to leave and he still has to pay. But he makes it at the last second, all that for a bunch of newspapers! When we’re on the boat I notice that my voice is almost completely gone and I decide to imitate Joe Cocker, which doesn’t sound too bad. When we arrive back in Amsterdam, my boyfriend Peter is waiting for me. I jump off the train and run up to him, but he’s instantly concerned about my voice. My friend tells him not to worry as my voice will come back (he knows, he’s seen me like this before).

What an amazing weekend with lots of great moments, bad moments (the tickets being stolen and the destroyed films). Hopefully I get to see Madonna again very soon!


Hans Schaft (1993)