Is there ANYTHING you don’t know about Madonna? Sure, we don’t know it all about the Queen.
Hi fans and stans of Madonna the greatest female artist of all time! How are you today! Ready to learn a few more little things about the goddess?
Yep. I’m here today to tell you the rest of the things you didn’t know about Madonna, or do you? Remember this is is a two part post. You can see part 1 of Things You Didn’t Know About Madonna here.
I’m going to start already. Otherwise I’ll start rumbling as usual. So, here we go!
Things you didn’t know about Madonna – part 2
#10. The Beast Within is from the Book of Revelation
If I remember correctly, Madonna first introduced The Beast Within in the B-side of her Justify My Love maxi-single. Then she also used it as an interlude in The Girlie Show and as the video intro for the Re-Invention Tour. The images of the latter were from the X-Static Process exhibition by Steven Klein. The same video was also shown in I’m Going to Tell You a Secret.
In The Beast Within, Madonna recites different passages of the Book of Revelation. So, from reciting the Act of Contrition and her infamous line “I have a reservation” – in heaven? – “What do you mean it’s not in the computer!” (LOL. The intellect. She’s just a prodigy) in Like a Prayer, she went to reciting the apocalyptic verses of The Beast Within. Genius.
I remember listening to it for the first time and having a kind of uneasy sensation. Indeed, the music and the way she recites are kind of haunting. But oh, I just love it. And the video for the intro of the Re-Invention Tour, genius again. I find it utterly disturbing, but I think that’s exactly what it makes it remarkable.
#11. Spectator jumps onstage in Like a Virgin, Madonna doesn’t even flinch
Did you notice it? I guess you did.
Did you know that during her performance of Like a Virgin in Detroit on the Like a Virgin Tour, there is a spontaneous “fan” who enters the stage, getting really close to Madonna. She sees him, ostensibly unperturbed, and carries on singing while two men pull him out.
On the Girlie Show, she mocks spontaneous fans jumping onstage during her performance of Deeper and Deeper. “Security! Security!”.
#12. The Girlie Show could be inspired by Edward Hopper
You probably didn’t know that there’s a painting by Edward Hopper called Girlie Show, a painting of a burlesque stripper with conical breasts and bright scarlet nipples who performs a striptease before an audience, teasing them by waving a blue scarf. The model is Hopper’s own wife.
For some, this scene would appear to present women as an object of desire for the masculine gaze. I see it myself as a painting that addresses the changing role of women in society. The woman, proudly showing her naked, muscular, almost androgynous body, seems to be quite in control and doing this because she wants to.
Could the painting have had some influence on Madonna’s Girlie Show? I’ll ask her next time I see her.
#13. There’s a song called If Madonna Calls by DJ Junior Vasquez
Junior Vasquez is a producer of the 80s who worked under the guidance of Shep Pettibone acquiring notable prominence in the music business. He has co-produced singles from several artists like Prince or Janet Jackson, according to Wikipedia. I have not checked, to be honest. He did remix Madonna’s singles Secret and Bedtime Stories.
After Madonna failed to show up at one of his gigs, he released a song named If Madonna calls, which she never approved of, and she ended their professional relationship on quite bad terms.
The song starts with an actual message from Madonna left on Junior’s answering machine:
‘Hello, Junior? This is Madonna. Are you there? Call me in Miami’.
Then a male voice continues
‘If Madonna calls, I’m not here’.
Both messages keep repeating and at the end of the track he insists:
‘Disconnect her, disconnect her…If Madonna calls… actually if she calls, just disconnect her’.
I bet he regrets being disconnected. And I bet you didn’t know THAT.
#14. Madonna’s demo Love Hurts leaked by Junior Vasquez
Yep. While we’re on the subject of Junior V, … turns out that he leaked a 25-year-old Madonna demo called Love Hurts —I’m sure you’ve heard it— through his account in SoundCloud. Love Hurts was the earliest version or early demo track of Erotica and was written by both Madonna and the DJ. This guy knows no limits, does he.
Didn’t you know? If you haven’t heard of it you aren’t a true Madonna fan.
More stuff you didn’t know about Madonna
#15. Do I want 8 children? NO!
Did you know this about Madonna? In an interview with Larry King circa 1999, he asked Madonna about her brothers and sisters. She said she loved being part of a big family but then she said:
‘Do I wanna have 8 children? NO!’
Look at her now! We can’t imagine her without Lola, Rocco, Mercy James, David, Estere and Stella!
#16. Madonna’s support to two gay men in Malawi
Perhaps you didn’t know that, in 2010, Madonna wrote a statement in response to a Malawi court’s decision to jail two young men for being homosexual. The couple, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, were arrested the day after their engagement party, and were booed by the crowd as they were driven to prison.
In the statement, Madonna asked people around the world to read the statement, and then add their names in support of equal rights.
‘I am shocked and saddened by the decision made today by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison. As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.
I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi—and around the world—to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all.’
If you are a Madonna fan, you probably knew this already. But, do you know what happened after?
The case drew international condemnation and, after the sentence, Madonna’s statement and international pressure, the president of Malawi decided to pardon and release both men. But the story doesn’t end there. Monjeza died in 2012 and Chimbalanga lives in exile in South Africa.
#17. secretprojectrevolution and the lingerie issue
In 2013 Madonna released a movie, co-directed with Steven Klein, about artistic expression and human rights. It was called secretprojectrevolution and it was inspired by all the things that had been going on in the world and around her during the MDNA Tour: “I just felt the world was collapsing, and the freedom of artists to express themselves was collapsing”.
There’s an excellent interview by Vice Magazine about how Madonna envisaged the project. I’ll just tell you how it started in case you didn’t know this about Madonna:
She’d been asked to design a line of lingerie for a company. The line was going to be called Truth or Dare. In the end, the company said that the line was too provocative and not acceptable. I mean, if you commission the project to Madonna, if it’s going to be called Truth or Dare, what the hell did you expect? Pink elephants and lemonade? 🙂 If you want to know more, here’s the interview (source Madonna’s YouTube channel).
#18. Mer Girl
Madonna wrote the last song of Ray of Light, one of her most haunting tracks (remember The Beast Within) and a quite surreal meditation about the death of her mother, after going for a jog.
Perhaps you didn’t know this. Apparently, her feet carried her, almost inadvertently to her mother’s grave. Madonna was visiting her father in Michigan.
“I didn’t know where I was going,” she later recalled. “I just ran and ran and I found myself in the cemetery where my mother was buried.” The grave “was grown over, like it hadn’t been visited in a while.” She stayed in the cemetery for some time, then ran home and wrote the lyrics to “Mer Girl.” I will one day review the album and the track.
Bonus: did you know this about Madonna and her MDNA Tour?
Opening of MDNA Tour
Remember that magical opening with the smoking incense thurible in action?
Well, “censer” or “thurible” in Spanish is incensario but we all know it by its translation to the Galician dialect: botafumeiro. The one used in the MDNA Tour is an exact replica of the one in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. In Santiago, the botafumeiro swings from a rope like a pendulum as it does in the Madonna tour (just a little bit better), and it can only be seen in action twelve times a year, coinciding with several religious observances, such as the Epiphany (6th January), Resurrection Day (Holy Sunday) the Immaculate Conception (8th December), etc.
There are only three replicas in the world and one of them was custom made for Madonna’s MDNA tour.
It is said that Madonna discovered the botafumeiro thanks to a film directed by Emilio Estevez, The Way, starring Martin Sheen. It’s probably about the Camino de Santiago (the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela). I don’t know because I haven’t seen it but the title makes sense.
And that’s all folks! We’ve arrived to the end of this, I hope, interesting post that told you about many things that, probably, you didn’t know about Madonna. Or maybe you did but didn’t remember.
Tell us things we don’t know about the Queen
I could probably go on and on since I have read almost everything there is to read about her, and have seen or listened to almost everythings there is to listen to, from podcasts and radio broadcasts to interviews and chat shows. So, most likely, there are many more things that perhaps you don’t know about Madonna and I could tell you, but hey, do you know how long and how hard it is to put them together for a blogpost? Not easy and very time consuming.
Still, if you have ANYTHING AT ALL to add, like comments to what I’ve written, or facts that YOU know, or if you want to know something more or whatever, you’ve got the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!