Madonna 54


Clockwise from top left: With William S. Burroughs; a Herb Ritts portrait, a Steven Meisel photo from herĀ Sex book; back cover art from her 1983 debut album; childhood photo; with dancer friend Martin Burgoyne (white boy dancer in video below).

In 1984, Liz Rosenberg warned me: “Madonna‘s not very good in interviews.” This would be her first magazine profile in the U.S. (for Interview). That same month, a piece in The Face shredded her. That wasn’t why I was there. I had been following her since “Everybody,” and began obsessing when a Downtown friend called me from Martin Burgoyne‘s apartment, to sneak me a listen to “Lucky Star,” which he was choreographing as a music video. Madonna was recording an album, and I made sure my contact at Sire Records knew that I wanted the first interview. True to form, Madonna’s initial question was to me: “I don’t understand why Andy‘s [Warhol] not here…” During the next 90 minutes we flip-flopped from arm wrestling to flirtation. It was the end of a long day for her. Jellybean was in the studio with her; they were remixing “Borderline.” When we were done talking, we shared a Checker Cab from Sygma Sound (on Broadway and 54th) to the Upper West Side. She slid off a few of the rubber bracelets she was wearing, handed them to me and gave me a kiss on 72nd and Columbus. Lady Gaga never kissed me like that.

Other 1958’s:
Kevin Bacon
Anita Baker
Alec Baldwin
Angela Bassett
Annette Bening
Tim Burton
Kate Bush
Drew Carey
Shaun Cassidy
Jamie Lee Curtis
Ellen DeGeneres
Jeff Foxworthy
Scott Hamilton
Michael Jackson
Andie MacDowell
Gary Oldman
Tim Robbins
Sharon Stone
Tanya Tucker
Keenen Ivory Wayans



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  1. I first saw Madonna at the old Copacabana when the guitarist from my band Scarlet brought us to see “the girl only played on black radio.” We all thought she was hot but couldn’t sing or dance too well. There were about 40 people in that big room….

    Roberta Morgan Aug 17 / 1:22 am

  2. Takes me back to 1981 when I was visiting my girlfriend in NYC, who was working as a receptionist for Diane Brill. Diane took us to Danceteria one evening just as a tough young woman and her small crew were setting up for their gig that night. Madonna carried her own amp, cords and other equipment and helped her musicians put it together for the show. Later she played to a not-all-that enthusiastic crowd at the club, and I had no inkling of who she would soon become. Yet here I am still telling about it 31 years later. You never know who is going to hit it big…or how.

    Christopher Cooper Aug 18 / 1:40 pm