Madonna 50: PT 2

Madonna 50.

Like when Jackie O turned 60 but only better.

This is turning out to be a bit of a novella-

The 90s happened and I was out-er than out. As gay as my friend Muffin’s coined term: the gayest gay that ever gayed

Still in Montreal, I was IN Vogue. 1990 was the summer of Blonde Ambition, my return to University (after taking some time off to become a hair stylist) and the Sex Garage protest against the Surte de Quebec. The Police. At a private party, a bunch of outcast gay men, dykes and drag queens and their admirers danced and gogoed on speakers to some of the most amazing music such as Vogue. The party raided, the Surte de Quebec began to beat all that left the party- peacefully- expressing: “hoste! les tapettes!” [loosly translated: “fucking faggots!”] The next day, an entire group met at a club to decide what the hell to do. We were not going to stand for it. United, we stopped traffic in the middle of a busy intersection in Montreal- outside of the police station- and sat, arms locked. Cops moved in and beat us out of the intersection as we exclaimed: “Shame!” Many were arrested and beaten even more once inside holding cells. One guy had a stick smashed into his testicles, injuring him quite badly.

The year ensued. We were mad but we were partying and dancing our anger into a new era. It was Montreal’s Stonewall. Segregated gay men, lesbians and queens were slowly coming together. All the while, Madonna was a staple. In November, The Immaculate Collection was released. All of the songs- especially the new ones- were new anthems. Madonna was intensely and unapologetically openly aiming her top market: the gay community. Rescue Me and Justify My Love were quick to become staples. They all related to the events that took place and were taking shape. 

The summer of 91 took me to Europe where I travelled and continuously listened to Deee-Lite and the multitude of versions of Justify. It was a good year.

Having finished enough of university, I thought it hight time to get out. NYC was on my mind for years. It was all that I wanted. The summer of 1992 took me back “home” to PEI where I worked as a waiter. A League Of Their Own came out and so did This Used To Be My Playground. Having left Montreal to work as a waiter in PEI, my thoughts whirled in the lyrics. That summer, I read an unofficial bio on Madonna and read how she landed in NYC with $35 in her pocket and made it. I left for NYC in the fall of 92 with $300 in my pocket, knew no one and became the bohomo, couch surfing until I finally landed jobs bartending, gogo dancing and the like. 

That same fall, Erotica came out. Clinton was running for President. I was in a whirl in NYC. By myself. And frequenting clubs. I hung out with gogo dancers that I worked with but I didn’t make great friends. I didn’t want to. I wanted to discover me. I had boyfriends out of convenience. Everything truly was just about Jake. I had one job that brought me to Connecticut for months on end where all I listened to was Erotica, Fever, Deeper & Deeper (which featured Udo Kier who I lived with for a month) and Bad Girl over and over. Life in Connecticut was– interesting. I needed the escape in the music until I finally got back to the city. Where I finally got a job as a bartender. I could finally focus on performing and becoming a STAR. Oy.

However, working in clubs and partying got the best of me. I remained in Hair and started learning and doing makeup with the group that I was performing with. I became increasingly depressed even though I LOVED the city I had always desired. I had succumbed to the many poisonous fruits that New York is famous for producing. I had friends that were dying of AIDS and breast cancer; and friends that succumbed to an untimely death due to increased drug usage. Many rockers and trannies and freaks.

Bedtime Stories came out and I tried desperately to love my life- my dream- by listening to the many songs She had to offer. Human Nature was a favorite “fuck off” song. I was dating a guy in LA and I was back and forth between the two cities. Secret was a theme. In the interim, Bedtime Story, written by Bjork (who frequented the performance group I was with), reminds me of my F to M illusion friend, Trash. S/he was my BFF for the most part of my time in NYC. We were invincible as we skipped happily from club scene to club scene, gaining notoriety as we hung with club kids Richie Rich and the notorious Michael Alig. My LA boyfriend (now a friend only) moved to NY and, while we just became friends, he died within a year of moving there. Inside of Me and Love Tried To Welcome Me resonated in my mind as did In This Life, the live version from The Girlie Show the year previous, as my thoughts were with him and my friend Wendy Wild who was still battling her last battle with breast cancer. 

I had enough with New York. Or, more specifically, New York had enough with me and spat me back to Canada- to “the island” where I dried out, cried out and kept deep inside me with Something To Remember in my hands. You’ll See and One More Chance seemed to fit my life at that moment. I needed to gain strength and passion again. I was fighting. My cousin Lesley told me once that You’ll See reminded her of me and the fight that I was fighting. Even though she didn’t know what the fight was. That meant the world to me. Those two songs were, again, my themes. I Want You was a song that represented an abusive relationship that I had no business in being in to begin with. I wasn’t ready. I was fragile. But The Universe delivers to you what you need to be dealt. Not that I should have been abused- it just helped me with regaining my strength and I fought back. For the first time in years. I fought for me.

Clawing my way back, I performed in my final musical. Evita was in theatres and it was great. However, none of the songs from that were ever any of my favorites. But it reminds me of getting my strength back.

Ray of Light was released in 1998. I was now living in Vancouver. I needed something light. Drowned World was my solace. She changed her mind and so did I. I was focused and driven to work in film as a hair and makeup artist and Vangroovy, at the time, was the place to do it. Nothing Really Matters and Shanti were mantras. I was dating again but still wearing my heart on my sleeve. I fell for a guy that didn’t want anything to do with LOVE. To Have and Not To Hold was my theme (this video was the best fan art i could find. there is no official video). 

Then I met Glamma. Ray of Light was my light. Glamma CONTINUES to be my light. I think of him whenever I hear it.

Doing the occasional independent film, I was comfortable working as an instructor. I didn’t know what I truly wanted. Music came out and Don’t Tell Me and What It Feels Like for a Girl were powerful driving songs. Driving is all one did in Vangroovy to get from one set to the next to the teaching gig.

We were happy in our new relationship and loving our comfort with both of us teaching and frequenting LA for work related things. We loved LA. I remembered it to be that fabulous when I was going there five+ years previous. 

The record, Music, rocked. But we weren’t rocking in Vangroovy. There was no where else to go. We capped.

Stay tuned for Part III for Madge’s official 50th. 

Madonna 50: PT 1

Madonna 50: PT 3


What’s on your Music Player?

Music Selector is the Soul Reflector.

What is going to define your 2008?

When we think of the happiest moments in our lives and relate those moments to a song that we hear, it’s usually from a summer. It’s true. It’s been proven. By yours truly. I have done some serious scientific research!

Let me know (by commenting here) your HAVE-TO-LISTEN-TO songs and albums for the summer and you will be in the running to win various HOUSE OF GLAMMA swag! Hats! Buttons! Shirts! And more!

a few of myTunes at the moment:

Cyndi Lauper: Bring Ya to the Brink ON TOUR!

Deee-Lite: Dewdrops in the Garden

Stars Down: ON TOUR!

Madonna: Hard Candy

Robyn: Konichiwa Bitches!

Lykke Li: Youth Novels

Blondie: Parallel Lines ON TOUR!

Yoav: Charmed and Strange ON TOUR!

Just Jack: Writer’s Block

Britney Spears: Blackout

Air: Moon Safari

Buddha Bar: VIII

You’ve got three weeks! July 3rd is the draw date!