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August 21, 2007

Like A Virgin

I finally bit the bullet and bought a DVD that I have been regularly renting for years. Thank you eBay.

By 1985, Madonna was the biggest thing in popular music and had hit the road with the "Like A Virgin" tour. A DVD released that year captured the show in her hometown Detroit. (Actually a VHS tape back then, but now on DVD.) I can't get enough of it.

Over the years, Madonna's live shows have grown increasingly elaborate, but back on her first tour it was just the Material Girl herself with two dancers, who also sang back-up, and a kicking six-piece band.

Why does this performance elate me so? Geez, I don't know. A guilty pleasure, for sure. But one thing's certain:  I want to be one of the back-up dancers. I'm not certain of this, but it seems like Madonna was the first to use dancers in quite this way. Yes, the Motown groups had gorgeous, elegant choreography, but not the complex and exuberant choreography of this performer.

The audience is filled with what they used to call Madonna wanna-be's, all these young girls dressed like their heroine, with the nearly rasta-style blond locks, the shin-length stockings with the tears, the full-length gloves and dangling crosses. And who could begrudge them their desire to emulate this woman? Madonna projected a fearless self-assertiveness, a model of both full-bodied fun and female power.

With the now decades-long Zeitgeist-vortex surrounding this performer, it's nearly impossible to hear and view her with fresh ears and eyes. But, in the beginning of her career, when it was all fresh and new - man, this woman was thrilling!

Here's a youtube clip from the concert. (The really cool dancing kicks in at about three minutes.)

    Gonna dress you up in my love, gonna love you, boy . . .

August 21, 2007 at 06:53 PM in Stuff I Love | Permalink


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You're a fan of Madonna!? My bf is going to flip out...LOL Jernigan, you get cooler all the time!

Posted by: AustinDriveGuy | Aug 22, 2007 7:43:30 AM

Yup, ADG, that's my mission in life: being cool/setting trends . . .

Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Aug 22, 2007 10:06:17 AM

Madonna is totally rad dude! Growing up in the eighties would not have been the same without her. She was in my #3 favorite movie from that decade. Desperately Seeking Susan. I'll bet that sits on your shelf too!?! Lately I've been getting into techno and its great how perfect the music coincides, full circle when everything inbetween was just running around in circles.
#1) The Terminator
#2) Tron
#3) Desperately Seeking Susan
#4) Spies Like Us
#5) Night Shift

What are yours?
May Felicity Shagwell be your next fare.

Posted by: smeghead | Aug 24, 2007 7:32:27 AM

My goodness, smeghead, those are some fab movies you noted. "Desperately Seeking Susan" is one of my all-time faves, especially since I have a crush on Rosesanna Arquette. A cool follow-up to that flick is "Who's That Girl?" which was universally panned, but I find it entirely hilarious.

"Night Shift" is a hoot. Michael Keaton just kills me in that flick. Definitely an under-rated gem.

I must have missed "Spies Like Us" so I'm gonna rent it next chance I get.

My favorite comedy of all-time is "Weird Science." From the first scene to the last, I laugh my ass off, even though I've seen it now about 46 times.

Great comment, smeghead!

Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Aug 24, 2007 12:09:24 PM

Haw! Jernigan, you really do never cease to amaze! "Dress You Up" is one of my most beloved Madonna tunes and videos and brings me throttling back in time to my early Madonna addiction.

In 6th grade at JOhnson Elementary School we did a performance at Johnson State College of "Material Girl" - it accompanied a skit we wrote which involved a drug deal and a KILLING! I played Madonna - duh - and had two backup dancers - we choreographed a dance and lip synced in the back of a seedy "club" while the deal went sour. Back then, dressing like Madonna was not so cool and I got a LOT of funny looks. JOhnson was just too damn small.

I think we need to do a Madonna lip syncing dance party contest. I am serious. Seriously.

Posted by: Eva | Aug 27, 2007 12:21:01 AM

Eva, I would flip to see a tape of that performance. In light of "Officestay," (the acclaimed video-drama on your "Deadbeat's Club" cable show), it's clear you've carried the passsion for melodrama well beyond grade school.

Sadly, of course, your comment only proves what I have long suspected: I am just about as hip as a sixth-grade schoolgirl.

Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Aug 27, 2007 11:49:18 AM

Which is pretty damn hip, imho!

PS I am SERIOUS - Madonna dance party - you name the place and date, I am there!

Posted by: Eva | Aug 28, 2007 8:59:31 PM

Eva, I would take you up on this, but here at the nursing home they don't allow us to have dance parties. (Something to do with insurance liability.)

Posted by: Jernigan Pontiac | Aug 29, 2007 8:07:38 PM

I used to work with the backup dancer on the left in high school. He worked at Sears in North Hollywood after the Like A Virgin Tour ended. Super nice guy, but GREAT talent. I believe his name was Lyndon Johnson, if I'm not mistaken. (No joke...) I think he's on the credits for the video..

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