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.
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.
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