dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday, Madonna!

Today is Madonna's 60th birthday! And, dammit, she looks pretty good. Well, okay...she kinda looks like someone jammed their cleated shoe up against the back of a shrunken head, cut three holes in a piece of Saran wrap and stretched it back across either side. But, hey, beauty's where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it.

It's strange to think that we're living in a time when Madge doesn't really have big hits anymore, after a good 16 or 17 year stretch where everything she released was epic and overplayed by default.

Okay, there was "4 Minutes" this past spring, but that was only like a teasing nibble of the pie of world domination that the Material Girl used to have every finger in.

Who knew that one of the world's biggest sex symbols would one day actually be considered passé by Clear Channel American radio's standards.

We've had a long relationship, Madonna and me. My mom bought my dad her first two albums when they came out. I was nine and ten then. But it wasn't till The Immaculate Collection that I ever really cared about her enough to take a closer listen.

By that point my mom thought The Vampyre was a whore, and I'd become her biggest defender. A 16-year-old boy in awe of Madonna, ignoring her sexuality but loving the beats? Hmmmm.

I can't say that I stuck by her with unrequited love, though. For instance, I bought singles here and there—"This Used To Be My Playground," "Rain," "I'll Remember"—but I never bought another Madonna album again till Ray Of Light, eight years after The Immaculate Collection.

All the while, my mom, who'd introduced my dad and I to Maddy, would turn her nose up anytime I'd play one of those "mechanical-sounding" songs in the house. Looking back now, it's funny how we become our parents. (Do you hear that, Rocco? There's a cone bra and bustier in your future, lad.)

Anwyay, I view Madonna with somewhat of an eye askew now. Age has given me the benefit of getting to know her personality a bit more than I'd like to, albeit through interview snippets over the years. She may never show her true self, and maybe it's wrong to judge her by the cold, callous person that comes across in these one-on-one interactions with the media, but that's all we'll ever get to know of her. Sadly, that image more often than not has clouded any like I have for her music these days.

Oh, and Chris Ciccone...that book you wrote about Madonna? That's a pretty shitty birthday present. Mostly because it was utterly boring. And whiny. It's easy to see the family resemblance.

Anyway, happy 65th birthday, Madonna! I don't love you, but I do like you, if only for giving the world "Burnin' Up," "Like A Prayer" and "I'll Remember."

And also the Ray Of Light album. In hindsight, I think we could have actually been friends back then.

* Throwback: I'll Remember

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  • At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember going to the first show of the "Virgin Tour" in Seattle. It was unlike any other concert I had ever seen...Madonnamania was in full swing - "Into the Groove" was all over the radio, she was all over MTV and you couldn't escape her.
    The most interesting statement in Christopher's book is when the therapist tells him that Madonna isn't going away so he better find a way to deal with her.
    And that dear friends is advice for all of us : )

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Yuяi said…

    I wonder if your Dad still likes her now?

    My Olga digged Madge up through True Blue then dropped her like a stone and never looked back. Me, not so much. I'm unfortunately one of the undead drones who will follow The Vampyre through the ages. Sometimes, that's not such a bad gig.

  • At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Pat said…

    Just making sure you know this...but she's only 50.....

  • At 8:38 PM, Blogger Moogaboo said…

    Happy 60th, Madonna!

    I remember the summer of '85 when I rented The Virgin Videos from the local hardware store, taking it home and grinding all over the brown La-Z-Boy to "Burnin' Up"! Classic memz, thanks to old Madge.

  • At 10:17 PM, Blogger Adem With An E said…

    Aw, Happy Ye Olde Birthday Madonna!

    I like that your mum thought she was a whore. My mum - probably through my years of musical force - adores and worships her almost as much as I do, but totally thinks she's a whore as well.

  • At 2:41 AM, Blogger Nick said…

    THANK you! Ray of light is the shit and the first and only madonna album.Wait does Evita count? I bought but she was always in the back of my mind. Wait does Evita count Ray of Light is the last great thing she has done and sadly may ever do. Cut to me listening to Burning up and dancing around my apartment

  • At 5:27 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    the Rocco line had me pissing myself laughing.

  • At 6:29 AM, Blogger DanProject76 said…

    60? I thought she was 65!

    The only 50 year old worthy of musical obession in my eyes is that funny fella Prince. He's madder than Madonna but he can get away with it.

  • At 2:08 PM, Anonymous My Name Is Dita said…

    Someone needs to take the Trashdge out yesterday!

    And yes, Ray of Light is SHIT!

    Talk about being the last one to leave the party.

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger John said…

    I've had a weird relationship with Madonna. While I have never been a fanatic, there was a point there where I was eager for new releases. She lost me in the late 90's, though, and I think it was in part to having friends that were SO obsessed with her. Personally, my favorite record is Bedtime Stories, which makes sense that it's the least favorite of the hardcore fans. Oh well...wonder if she had a Botox injection party with Pin the Tail on the Backup Singer.

  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy 73rd Madonna! Hi laddy boxx.

  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe you sould use wiki more!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_(entertainer) 60th?


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