1987: Madonna's First USA Stadium Concert

Back to the best tour of Madonna's career...

The 1987 "Who's That Girl" World Tour had its USA opening in Miami on June 27th of that year. Madonna-tv viewer Jose (aka AvoidTheCliche) had a 3rd row seat at this historic concert and shared via the Breathless Madonna forum, this great MTV News report about the gig.

Here's what he remembers of that day 23 years ago!

"I was only 12 at the time, I went with my best friend who is also a huge Madonna fan like we all were and I guess as kids we were easily impressionable, so I have had this conversation with my friend though the years and we remember all the events from before and after the show but we can only remember bits and pieces of the actual show. It was sensory overload for our young minds to grasp that we were so close to Madonna herself.

I got to my friends house at around noon time and the sky was already turning black. By the time we left to go to the Stadium around 5:00pm there was a complete torrential downpour. On 3 of the pop stations all they were playing was Madonna music. Y100 radio had exclusive backstage access and though they didn’t get Madonna they interviewed Mark Goodman from MTV, the little kid dancer Chris and some of the other dancers - and they were repeating that the show will go on despite the rain (which was music to our ears).

We got to the Orange Bowl at around 6:30 pm, bought the 3 posters, tour book and 2 shirts. We proceeded to our seats and when we got inside the actual stadium and took a glance at the stage and how huge the stadium was we were in complete awe. When we found our seats it hit us that we were in disbelief how close we were.

It began to pour rain again and most people actually stayed in their seats getting soaked (us included) we were not moving from our seats. An announcement was made that Level 42 could not play because of the rain, so again we started to get worried. From what I remember the crowd was mixed with adults, but mostly kids. There were also lots of banners saying Madonna we love you etc, Y100 radio had a banner contest and they were urging people to make them and well they did (we didn’t).

It stopped raining again around 8:00pm so they started to get the stage ready and there were tons of people on that stage drying up the flood and the stadium really started to fill up as you can see from the MTV report. FINALLY around 9:50 or 9:55 the lights went out. The roar of the crowd was insane you couldn’t hear the music for a sec when OYH began and then there she was! I swear she looked at us from time to time but then again everyone else also thought the same thing. It was a HOT and steamy summer evening in Miami you can see the steam rising from the crowd.

It‘s amazing that even a couple of years after Madonna hit it big she was already an Icon. The only female performer to ever play a stadium tour in the US and as you know she played lots of stadiums again during her S&S tour which included a stadium date in Miami at a different venue the Orange Bowl was torn down 2 years ago.

I remember the show in patches but all I can say is 2 hrs went by in 2 minutes too fast and I had never experienced such joy at that point in my life. The first song they played when the lights went on was "Holding back the Years" by Simply Red, It was a somber song to play after such an amazing experience but it made me also sad hearing that very song to realize the big day was over. To this day I hear that song and I think about Madonna. "

Big thanks to Jose / AvoidTheCliche and to Breathless Madonna. Once again, if you haven't joined that forum yet, I would recommend that you do!

(MTV, June 1987)

1984: "Holiday" on 'Top Of The Pops' London

So here's Madonna's first ever appearance on UK TV!

At the time "Top of The Pops" was the biggest music show on British Television - braodcasting every Thursday evening on BBC1, back when multi-channel TV in the UK was just a dream and pop music videos and performances on the box were quite a treat!

Madonna appeared on the show broadcast Thursday January 26th 1984, having taped her performance 2 days earlier at the famous BBC Television Centre in West London.

Accompanied as ever by brother Christopher and Erica Bell, she lip-synched and danced her way through "Holiday" - and here it is from a re-broadcast in 2004.

(BBC UK, January 1984)

1984: "Holiday" in Manchester on "The Tube"

Friday 27th January 1984 and Madonna makes her 2nd British TV appearance!

Cutting edge music TV show "The Tube" aired every Friday evening live on Channel 4 TV and on this night it was coming from a legendary nightclub in Manchester in the North of England called "The Hacienda".

Madonna accompanied by brother Christopher and Erica Bell, performed 2 songs - "Burning Up" & "Holiday". Both were lip-synched in front of a live audience at the club.

Here's "Holiday" from a re-broadcast in 2005!

(Channel 4 UK, January 1984)

1989: Madonna Interview on TV-am

Back in 1989 Madonna gave just one TV interview
(!!!!) and that was to Molly Meldrum for Australian TV.

Not long after the interview aired in Australia, Madonna's record company Warner Bros. packaged up the interview for broadcast around the world and in the UK, the first exclusive showing went to Breakfast TV Channel TV-am.

Here's the interview - most of us have seen it before - but for me, the really interesting part is the 1987 "Who's That Girl" concert footage which Warners decided to include in the interview package.

What you're looking at are clips of "Papa Don't Preach" and "Open Your Heart", not from the Warner video release "Ciao Italia", but taken from the professional footage filmed of the very final show of the tour - the concert in Florence, Italy!

Footage from this final show was used in Ciao Italia, but the main concert in that video is the Turin show (some Tokyo concert footage is also thrown into Ciao Italia just for good measure - and to confuse you). But the Florence clips used in this Molly Meldrum interview have never otherwise been shown.

If ANYONE knows how to get their hands on the full Florence concert video, which Warners used for Ciao Italia and then in this interview in 1989 - PLEASE GET IN CONTACT. I WILL MAKE YOU VERY RICH!!! :-)

Part 1:

Part 2:

(TV-AM UK, July 1989)

Pat Leonard plays M's 1986 classics on Piano

In my opinion, the best songs of Madonna's career came when she collaborated with both Stephen Bray and Pat Leonard.

Pat Leonard for me particularly is a musical genius up there with the best of them and here in 2008 he played two of the most amazing songs he wrote with Madonna (and two of the best pop songs of all time) as piano solos. The 1986 masterpieces "Live To Tell" and "La Isla Bonita".

These renditions brought a tear to my eye.

(July 2008)

1985: Holiday @ Radio City Music Hall

Madonna-tv is a huge fan of one particular Madonna online forum...

"Breathless Madonna" is right now the coolest place online to get unbelievably rare and interesting video and audio downloads and to join in discussions with other Madonna fans about all that is great about "the Material Girl" ;).

One such example of what you can find at Breathless Madonna is the video below! Exclusively shared online by longtime Madonna fan Club78Boy, you are looking at never-broadcast, professionally filmed TV footage of Madonna performing "Holiday" at Radio City Music Hall NYC on her Virgin Tour in June 1985.

If you're not already part of the Breathless Madonna community, I would recommend you join and start enjoying what's going on there!

Big thanks to Club78Boy and Breathless Madonna!

(Club78Boy, June 1985)

1994: Madonna & Jessie for Bedtime Stories

Spring of 1994 and Madonna has started work on her follow-up album to Erotica, "Bedtime Stories".

She recorded this video message for Warner Bros employees back then to let them know what was coming and to encourage them to do a good job on selling the record!

Madonna is filmed alongside Pat Leonard's daughter Jessie (the same Jessie about whom her 1989 "Like a Prayer" song "Dear Jessie" is written about) and she previews excerpts of "Secret", "Take a Bow" and "Human Nature" as part of this official in-house Maverick Records promotional video!

(Maverick Records, May 1994)

1985: 25 Years Ago in New York!

Here's a vintage MTV report from 25 years ago - June 1985 - about a Madonna look-a-like contest held at the "Madonna Land" section of Macy's Department store in New York City.

Fans are interviewed at the event and then also at Radio City Music Hall where Madonna's Virgin Tour is playing!

(MTV, June 1985)