madonnalicious' night at MTV

What an event Madonna at MTV was yesterday! Despite being kept in the basement of the Holiday Inn (albeit with unlimited carrot cake) for several hours, no air conditioning, numerous security checks, release forms to be signed and phones being sealed in plastic bags under threat of removal from the building if they were used.


We were escorted across Camden High Street in groups of about 15 people, and like a dysfunctional school trip, we were all encouraged to 'keep together, don't slow down...' as we made it to the studio. The MTV canteen had been converted into a studio with drapes of red velvet, nightclub tables, velvet couches and a large X against the wall.


The floor manager ran through what was going to happen, explained the process, and within 15 minutes (and five minutes to broadcast) Madonna arrived. Some last minute hair and make-up checks were done, and Madonna and host DJ Trevor Nelson clinked their champagne glasses. Madonna claimed that Trevor had not taken a proper sip of champagne and told him to do it again, otherwise her whip would be used.


Madonna with Trevor before the broadcast / Picture by Ste

The Q&A session was very rushed (everyone felt we should have least had an hour), Madonna wanted to give lengthy and thorough answers to the few questions that were posed. I am not sure how it appeared on screen, but the delay to the foreign outside broadcast locations, was so awkward, although Madonna's reactions to it were funny.

When the Medellin video was finally played, Madonna got off her seat and crawled onto the floor so she was nearer the TV screen that she was watching during the event.

She also made Trevor read out Madame X's manifesto, and stood behind him, doing hand gestures, grinding, laughing!

After the broadcast she also asked the audience if anyone wanted cha cha lessons, everyone said YES!

At the end of the night, as soon as we were allowed to leave, the phones got ripped out of the plastic bags, and we all took pictures of the studio as we were being encouraged to get a move on out of there!

Below is the one good picture from the night, of the MTV stage set, where mere moments earlier Madonna had been sitting.


As we were leaving the studio, we picked up the MTV Call Sheet, showing Madonna's timings for the night.


Inside Madonna's 'Tears Of A Clown' show in Miami

madonnalicious' long-time reporter Don was at the Tears Of A Clown benefit show in Miami on Friday night and shares his memories from the night:

Friday night was on of the most surreal nights of my life. Once you walk in, there is all the art up for auction on display. It was pretty amazing to see some of these items in person (even if I can't afford them..haha). Crowd watching itself was just as fun. In the crowd was David Blaine and Bethany Frankel. Lots of faces that I recognized, however do not know their names. After the hour cocktail reception we were asked to go to the main room for dinner and the auction.


The tables were all numbered and set with all kinds of cool items - the ones on our table just happen to come home with us :) James Corden came on to start the show telling a few jokes and picking on celebs in the audience. He introduced Dr Eric Borgstein he is working with Madonna in Malawi. He spoke for a while and showed a video about the hospital and all the work he and Madonna have done. A video of David and how he meet Madonna and she adopted him was shown. Both videos made me tear up (no big surprise haha) Then David came up and spoke. He was such a sweet guy telling his story and how he knows how lucky he is he lives a very privileged life.

He then said it is my pleasure to introduce this clown that I know as mom....Madonna she came out spoke about the event and introduced the auctioneer Alexander Gilkes.


She stayed out for the first half of the auction, it dragged on a little however it was fun. One highlight for me was Madonna on stage with Sean Penn to help sell their wedding photos by Herb Ritts. He put Madonna in handcuffs and they were very playful together, it was something to see and hear them telling stories of the day they got married! Chris Rock came up told a few jokes and helped sell a watch and the poker game with Ed Norton and Jonah Hill. Arianna Grande came out wearing the Swarovski dress from the Rebel Heart tour. Danced around together and Sean Penn ended up buying the dress beating out Arianna who was also bidding! Leonardo was there but did not go on stage when they were auctioning off a stay at his place in Palm Springs. David Blaine came on stage to sell a night of magic with him at your house. It ended with Dave Chapelle and A Rod on stage doing a magic trick with David!

All this time we were being served appetizers and alcohol! After the first half Madonna left the stage to get ready for her performance. Lil' Buck came on stage and danced between the auction sets.


This was my time to run to the restroom. While walking down the stairs Dave Chapelle, Rosario Dawson and Run from RUN DMC were standing at the top the stairs chatting. As we walked down the stairs by them we passed Paris Hilton. While in the bathroom A Rod was in line behind me. It was all a little surreal, like how did I get here! Everyone was so nice talking to fans and friends taking photos.

First person I saw when we walked back in was Courtney Love! She was at the front table! The second half of the auction went much faster, it was all art and it sold fast! Again way out of my price range!

The auction ended about 12:45am. She was expected to come on at 1am. At about 1am the music started and the lights in the tent changed. At this point we made out way closer to the stage.

The entire performance was much more rehearsed than the show in Melbourne. The set list was more up beat. She looked happy, relaxed and like she was having a great time. She sounded fantastic!


What was another surreal moment. Standing in front of Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle and next to Courtney Love and Guy Oseary watching a Madonna concert! While we were standing there someone plowed into moving to the front, I turn around and it was Sean Penn followed by David Blaine. Sean looked at me and said excuse me. At one point Courtney Love turned and said hello to me. I said hi and that I can't wait to see you tomorrow night in Kansas City Choir Boy! She smiled and said aww thanks!

After a few songs Madonna wanted to come into the crowd. She came straight for me. She wanted to stand on the table. I cleared away a book on the chair and held my arm out. She grabbed my arm and I helped her from the chair to the table she looked at me and smiled. This was worth it all! I was in heaven, I helped her up and she performed Beautiful Stranger!

The only celebrity that was mentioned on stage that we did not see was P Diddy. Everyone else we were close to at some point in the night. I thought we would feel out of place but we didn't! We knew how to fake it like the rest of them! Hahaha.

My 44th time seeing Madonna live and it never gets old! This was one of those nights that I will never forget, I had to dig into my savings, however it was for a great cause! The money was worth every penny for the experience we had!


Jean-Paul Gaultier In Conversation: A Brief Report

JPG was in conversation with Susy Menkes (from Vogue) last night at the Barbican Centre in London. The entire conversation was filmed and should be available later via the Barbican website.

madonnalicious has always loved JPG from our early days watching him on UK TV on Eurotrash (and of course his fashion!), but after watching him in conversation for about 90 minutes last night, we think we love him even more. He spoke of his childhood (designing bras for his teddy bear), his grandfather who inspired JPG's love for Britishness (being that he had a 'little-bit of Brit in him), how he got into the world of couture and how a mean teacher showed him he could be loved by drawing.

As a boy JPG was drawing a fashion design in class, his teacher was not pleased that he was not listening to the lesson, so tried to humiliate him. The teacher pinned the drawing to JPG's back and made his parade around all the other classes BUT this punishment didn't have the desired effect and JPG found people loving his picture and even asking him to draw for them. He realised he could find love through his art. Naturally Madonna was brought up in the conversation, and he explained how he had loved her from the beginning of her career.

He spoke of how he saw her on Top of the Pops (or 'Pop of the Tops' as he called it) performing Holiday. He described being inspired by her clothes, string vest, bra showing, cut-off leggings, bracelets and feeling that she had such an unusual style that she must be English. Later he found out she was American and was surprised! He was in NYC when he saw Madonna perform Like A Virgin in the wedding dress on the MTV awards and noted that the fans loved her, but the industry in the audience were not so sure and only politely applauded. Later after she sold millions of records, he noted how the industry became a lot more enthusiastic.

JPG was very excited when Madonna wore one of his dresses to the premiere of Desperately Seeking Susan. After this he got to meet her and work with her. He laughed when talking about the iconic cone bras for the Blond Ambition tour, saying that Madonna was behind-the-times as these had first been designed for a collection four or five years earlier. He also stated that she was a great business women but that they don't talk business.

Later during the audience Q&A session someone asked what he thought about the new generation of female pop stars (Miley and Lady Gaga). JPG explained that he felt Lady Gaga's fashion is eccentricity more than style. Girls wanted to and could emulate Madonna's style but it is much harder to copy Lady Gaga as her fashion is more like a piece of art. And Miley, well he said 'I don't know what happens to these Disney girls. It must be Mickey!'

Madonna’s 'American Life': Obscene But Not Heard

madonnalicious readers Iain Christiansen and Jonathan Godfrey shares with our readers this article about Madonna's 2003 American Life album:

A friend and I got together to build an in-depth article that looks ten years back to 'American Life', Madonna’s worst-selling studio album. The polarizing concept album garnered a variety of negative headlines as the popstar departed from her traditional pop sensibilities and used a stripped-down acoustic voice to narrate her views on the state of America in 2003.
The article brings up some interesting points as to where she was musically and how the message of the album may resonate, even ten years later. It also compares the performance of the article to Erotica as both were highly underrated concept albums.

To read the article visit madonnalicious/madonnas-american-life-obscene-but-not-heard

W.E. Gala Premiere Party

madonnalicious had the opportunity to attend the W.E. Gala Premiere Party that took place at The Belvedere (a restaurant in Holland Park) straight after the film screening at the High Street Kensington Odeon.

The 1920's decorated restaurant was filled to capacity and as Madonna and her entourage swept in, she paused and smiled at the crowd and headed up to the mezzanine level to enjoy her Wallis Simpson inspired Martinis.

We enjoyed the ever present champagne as the cast and producer of the film walked around the room chatting to guests and posing for photographs.

What we ate:
Mini fish and chips, mini yorkshire puddings filled with beef, mini Belvedere burgers, mini sausage and mash, mini chocolate cheesecakes and mini lemon pies.

What we drank:
Lots and lots of champagne and Wallis Simpson-inspired Martinis.

What we danced to:
The DJ at the decks said he was working from Madonna's playlist.

Tour announcement coming this month?

madonnalicious has learnt that a 2012 tour announcement from Live Nation may be released as early as this month.

The tour would start with New Zealand followed by several Australian dates (lets hope the tour finally gets down under this time!) The itinerary at this time also includes stadium venues in Europe and North America.

Negotiations are taking place to bring the tour to China, Taiwan and the Phillipines. Tour stops in UAE, Israel, South Korea and Japan are currently scheduled.

Mihran moves on from Madonna

Mihran has toured around the world with some of the most amazing artists such as Madonna, Britney Spears and Ricky Martin; he performed in award shows and music videos with Pink, Lil Kim and Rihanna; he played in movies like You Got Served, Seventeen and Snowflake; and performed in various commercials for Mervyn’s, JCPenney, HP and much more. In a short period of time, Mihran accomplished what some dancers have not been able to in their whole carrier. Now at 23 years of age Mihran feels like he has achieved everything he dreamed of and much more as a professional dancer.

'The excitement and drive to continue a career of a dancer is not there anymore,' says Mihran. 'I need to accomplish something innovative and exciting to get the same drive back. I have always wanted to be an artist since I was 7 years old; however, I pursued dancing before and I really can’t explain why. If I can go back in time and initially be an artist, I wouldn’t. I have learned so much about the music business by touring with artists, especially Madonna.'
'I would have never been able to acquire this knowledge and experience in any classroom. I got to experience it first hand and there is nothing better than that.'

I took almost all of 2008 off and worked on my album. I mixed my Armenian cultural sounds and instruments with the mix of today’s hip-hop music. This way my fans get the best of both worlds. I am Armenian; however, I have grown up in America and truly appreciate being Armenian American. In this album I was glad to bring together the essence of my experiences from all of the cultures I consider being a part of. I talk about where I’m from and I represent every Armenian around the world.
My music is all about dance, performance, my life experiences; and it has a very positive vibe. It’s about reuniting everyone around the world no matter the religion or nationality. I know artists say this all the time; my music is different from what’s out there. However, anyone who’s heard songs from my album can definitely tell you the same.

The first single of the album is called Armenia and it’s going to be the Anthem of all Armenians. If you’re not Armenian it really does not matter you will still appreciate the song, the production, and especially the performance. For more news and how to purchase the single please visit myspace.com/mihranmusic

Mihran has also agreed to do a question and answer session for madonnalicious readers - so if you have a question for Mihran please email us at [email protected] and we will ask Mihran the best five questions and publish his answers online at a later date.

London Soundcheck Pictures

Some Hot Ticket fans managed to catch a glimpse of Madonna performing her soundcheck before the Wembley Stadium concert on Thursday.

While the fans were kept in the waiting area before being released into the stadium they could peek between the curtains and watch Madonna on stage!

madonnalicious reader sparkola was one of the lucky ones and managed to take these two pictures.

Sticky & Sweet Tour Ticket Winners!

Thanks to the hundreds of fans who entered the madonnalicious Sticky & Sweet Tour Ticket Give-Away. The competition is now closed and after much deliberation the winners have been chosen and have been notified via email.

Congratulations go to Craig, James, Jeremy, John, Kevin, Marte, Ravi, Robert, Sarah and Sohail. Enjoy the show!

Win Sticky & Sweet Tour Cardiff tickets!

Live Nation is spoiling madonnalicious readers with some tour candy! Live Nation have given us ten (10) pairs of tickets to give-away to see Madonna's opening night show in Cardiff on Saturday 23 August.

There are five (5) pairs of seated tickets (in blocks M7 and M32) and five (5) pairs of standing tickets (general admission and lower bowl seats) up for grabs.

All you have to do is email madonnalicious telling us why in 50 words or less why you should be a reporter for madonnalicious at the Sticky and Sweet Tour opening show! Then you can share your candy with madonnalicious readers by sending in an opening night report for posting on the site.

Email your answer, full name and address to [email protected] - ensure you include Sticky & Sweet Tour Ticket Give-Away in the subject line.

Why read about the premiere of Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour the next day in the press - when you can see it live and in person and report for madonnalicious!

This contest will run from 08:00pm (BST) Tuesday 19 August until 08:00pm (BST) on Wednesday 20 August. Entries received after this time will not count. Winners will be notified by email soon after the competition closes. Only one entry per person.
Contestants must be eighteen (18) years or older to enter. Travel expenses and accommodation are not included and are the sole responsibility of the winner. Winners must pick up their tickets in person in Cardiff along with photo identification (ID) and they may not be transferred or sold. There is no cash alternative or subsitute prize. All entries are submitted at your own risk.

Fan Report and Pictures: Traverse City

madonnalicious reader Don also attended the Traverse City screening of I Am Because We Are and sent in this report and pictures of outside and inside the cinema.

I was lucky enough to have a friend get me a ticket for the premiere of the documentary of 'I Am Because We Are' at the Traverse City Film Festival.
The movie is a little bit about Madonna and her trip there, but mostly about Malawi and the people. It is a very good movie. I highly recommend it. If you would like to know more you can also go to www.iambecauseweare.com

Here are some highlights of the screening....
Michael Moore, Madonna's Father and Stepmother were there along with Lola and Guy Oseary, her manager.
The arrival outside the theater was out of control, I could not get a good picture!
Michael introduced her and she came out and looked amazing! The place went nuts.
It was really good to see her as a person. She talked about the film and about her friendship with Michael Moore. They are really kind of funny with each other.
He let it slip she is going to be playing Detroit on the new tour.
After her talk she walked back to her seat and Lola jumped up hugged her and gave her a kiss as if she was proud of her mother. It was really sweet!
After the movie she same back up and talked some more.
We sang Happy Birthday to her, per Michael starting it up!
Once she was out of the building Michael and Nathan Rissman, the director took questions.

Fan report from Traverse City Film Festival

madonnalicious reader Anne was at the I Am Because We Are screening in Traverse City this weekend and has this short report:

Madonna herself confirmed that she would be bringing her Sticky & Sweet Tour to Detroit.
Michael Moore asked all of the audience to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Madonna, she seemed to love it.
Madonna did stay for a question and answer period after the show but only took questions from Michael Moore.
She and her family stayed and watched the entire movie with the audience at the screening. Her father, stepmother and daughter were in attendance, along with Guy Oseary.

A deeper (and deeper) look into Madonna rarities

The July edition of Record Collector magazine, featuring Madonna on the cover, is beginning to hit newsstands around the world. As madonnalicious previously reported, the magazine that is 'serious about music' includes the article Madonna Rare - Unwrapping the Candy, by Peter Magennis and takes a look at the B-sides and rarities from the most collectable diva of all. madonnlicious caught up with Peter recently and delved a little deeper (and deeper) into Madonna's rarities, revealing some previously unknown information about Madonna's unreleased songs in the process including....

madonnalicious: Hello Peter and welcome to madonnalicious

Peter: Hi Clare! It's a pleasure to be here. I've read your site as far back as when you used to be thelittlestar.co.uk - back in the olden days! And you have always been my one stop (candy) shop for all the latest Madonna news - all killer, no filler!

madonnalicious: Thank you! Another thing we have in common I gather from your recent Record Collector 'Meet the Team' blurb is that you also used to be an avid reader of Smash Hits magazine.

Peter: You bet I was! I remember in those pre-Internet days of the 1980s, being super excited about getting my new copy of Smash Hits every fortnight. Rarely a fortnight went by without the magazine being stuffed with tons of Madonna news, posters and song words. It was a must-have for every young Madonna fan and it definitely helped to ignite my passion for pop music.
In particular, I remember being super excited when Smash Hits published a feature on Like a Prayer that included interviews with Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray. I was only about 11 years-old at the time, but I had been reading the sleeve notes of every record I owned since as long as I can remember, and probably every record in my parents' collection as well for that matter, so of course I knew that Patrick and Stephen were the guys behind all my favourite Madonna songs of the time.
As well as the interviews, the Smash Hits feature revealed the titles of some previously unreleased Madonna songs ('Supernatural', 'First is a Kiss' and 'Love Attack') and from that moment on I was determined to know more about Madonna's creative process in the recording studio, but I never dreamed I would actually wind up speaking to her co-producers. Over the past few years I've been lucky enough to work on a project that has so far led to me speaking to over 100 people who have worked in the studio with Madonna, so in a way, I guess some of my childhood dreams have become a reality, which is pretty cool!

madonnalicious: It certainly sounds like an exciting project!

Peter: It has definitely had its moments, but it's also been a big test of my patience, my tenacity and had been a LOT of hard work!

madonnalicious: What's been the most exciting moment?

Peter: There's so many. My very first interview was so exciting I could barely hold the phone! And then my first face-to-face interview was backstage at a big music festival where I bumped into lots of bands, including Scissor Sisters - who I also totally worship. Visiting the Library of Congress was also definitely a highlight because it's where I first heard the so-called 'Rain Tapes', as was going to The Music Building in NYC, although the smell was pretty bad! There have been a few more since then and definitely more on the horizon, but I can't really talk about that - yet!

madonnalicious: Your Record Collector feature revealed for the first time information about the Tilt cover of Madonna's 'I Can't Forget', which we featured on madonnalicious a couple of weeks ago.

Peter: Yes, which Tilt re-titled 'Come Closer'. I can't believe it was actually in record stores for so long before so many fans became aware of its existence. But it's a great version of her song, isn't it?

madonnalicious: Yes, good lyrics and a cool song. (Tilt's Vaults can be ordered from Zavvi at www.zavvi.co.uk/music-Dance-House-Tilt-Vaults) You also revealed information about another cover of an unreleased Madonna song - Sophie Ellis Bextor's cover of 'Revenge' from the Ray of Light sessions.

Peter: Yeah, that's right. I was surprised to hear about that. Greg Fitzgerald who co-wrote 'Revenge' told me about that and by the way, he's as nice a guy as he is talented and you must check out his Black Fras project at his website here at www.freeconstruction.org.uk/blackfras.com
Greg had worked with the equally talented Rick Nowells, who as fans will know worked with Madonna on some tracks that made it on to Ray of Light, albeit re-recorded with William Orbit. 'Revenge' was one of just a number of songs that Madonna recorded with Rick that she didn't release and some of them were offered to other artists to record, however, only Laura Pausini's version of Madonna's unreleased 'Like a Flower', re-titled 'Mi Abbandono a Te', would get an official release.
Many fans already know about Kylie recording another Madonna/Nowells track from the Ray of Light sessions, 'Alone Again', because it was so well publicised, even making the cover of The Sun. But unfortunately, someone (not Madonna or Kylie) had a change of heart at the last minute and the song didn't make it onto the B-side of Kylie's 'Come Into My World' as planned. At least we finally go to hear Kylie's version of the song on the soundtrack to her White Diamond documentary last year.
The same thing more-or-less happened with Sophie, which is a shame because her version of 'Revenge' is amazing and in my humble opinion it could easily have been a single. Greg even went to the trouble of recording a live orchestra for the song that really adds a new depth not heard on Madonna's version of the song. Sophie has often mentioned in interviews how she admires Madonna's stage persona and, like Madonna, Sophie also assumes a character when she is performing, albeit in a less theatrical way. So, I think she was a great artist to record a Madonna track.
Interestingly, Greg Fitzgerald also produced Jessica Simpson's 'Forbidden Fruit', which many people at the time mistook for a Madonna/Mirwais production.

madonnalicious: It makes you wonder if there are any other artists who have recorded any unreleased Madonna songs.

Peter: Well, it's funny you should say that. For example, Rico Conning, who has worked with William Orbit from the year dot, including his work with Madonna, told me that the Swedish girl group, Sahara Hotnights, covered 'Run'; one of the unreleased songs from the Madonna/Orbit Music sessions.

madonnalicious: It certainly sounds like there's quite a lot of material out there that perhaps fans aren't even aware of.

Peter: There's definitely a lot more out there that even her most hardcore fans don't know about. In fact, there's stuff out there that even her record label don't even know about. In fact, quite surprisingly (or maybe I should say not surprisingly, if you know anything about Madonna), there's stuff that she's recorded over the years that she doesn't even have in her possession any more, with the only copies of the songs being owned by her co-writers, even though I guess she would legally own the copyright.
But the scariest thing is that these tracks could get lost or destroyed over time. But what may seem like an important part of history to a Madonna fan is just another work-in-progress recording to a producer. And don't even get me started on Madonna - she's even been known to instruct her studio engineers to delete ideas in front of her! But I guess that's all part of her creative process and if she thinks an idea doesn't work in the studio the first time, why would she want to re-visit it and keep it around for posterity?
I guess that's just one of the secrets to her success - her unrelenting quality control.

madonnalicious: Have you any more plans for any other Madonna-related magazine features?

Peter: Most definitely! I'm actually working on a feature for another magazine, that is a lot more in-depth and features much more from my interviews with her collaborators. As soon as I have details of exactly when and where you can find it, you'll be the first to know!

The July edition of Record Collector magazine is hitting international newsagents now. If you can't find it in your country, you can order the magazine at www.recordcollectormag.com

To order a copy of Tilt's Vaults, featuring 'Come Closer', please visit www.amazon.com/Vaults

To contact Peter Magennis, email [email protected]

Exclusive Report: Come Closer

The current cover feature, Madonna Rare - Unwrapping the Candy, by Peter Magennis in the current July issue of Record Collector magazine examines the B-sides and rarities from the most collectable diva of all. The article has also brought to light a Madonna rarity available in record stores that has been lurking under fans' noses for almost two years, but has rather oddly remained undiscovered - until now!
The song in question is 'Come Closer' and as reported by Peter in this month's Record Collector, it was released by Lost Language in November 2006. The song appears on Vaults - a collection of unreleased tracks by UK dance outfit, Tilt. 'Come Closer' was produced by Mick Park, Mick Wilson and Danny Spencer and Kelvin Andrews, a.k.a. Soul Mekanik (Producers of Robbie Williams' 'Rock D.J.'), and was written by Madonna. Park comments in the liner notes: 'This Madonna song was left over from the Ray of Light album sessions, originally a ballad we twisted it a bit and John Elliott dropped the vocal.'
Madonnalicious.com recently spoke to Peter Magennis, author of the Record Collector article and he had this to say: 'Whilst researching another project I discovered a number of Madonna rarities that have slipped under even the most hardcore of fans' radars. One of the songs in question was 'Come Closer', which was brought to my attention by a fan in Canada by the name of Bertrand Joseph-Paré.
It really surprised me that seemingly nobody had heard of 'Come Closer', despite it being available to buy in record shops for so long. But I was more than a little stumped after reading the album sleeve notes. Having already interviewed several people who had worked with Madonna on Ray of Light, I was surprised to hear about another out-take from that album that I had yet to find any evidence of.'
When Record Collector's Peter Magennis spoke to Mick Park in 2007, Mick told a different story about the song's origin: 'Our old manager, John Cechinni, gave us the CD, which he had got from our publisher at the time. It was called 'I Can't Forget', but for what ever reason it was changed to 'Come Closer' at a later stage.'
The William Orbit-esque production on 'Come Closer' certainly sounds like it could have been a Ray of Light outtake, however Madonna's original song, 'I Can't Forget', was actually a collaboration with David Foster back in 1995 for her ballads retrospective, Something to Remember.
'I Can't Forget' first came to light after appearing on a song publishing database in the late 1990s. Peter Magennis recalls: 'When I first heard 'Come Closer' and heard Madonna's lyric, 'I can't forget you at all', it still didn't even dawn on me that it could be the infamous 'I Can't Forget' that I first read about so many years ago. I guess I was more than just a little swayed by the album's sleeve notes.'
Peter, who has interviewed over 100 people who have worked with Madonna in the recording studio, recalls: 'It wasn't until I actually spoke to Tilt's old manager, John Cechinni, who referred to the song by its original title that I had my light bulb moment and realised the song's origins and actually had to explain as much to both John and then Mick Park, when I finally interviewed him - and both of them weren't even aware of the song's origins.'
Peter continues: 'Although Madonna is credited as the sole writer on 'Come Closer', as many fans already know her original composition, 'I Can't Forget', was a co-write with tunesmith David Foster. Just like the other two Madonna/Foster co-writes, 'You'll See' and 'One More Chance', Madonna's original version of 'I Can't Forget' is also a ballad.' Mick Park remembers: 'It didn't really stand out at first; I remember we thought it was quite long. It was clearly an idea in the making with Madonna singing and a very basic backing track.'
Madonna's lyrics appear to be about a struggle within a relationship: 'If love means letting go of fear/Then I've got nothing but love for you dear'. Park surmises: 'It deals with the emotions and turmoil you put yourself through, so as a complete idea she nailed it perfectly.'

The July edition of Record Collector magazine is currently available at all good newsagents or to order at www.recordcollectormag.com

To order a copy of Tilt's Vaults, featuring 'Come Closer', please visit www.amazon.com

To contact Peter Magennis, email [email protected]

Paris: Sticky and Sweat

Paris was hot yesterday, but Madonna made the Olympia Hall in Paris last night THE hottest place in town.
Fans had queued for hours, even days, to enter the show. Along with competition winners from ICON and NRJ, 500 tickets were given away at the door on the day of the show.
Before the show NRJ promotion staff handed out lollipops and sweets to waiting fans and curious onlookers, who must have been wondering what was happening - however they only had to look up at the Olympia's marquee to see that Madonna was in residence that night.

ICON winners were let in first and secured front row spots against the barriers, then other fans were let in, trying to grab a prime viewing spot. Meanwhile upstairs in the balcony, press photographers set up as the guests settled into their seats.
Every so often, the floor audience would cheer and wave as a French celebrity was spotted, and just before the show started Lenny Kravitz arrived and delighted a young fan by kissing her on the hand and making her day - along with waving at the fans below in the crowd.

To keep fans amused while they waiting in the hall there was a DJ playing a set, who was later followed by Madonna's DJ from the band, who played some Candy-themed songs to help hype up the crowd.

The hall was heating up into one large sweatbox, and it soon became a case of 'sticky and sweat', rather than 'sticky and sweet'.

Due onstage at 10:00pm, fans waited until just after 10:30pm before she arrived!
The room went black, fans surged forward, the Hard Candy album covers that had featured on the electronic screens faded away and the show was upon us - the Queen arrived on her throne ready to invite us into her candy shop!
Seeing Candy Shop live brought a new perspective to the song, not being one of madonnalicious' favourites on the album, the live version totally rocks, whether it is the energetic performance of the song, or just seeing Madonna's enthusiasm, it is great and would be a super tour opening number.

A bottle of champagne, an acoustic guitar, and a kiss on the lips for a female dancer (shock horror - the press will love that!) follow before Madonna starts Miles Away, dedicating it to all those who were 'afraid to love'. The simplest performance of the night, but Madonna still reacting to the crowd, even giving a massive wink for those in the balcony.

Again the room goes black and fans feel another show-stopping performance is on it's way. The video screens light up and 4 Minutes begins - with no Justin in person - just on the screen!
For those who watched the Roseland show, the choreography works just as well with Madonna reacting, dancing, writhing over the video-version of Justin. The clever routine is a hit, and shows just how much preparation had gone into these promo shows.

Madonna then mentions the other great artists who have been on this stage, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, we all think we are going to get a moving speech, that is until she screams....'But they're all dead!'.

A hard rock version of Hung Up follows, with Madonna rocking out on the electric guitar, ending the song with her grinding her guitar against the amp.

And now Give It 2 Me, the second single. Again what a great performance, this time Madonna wears a pair of 'geeky' glasses, it all adds to the light hearted feel of the night. Madonna appears to be really enjoying the show, winking, laughing, interacting with the audience. She is performing sharper dance moves than some of the younger dancers!

Now the last song, Music - fans know it is the end, but give it their all, dancing, clapping, trying to reciprocate all the energy Madonna put into her performance.

For those lucky 1,500 who attended the show, it was a night to remember, and as fans filtered out of the venue, the occasional chant of My sugar is RAW! could be heard echoing along the boulevard!

Hard Candy: UK Album Playback

madonnalicious was fortunate enough to attend the UK playback for Hard Candy in East London earlier this evening with about 100 other members of the press.

Behind a non-descript door near Spitalfields market, UK press, TV and internet journalists gathered to listen to Madonna's new album. Once checked in at the door, all mobile phones were taken away and champagne handed out in return!

The playback took place in a large loft-type space, with many sofas and comfy chairs, cushions and LCD televisions, on every table there were candy canes and jelly beans - and large lollypops spelling out M-A-D-O-N-N-A H-A-R-D C-A-N-D-Y, many of the journalists snapped up these goodies.

Handouts of the album tracklist were handed out to everyone and then the playback started with the name of each track was displayed on the many LCD screens - and at the end the 4 Minutes video was also played.

As everyone left, they were handed a Hard Candy goodie bag which contained copies of Dazed and Confused, Elle, Q and Vanity Fair (May editions with the Madonna covers), a set of four Hard Candy collectors postcards, candy canes, a Hard Candy lollypop and some Madonna Hard Candy's which would spell out her name and the album title if you dared open the packet!

And the album you ask? For those who were worried Madonna has ventured too far into RnB, fear not - although some songs contain the RnB beat, the way Madonna sings her lyrics over the top tends to make the songs recognisably 'Madonna'.
Far from being just an RnB album, madonnalicious felt a definite early 1980's club disco/electronic vibe to the album, and it felt like Madonna was going back to her beginnings (with a little RnB added on top!).
The second single Give It 2 Me will be an excellent club hit - in it's funky club/disco stomper way - it even contains a very similar bridge/break to Thief of Hearts.
For those fans who previously heard The Beat Goes On - prepare for a surprise - the song is so different madonnalicious even thought the wrong track was being played. Only the chorus (barely) survives, and there are new verses and a new rap by Kanye West.
Other standout tracks include 4 Minutes, Miles Away, She's Not Me, Incredible, Devil Wouldn't Recognise You and Voices.

More on the dance auditions

After madonnalicious exclusively revealed yesterday that Madonna was holding dance auditions in Los Angeles today, we can add some further news.

Jamie King will again be onboard as director working alongside Stephanie Roos - who also both choreographed the video for 4 Minutes.

At the moment the details are not totally clear on the length of contract but it is for all the projects associated with the new album.

The callbacks for the dancers through the first round will take place on Friday 07 March.

Dancer auditions being held in Los Angeles

Exciting news is coming in from Los Angeles - dancer auditions are being held in West Hollywood tomorrow (Thursday 06 March).

The audition is looking for male and female dancers who if successful will be contracted from April 2008 - to a date to be determined.

Looking for strong and versatile dancers. Be prepared with everything from knee pads to different shoes....
Should be comfortable doing most any style of choreography. Dress: look good ;) hot, and able to dance.

These auditions are most likely for the heavy round of promotional performances Madonna will undertake for the promotion of 4 Minutes and Hard Candy - but who is to say this isn't the start of tour preparations for later in the year!

Download: Exclusive Filth and Wisdom Speech

madonnalicious reader Anne Bonkowski filmed Madonna's speech at the film premiere last night and wanted to share it with fellow fans:

I attended the screening of 'Filth and Wisdom' in Berlin last night and got to record Madonna's full speech before the film started. I hope you, and all Madonna fans are happy to see this video :) The audience seemed to love 'Filth and Wisdom' based on their reactions during the film and so did I.

Fans can either watch it on the YouTube screen below - or download a higher quality version of the clip at this link:

Filth and Wisdom Premiere Speech (MP4) 3:10sec - 21.5Mb - Click To Download

Madonna watches Joe Henry in concert

madonnalicious reader Andrew has sent in this report from New York City:

Last night I went to the Joe Henry Concert at Jazz At Lincoln Center - Madonna was in the audience right behind me with three others (two women and one guy - didn't recognize any of them). He performed Don't Tell Me and dedicated it to her. After the show, myself and two friends waited at the stage door. One photographer was there. Sure enough she came out - went straight into her SUV. She looked flawless.