Madonna wanted to make people happy by singing and dancing. And also feel loved by everyone. Because his highest aspiration was “to be a big star”. His first tour, The Virgin Tour, frame the last step in achieving this objective. The overwhelming response from those first 40 gigs led the artist to acknowledge: “I wanted to be a star. I worked very hard and my dreams came true.”
“I wanted to be a big star”
As a child, and growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Madonna Louise Ciccone had only one dream: “I wanted to be a big star.” At 20 years old and 35 dollars in his pocket, he takes the plane for the first time, and for the first time, he gets into a taxi. New York was the first step to achieve his goal and set to work hard. Just six years later, he had already achieved success with his second album, Like a Virgin. (1984), after her debut with Madonna (1983). Warner wanted to rush him to the maximum and decided to send him on tour. The first of his life. 27 cities in the United States and one in Canada. Two months. Small enclosures. 40 gigs
In the style of ‘I don’t care’
When The Virgin Tour was confirmed, Madonna and her team began working out the details. Aspiring to be known worldwide, she was very clear about how she wanted her concerts to be: “Strong and brash. A reflection of my street style and DGAF attitude (Don’t Give A Fuck)”, or what amounts to the same, “I don’t care”.
Madonna at Radio City Music Hall in New York / Getty Images/Frank Micelotta Archive
This almost 27-year-old girl wanted to do concerts where people would have as much fun playing as she did. And he knew very well what he didn’t want: “I hate shows in which there is only a singer singing on stage and a group of ‘ass lickers’ playing. Or shows in which a rocker yells and jumps on the audience It’s just stinky so I wanted something different, something memorable.
“A wardrobe with a princely spirit”
He turned around in his locker room. It was fundamental. Designer Marlene Stewart included psychedelic jackets, tight miniskirts, lace tops and tights, boots, jewelry, hair bows… outfits that allowed her to move easily on stage. After all, she was a dancer. However, she also sought advice from her friend and designer Maripol, who was then working at a small knitting shop called Maripolitan in Greenwich Village. Speaking to Yahoo! The music recalled: “Madonna came to see me in my ‘loft’ because he wanted me to create his image.” The singer showed her the outfits that Stewart had made for her, very similar to those worn by Prince during his last tour. “Marlene designed it very ‘Purple Rain’ and I said, ‘Madonna, you’re Madonna. Why don’t you keep some of who you are?” And she listened.”
the concerts have ended with the artist disguised as a bride singing Like a virgin and a material girl. One of the outfits that, to this day, still one of the most memorable. “In her ambition to reach the top, Madonna had to break. And the wedding dress helped him. All the reporters were quick to say, ‘My God, who is that girl in that white dress rolling and crawling on stage with crosses over her ears and her name is Madonna? And does she sing “as if she were a virgin”? They were shocked. Yes,” says Maripol.
“With men by my side”
In her desire to reflect herself, Madonna particularly wanted to be accompanied by male dancers while he moved energetically from side to side of the stage. “The provocative moves I make on stage work best with men by my side.”
Madonna during a tour performance / Getty Images/Ron Galella
This is why People magazine, under the title ‘The Hollywood spark’, published in May 1985: “On stage, Madonna is having fun and moving energetically, she is also twisting, squirming, shaking, vibrating. There’s no rocker (except, perhaps, Tina Turner) who pulls off such erotic madness.”
Beastie Boys: ‘It was a really bad idea’
Madonna chose the Beastie Boys as their opening act. But they were not particularly well received by the artist’s audience. Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, commented: “It’s not like we know Madonna very well, but we used to see each other at the club ‘Danceteria’. I don’t know not why he thought it would be a good idea to have us as opening acts. But it was a terrible idea. For her it was wonderful because We were so scared at that time that when I went on stage, the public had to be happy by force..
For her part, Madonna gloated: “They were very bad boys; they said ‘fuck’ all the time on stage. The public always booed them and they always told everybody “fuck you”. I loved them for that. I didn’t understand why they hated them. I found them adorable.”
“This whole tour was crazy”
On April 10, 1985, The Virgin Tour began. The first concert of Madonna’s first tour took place at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington. He had sold tickets. Those of this day and those of the next two on the same stage. The demand for tickets was so extremely massivethat the tour – originally planned for medium-capacity venues – had to be hastily postponed to include some of the most important stadiums. Madonna was really nervous. Now I had to act in front of a large audience and singing with a live band for the first time. Other dates also had to be added. On June 11, 1985, Madonna put a brilliant end to her “Virgin Tour” with a “sold out” concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Madonna celebrates the end of The Virgin Tour / Getty Images/Ron Galella, Ltd.
In a 2009 interview with ‘Rolling Stone’, Madonna recalled “This whole tour was crazy., ’cause I went from CBGB and Mudd Club to singing in stadiums. I played in a little theater in Seattle and the girls had schoolgirl skirts and knee highs and lace gloves and prayer beads and bows in their hair and big earrings.“. And that’s how the ‘Madonna wannabe’ or the ‘Madonnabe’ was born. Madonna wannabes. An officially recognized term in Webster’s Dictionary in May 1991.
“And my dreams came true”
There was a time when Madonna wanted to be big – “Even as a little girl, I knew I wanted the whole world to know who I was, love me, and receive my affection.” – and after that first tour, he got it.
Madonna and Madison Square Garden / Getty Images/Gary Gershoff
At the start of the “Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour” video – which captures her first concert in Detroit on May 25, 1985 – Ciccone says: “I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anyone. I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things. I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted the whole world to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked very hard and my dreams came true.”