home page | news index | 2004 News » Page 6

News and professional editorials

Madonna Finds Meaning

June 25, 2004

Excerpts:

Forty-five seems like a little old for an adult to decide to grow up, but it's better than never. In an interview with ABC last week, fading pop star Madonna addressed the fact that she's been less than a role model in her career. She looks back on her provocative act over the last two decades and concedes it was meaningless.

She told interviewer Cynthia McFadden: "I did spend at least a decade taking off my clothes, and being photographed; saying bad words on TV ... And I thought I was liberating mankind. But like I said, I wasn't really offering an alternative."

... It's almost amusing -- it should be oddly comforting -- that Madonna is stricter with her children than she has ever been on herself. They are not allowed to watch TV, Madonna's natural home, where she has offered her corrupting influences to millions of other people's children for decades.

They are not allowed to swear, which is also something Madonna loves to do, including on stage and in videos if allowed -- again, in front of millions of youngsters who aren't her own. She complained last year about her atrocious video for her flop single "American Life" that "we had to edit it for time. Then we had to get rid of all the F-words."

... McFadden asked how Lola processed Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on MTV in her most recent attempt at televised infamy: "She doesn't think anything of it. She's like, whatever, I kiss girls all the time on the lips. I say hello, goodbye, whatever." That's one weird house if people kiss hello by slipping tongue.

Another reason for Madonna toning down the provocative stuff a bit is her budding career as an author of children's books. The newest one, titled "Yakov and the Seven Thieves," is her third and -- don't laugh -- most "spiritual" work. She calls it "a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven -- no matter how unworthy we think we are."

This follows from her study of Kabbalah, the trendy Jewish offshoot, which, all the fashionably inclusive theology aside, at least has her focusing on the question of how God would like her to act. She told ABC that one spiritual teacher advised her, "when in doubt, act like God ... all loving, all giving."

From that teaching, she now looks at her career and draws the conclusion: "I choose to look at myself as, like, a person who is now awake, um, and a person who is now trying to be part of the order, not the chaos of the world."

She admitted that in her personal dealings she brought "Lots of chaos. I think I brought a lot of chaos to people's lives because of my selfish behavior."

That's a nice message, but Madonna's "Reinvention" tour, now heading around the country, is still brown-wrapper stuff. While critics have noticed that her wardrobe is more conservative and she's skipping the constant sexual grinding (that's all left to Britney and her other copycats now), the show still has the F-words and nudity.

The Washington Post reported that her concert at the MCI Center was filled with creepy screen images of naked bodies, all of them quivering and distressed through an editing technique "familiar to anyone who's seen a Marilyn Manson video." ...

Madge's man almost comes to blows with Kabballah rabbi

July 2004

GUY RITCHIE threatened to “break the face” of one of MADONNA’s Kabbalah advisers, sparking a furious row between the superstar couple.

Brit Guy was angry at constant interfering by the rabbi and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck before making his threat.

A source told me: “Guy was spitting mad. He looked like he was about to throw punches.

“Madonna’s security staff were all twitching in anticipation of a full-scale scrap.”

The row happened last Friday backstage at the Miami concert hall where Madonna was rehearsing dance steps for the latest leg of her Re-invention world tour.

The singer was repeatedly distracted by the rabbi while she and Guy were trying to talk.

After one interruption too many, Guy — the director of violent movie Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels — finally cracked.

The source added: “He reared up, the veins were sticking out of his forehead. He grabbed the guy’s shirt and pulled him so they were nose to nose.

“He just snarled, ‘If you don’t back off I’m going to break yer face.’ It was scary. He wasn’t kidding and it certainly wasn’t very Kabbalah.”

Foul mood ... Madonna

Madge pulled her hubby away then screamed at him: “Don’t ****ing embarrass me” before they both stormed off and drove away.

The crew expected Madonna back but she didn’t return. When she turned up the following day, she was in a foul mood.

Guy is also into the religion but not as deeply as is wife. He fears she may have gone too far.

I revealed last month how she wears an earpiece during rehearsals to receive advice from a rabbi who watches her on stage.

Madge and Guy have a strong but fiery marriage and I’m assured there’s no chance of them breaking up. But surely all this Kabbalah nonsense must stop.

Madonna kicks off the UK leg of her tour in Manchester on August 14 — and it’s worth every penny of the extortionate ticket prices.

Madonna stabbed in the back by Kabbalah devotees!

July 1, 2004

Pop diva Madonna, who had given 50 free front seat tickets to Kabbalah devotees, was deeply hurt when she saw that some of the followers of the religious group had put them up for sale on the internet.

.... Madonna was appalled to hear of it "Madonna was gutted when she found out," the paper quoted a source as saying.

» Madonna 'reserving best seats for fellow Kabbalists'
01/07/2004 - 12:41:58

Madonna has reportedly reserved the best seats on her world tour to members of the Kabbalah.

[Madonna gave away 50 free tickets to her concert to fellow Kabbalahists] but, according to American website PageSix, many members are cashing in on the star by selling the tickets for huge profit.

PageSix discovered Avner Mader- the head of the Boston Kabbalah Center - offering tickets on website Craigslist.org, with the following message: "Madonna VIP Tickets $300-600 - Tax Deductible . . . VIP tickets, best seats in the house."

"If you have been wanting to see this show, then this is the way. All monies go to a non-profit foundation, and your donation is tax deductible. Enjoy the show with the best seats in the house, and get a tax write-off!"

Hollywood director John Schlesinger Blames Madonna For Heart Attack Due to Her Spoiled Brat Behavior
John Schlesinger
Above: photo of director John Schlesinger

» Schlesinger blamed heart failure on Madonna
By Chris Hastings and Roya Nikkhah

July 11, 2004

John Schlesinger, the Oscar-winning director of Billy Liar and Midnight Cowboy, blamed Madonna's "outrageous" behaviour on the set of a film they were making for contributing to his heart attack.

His damning comments about the pop singer turned actress are contained in a collection of letters and production notes bequeathed to the British Film Institute by the veteran film-maker after his death in July 2003.

The papers reveal that Schlesinger, who worked with Madonna in 1999 on his last film, The Next Best Thing (released in 2000), became enraged by her attempts to change numerous scenes. They also show that Madonna demanded that special effects be used to "beautify" her appearance.

In the film, a comedy, Madonna plays a yoga instructor who becomes pregnant after a drunken one-night stand with her homosexual best friend, played by Rupert Everett.

Shortly after completing what was one of the unhappiest shoots of his career, Schlesinger, then 73, collapsed on the doorstep of his London home. He was diagnosed with heart failure and underwent a quadruple heart bypass operation.

His workload before he was admitted to hospital had been particularly heavy and he had complained of being "exhausted" before he left Los Angeles at the end of the film shoot.

In a letter written from the Royal Brompton Hospital on December 2, 1999, to Andrew Cannava, his agent, however, Schlesinger put some of the blame for his collapse on Madonna's collaboration with Tom Rosenberg, the film's producer, to change the film.

"I am f***ing angry with Tom being influenced by Madonna," Schlesinger wrote. "We have tried all of these changes before . . . I do not for one moment think that their behaviour has not added to the reasons I have ended up here."

His letters, along with his production notes, complain that Madonna tried to influence every aspect of the production, from the music to the final cut.

One unsigned memo suggests that the actress, then 41, wanted producers to "beautify" 34 shots of her with computer generated imagery, the special effects technique pioneered in fantasy epics such as Jurassic Park and Titanic. It appears that the money was eventually found to improve just nine of the scenes.

Surprisingly, the singer, who appeared naked in her controversial 1992 book Sex, also balked at the idea of appearing fully nude in the film. An unsigned memo which relates to production meetings held in 1998 states: "Madonna doesn't want her bare arse to be seen."

Later, Madonna lobbied for the removal of a pivotal scene which she felt was too "gay", much to the disgust of Schlesinger, who was himself homosexual.

These constant demands infuriated the director, who had previously worked with such actors as Lord Olivier, Dustin Hoffman and Glenda Jackson. In a letter to Mr Rosenberg on November 30, 1999, dictated from his hospital bed, he wrote:

"I am outraged that Madonna is starting to express an opinion of what works and what doesn't and what is too gay when she wasn't even present at the previews. In any case, she is not the director; so far as I am concerned I want the scene to remain as it is."

He also complained to Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount, saying: "I am lying here feeling very frustrated because the completion of the film is taking place without me and it seems to me that Tom Rosenberg is very much listening to Madonna's opinion, which is affecting the cut and the choice of music."

One handwritten six-page letter from Madonna, who was also executive producer of the film's soundtrack, to Schlesinger in July 1999 reveals that she lobbied hard for the inclusion of particular kinds of music in the film itself.

She claims that she does "not mean to be presumptuous" or to "overstep the bounds", before outlining the case for more Indian- influenced music in the film. After reminding the director that she does have a "lot of experience" in the field of film scores, she urges him to listen to a selection of tracks that she has put on a CD.

"Even if you don't like the music perhaps it will inspire you and get your gears going . . . Please listen in a quiet place with no interruptions. Turn off the phone, light a candle and think about the love story of Robert and Abbie and their world and sadness and the hope. Enjoy. I hope to hear from you soon." She signs off: "All My Love, M xxx."

The Next Best Thing, which cost $25 million (£13.5 million) to make, was a commercial and artistic disaster, taking just $23 million worldwide. Madonna's performance was savaged by critics and earned her a "Golden Raspberry" award for worst actress. Entertainment Weekly said that she could "barely muster even the rudiments of human expression" and urged her to "quit while she is behind".

Schlesinger was discharged from hospital in January, 2000. The following December he suffered a debilitating stroke. His condition grew steadily worse until he was admitted to hospital in Palm Springs last July. He died a year ago, aged 77.

Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, said last week that she was surprised by Mr Schlesinger's remarks: "People say many, many things about Madonna but no one has ever questioned her level of professional behaviour. I know Madonna had great respect for John Schlesinger as a director. I believe that John Schlesinger had control over this film and Madonna behaved as a salaried actress."

A spokesman for Mr Rosenberg said that the producer had found it an "honour to work with Mr Schlesinger who he had considered to be one of the greatest directors in the history of the movie business".

» Director Blames Madonna for Heart Attack

from Big News Network.com

July 12, 2004

Hollywood director John Schlesinger, who died in July 2003, blamed Madonna's demands for the heart attack that led to his poor health, it was reported Monday.

Schlesinger had a heart attack in 1999, soon after he directed Madonna in The Next Best Thing, which the Oscar-winning director said in letters and production notes contributed to his collapse, the New York Daily News said.

"I am (expletive) angry with (producer Tom Rosenberg) being influenced by Madonna. I do not for one moment think that their behavior has not added to the reasons I have ended up here," Schlesinger wrote from his hospital bed in 1999 while recovering from his heart attack.

One memo implied that the singer/actress wanted producers to enhance 34 shots of her with computer-generated wizardry, the Daily News said.

Schlesinger won an Oscar for directing Midnight Cowboy

» Schlesinger Slammed Madonna's Movie Interference

from Contact Music

OSCAR-winning movie maker JOHN SCHLESINGER criticised MADONNA - the star of his movie THE NEXT BEST THING for her constant influence over his final directing opus.

The late Schlesinger, who directed Madonna and RUPERT EVERETT in the flop 2000 romantic comedy - wrote in a number of recently-released letters about how he felt the singer's attempts to change scenes, contributed to his heart-attack.

Schlesinger wrote, "I am f**king angry with TOM (ROSENBERG, film's producer) being influenced by Madonna.

"We have tried all of these changes before. I do not for one moment think that their behaviour has not added to the reasons I have ended up here."

Madonna lobbied for the removal of a pivotal scene which she felt was too "gay" - much to the distress of homosexual Schlesinger, who dictated a furious letter to Rosenberg from his hospital bed.

He wrote, "I am outraged that Madonna is starting to express an opinion of what works and what doesn't;t and what is too gay when she wasn't even present at the previews."In any case, she is not the director; so far as I am concerned I want the scene to remain as it is."

Schlesinger was discharged from hospital in January 2000. He died last July (25JUL03) at the age of 77.

» See also:

» WOW Report: There's Something About Madge

You can't replace Jesus with Madonna in Portugal! (Mana Church doesn't want Madonna in Portugal)

July 5, 2004

A church group has forced "Material Girl" Madonna to cancel her first ever concert in Portugal.

According to rate the music.com, the church group who had also booked the same venue for their 'Convention or Faith' event, refused to vacate the venue, despite repeated pleas and an offer of 30,000 dollars as donation by pageant promoter Tournee.

Jorge Tadeu, a self-proclaimed apostle and founder of the church, was quoted as saying that he was "revolted" by the fact that fans wanted to replace Jesus with Madonna.

"In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath. We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana Church, but is part of a wider battle etween the devil and Christ." (ANI)

[Note: Madonna was later allowed to perform in concert there]

Reinvention Tour Not Selling Out, Brokers Angry

from US Weekly (magazine), July 12 - 19 2004 issue

Caption under one of the Madonna photos said:

[Madonna is] Not selling out her tour. "We're losing money on these tickets," one broker has said of Madonna's Re-invention Tour. "She's doing too many shows."

Madonna's 10¢-a-dancers

from New York Daily News

July 18, 2004

The star can make $2 million from each show, but for the most part, the dancers on Madonna's Reinvention Tour earn less than $1,000 per.

Onstage during her current "Reinvention Tour," Madonna has to put all of her trust in the burly backup dancers who hurl her around the stage.

So why are they paid such puny bucks?

Friends of the dancers report they earn surprisingly little - mostly under $1,000 per concert - compared to the $2 million per show that their boss can rake in.

While they make more than the roughly $500 per show pop dancers usually get, the biggest names are expected to share the wealth and pay their dance team much more: The top ticket for "Re-Invention" is $300, meaning that at a big arena the show can gross $12million or more per night.

Madonna's 12 amazingly acrobatic athletes aren't unionized, and almost all of them leapt at the opportunity to tour with the diva.

But after all the strenuous work they've done, sources tell us that some are grumbling that they deserve more money.

"I know they're not getting paid that much, considering how much they're working," one friend told us.

Another spy snipes that the Material Mom doesn't give the dancers any face time, pointing out that the "only time they see her is during sound check and during the show."

The dancers trained 12 hours a day, six days a week for two months before the tour started. Now, as an effort to maintain Madonna's singing voice, they are often forced to perform without air conditioning on stage.

"Sometimes it's insanely hot," one dancer told us, adding that even for experienced dancers, the work is strenuous. "It's very hard to breathe, and they have oxygen in our dressing rooms."

But star dancer Seth Stewart, who can be seen onstage tangoing with Madonna and wearing everything from military fatigues to a kilt, told us:

"She treats us like royalty. She even had us to her house for a cookout."

"The dancers seem very happy," said Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, traveling with The Artist Currently Known as Esther and her troupe. "I haven't heard otherwise."

Water and tea on tap for Madonna

by Maureen Coleman

July 20, 2004

.... The Queen of Pop, who plays Slane Castle on Sunday, August 29, has asked for 25 cases of the special water to be provided backstage as her choice of drink.

Other requests include a large cup of throat coat honey lemon tea to get her vocal chords in shape and Ricola cough drops, which she takes at the start of each show.

.... Madonna's inexpensive tastes are in keeping with her recent interest in the religion Kaballah.

On stage, she wears a red Kabballah bracelet and, as one of her many outfits, a tee-shirt bearing the slogan Kaballists Do It Better.

Madonna's Men / Madonna the Sexual Predator

July 25, 2004

Material Girl wanted it 10 times a day

Madonna was a sexual predator with a huge appetite, according to a string of used and dumped former lovers.

click image to view larger version

Despite her Catholic upbringing, the singer bedded both men and women in a decades-long promiscuous rampage that only ended when she married filmmaker Guy Ritchie.

And, according to the British tabloid News of the World, she chose some of her conquests simply to further her music career.

One former lover, DJ Mark Kamins, complains: "I was one step in Madonna's ladder."

Others included basketball star Dennis Rodman, whom she called a "great specimen", John F Kennedy jnr, who liked to lick cream off her legs, and 1980s rap star Vanilla Ice, whom she bedded on their second meeting. The long list of former lovers will be chronicled in a new British TV documentary called Madonna's Men.

In the show, Rodman says: "She would call me 10 times a day and say 'I want sex now, now, now!' She'd want me to drop everything and have sex at the drop of a hat."

Madonna also went after gorgeous model Amanda Cozalet after kissing her in the S&M-styled video Justify My Love.

Cozalet says: "What you saw in that video then was real action. The lesbian kiss was real.

"If I had been open to taking up what Madonna had to offer, something would have definitely happened. She was a good kisser."

In 1991 Madonna dated Vanilla Ice. He says: " I had sex with her the second time I saw her. She grabbed me by the hand and pulled me into the room and we did it. It was great."

Madonna had her first lover in 1979, a musician called Dan Gilroy who calls her "wild and dangerous".

Two years later she moved on to DJ Kamins, whom she persuaded to play her demo track at his club, launching her career.

He says: "She knew how to use her sexuality to manipulate men. And she was the type of girl who would fake an orgasm."

Later came Brat Pack actor Sean Penn, whom she went on to marry.

The marriage was short-lived and Madonna moved on to Kennedy but his mother, Jackie Onassis, told him to call it off.

Bisexual comedian Sandra Bernhard was next in line. She later said: "I look at my friendship with her as like having a gallstone. You deal with it, there is pain, and then you pass it."

» Madonna: The Sex Predator

July 20, 2004

Excerpts:

Legendary or not, her powers have definitely been palpable.

Madonna's former lovers have exposed the star as a brazen sexual predator, having a bizarre and wide taste in partners.

Madonna: The Sex Predator

Mark Kamins

The disheartened ex of the pop diva, DJ Mark Kamins, calls himself as "one step in Madonna's ladder".

Exposing her sexual appetite, Kamins revealed, "If you look at the ladder (of Madonna's life) you can count every step. She was on a mission to make it big and a boyfriend was secondary."

"She was very promiscuous. She was never true to one person. She knew how to use her sexuality to manipulate men or promotional guys. And she was the type of girl who would fake an orgasm," claims Mark Kamins.

... [Re: Dennis Rodman]:

Madonna even set up a bogus photoshoot just to bed him. And many times she ordered him to fly 2,240 miles just to satisfy her.

"We'd look at the mirror on the ceiling at each other's bodies. After that she would call me ten times a day and say 'I want sex now, now, now!', disclosed the Chicago Bulls hero.

But her demands did not end there. She even proposed marriage to him and asked him to father her child.

Amanda Cozalet

The singer's rapacious sexual appetite has not just been confined to men.

Amanda Cozalet, who featured with Madonna in the video Justify My Love, revealed, "the lesbian kiss in the video was real".

Amanda, now a writer, said there was a lot of communication between them after that. "If I had been open to taking up what Madonna had to offer, something would have definitely happened. She was a good kisser though."

Vanilla Ice

... Describing Madonna's cynical ploy to claw her way, he said she grabbed him by the hand and pulled him into the room and had sex.

"The sex was good and I did love her. She was a sweetheart. But it wasn't the best sex I ever had," admitted Ice.

[they end the piece on Sean Penn]

Madonna pays her dancers a pittance! - from Web India
click photo to view larger version

July 21, 2004

Pop diva Madonna's dancers are paid less than a 1000 dollars per show as compared to the two million dollars that the singer earns per show. At bigger arenas, a single concert can rake in as much as 12 million dollars.

"I know they're not getting paid that much, considering how much they're working," a friend of one of the dancers was quoted as saying.

According to The New York Daily News, the dancers trained for 12 hours a day, six days a week for two months to prepare for the current "Re-invention" tour.

The 12 dancers are not unionised and were forced to perform at a venue without air conditioning to preserve the 'Material Girl's' voice. ...

From The National Enquirer:

Madonna's Dancers Can't Afford Material Things

(inset caption on a photo of Madonna with backup dancers: "Bored of the Dance? The Material Girl and her hoof slaves.")

Some of the dancers on Madonna's Re-Invention Tour say they are working for low wages and under very harsh stage conditions. However, they agree it could be worse -- they could be in the audience.

» See also:

Madonna pays her dancers a pittance! - from 123 Bharath.com