On September 30 1999, Madonna’s “Blond Ambition Tour” was named “The Greatest Concert Of The 1990s” by Rolling Stone magazine.
On August 5 1990, “Madonna – Live! Blond Ambition World Tour 90” was broadcast live on HBO-TV from Stade de l’Ouest, Nice, France and seen in more than 4.3 million households – it was the most-watched entertainment special in the network’s 18-year history (at the time).
On August 1 1990, “Madonna In Concert” was taped by SACIS-RAI at Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain on the second to last date of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour.
The special was broadcast in Spain, Italy, the UK and Australia. It also aired on Canada’s MuchMusic on September 10, 1990. After being heavily promoted by the channel in the weeks leading up to the broadcast, the special aired in an edited version during its prime time slot, followed by an uncensored airing at midnight.
In addition to its intended use for broadcast, the recording also served as an unused safety net for her HBO special from the final date in Nice, France a few days later.
On July 2 1990, Roman Catholic groups condemned Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” concert as blasphemous due to her controversial show’s sex and religious themes and planned to cancel her concerts in Rome and Turin.
Madonna made this speech in response to the threats:
I am an ltalian-American, and I am proud of it.
Proud of being an American because it is the country I grew up in, the country that gave me the opportunities to be who I am today and a country that believes in freedom of speech and artistic expression.
My show is not a conventional rock show but a theatrical presentation of my music.
And, like theatre it asks questions, provokes thought and takes you on an emotional journey.
Portraying good and bad, light and dark, joy and sorrow, redemption and salvation.
I do not endorse a way of life but describe one, and the audience is left to make its own decisions and judgments.
This is what I consider freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of thought.
Every night, before I go onstage, I say a prayer not only that my show willl go well but that the audience will watch with an open heart and an open mind and see it as a celebration of love, life and humanity.
*This is an edited transcript of the speech. The full speech is included in the video posted above.
On June 1, 1990, Madonna performed her “Blond Ambition Tour” at The Palace Of Auburn Hills, in Auburn Hills, Michigan. During the show, Madonna invited her father (Silvio Anthony Ciccone) onstage to sing him “Happy Birthday”.
On May 29, 1990, Toronto police threatened to arrest Madonna on the grounds of lewd and obscene behavior for the “Like A Virgin” masturbation sequence in her Blond Ambition concert. The show went on unaltered, and no charges were made after the tour manager gave the police an ultimatum: “Cancel the show, and you’ll have to tell 30,000 people why.”
Madonna performed 3 sold-out concerts at the SkyDome, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
On May 25, 1990, Madonna cancels a third scheduled “Blond Ambition” concert at the Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL, due to laryngitis.