On May 24 2001, U.S. cable network HBO confirmed that it would broadcast Madonna’s Drowned World Tour on August 26th:
Madonna is taking her Music to the masses — HBO masses, that is. The cable network will air a live concert from the pop icon’s latest tour, the first in eight years, called the Drowned World Tour. Airing Aug. 26, the concert will be broadcast from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Madonna’s hometown. It’s a thrill for us to have Madonna back because we know it is going to be a spectacular show, with that combination of her amazing talent and extravagant style which only Madonna can bring, says Nancy Gellar, HBO’s senior vice president of original programming. HBO and Madonna last teamed for 1993’s Madonna — Live Down Under: The Girlie Show, which aired live from Sydney, Australia. The program was HBO’s most-watched original program of the year. Madonna’s first special on HBO, 1990’s Madonna — Live! Blond Ambition World Tour, premiered to record numbers and remains one of the highest-rated original programs in HBO history.
Unlike HBO’s previous Madonna tour broadcasts, however, the live airing of the Drowned World Tour was simulcast to Canadian viewers via premium channel, The Movie Network.
A re-edited version of the concert special was later released on VHS & DVD on November 13th, 2001.
On May 23 1985, Madonna performed her Virgin Tour concert in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,000 fans at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The show generated $238,264 in ticket sales.
Here’s a great photo of the Beastie Boys hanging outside Maple Leaf Gardens before the show (on Church Street just north of Carlton):
Maple Leaf Gardens was primarily a hockey and concert venue from 1931 until 2001. The building sat dormant until November 2011, when it reopened as a Loblaws grocery store. To celebrate the history of the building, Loblaws kept centre ice, created art out of some of the seats and commemorated important dates on some of the supporting columns. Here is one of those columns:
Jay’s note: I’d like to say that I made a special trip to Loblaws just to take this photo, but it’s the long-weekend here in Canada — and I really wanted one of their amazing chocolate dip donuts!
On May 22 2001, VH1 published their list of 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock ‘N Roll. Madonna appeared on the list twice:
#87 – Madonna scandalizes with her Like A Prayer video (1989)
- #11 – Madonna bares all in her racy SEX book (1992)
On May 20 2012, Madonna was asked what she would do if she were the President of the United States for one day, and she replied:
“You can’t really change much in one day. I think I would like to be president for a longer time. I wouldn’t spend as much money for weapons of mass destruction but instead for education and art.”
She was also asked if it is more difficult to become famous or maintain fame:
“It’s harder to stay famous than become famous. I don’t think there’s a rule for staying successful. You have to really love what you’re doing. You have to feed your soul with ideas and you’re not allowed to stop growing as a human. That’s what helps to create art. When it comes to my work I don’t take anything for granted.”