Today in Madonna History: December 6, 1992

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On December 6 1992, Madonna bought a 1920’s mansion on Mulholland Drive overlooking Hollywood for $5 million. The nine-story, 8,000 square foot home with nine bedrooms and six baths was previously owned and used as a gambling den by Bugsy Siegel, the original owner of the Flamingo Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Soon after buying the mansion, called Castillo del Lago, Madonna had it painted with pink and yellow stripes, making it both hated by neighbours and easy to locate by both fans and stalkers. Christopher Ciccone, Madonna’s brother and former interior designer, says the stripes were inspired by a church in Portofino.

The home gave Madonna a 300-degree view of Los Angeles and the ocean. Designed by John De Lario, it was completed in 1926.

Today in Madonna History: December 5, 1996

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On December 5 1996, The Making of Evita book was released.

The introduction was written by Madonna.  Director Alan Parker wrote about the the trials, tribulations and triumphs he and the cast endured to bring the musical to the big screen.

Here’s an excerpt from Alan Parker’s essay on the making of Evita:

For fifteen years I watched as the film of Evita was about to be made, and the various press releases were printed in the media. I have been furnished with the various news clippings from those years, and would first like to mention the stars that would supposedly be starring in the film. They include: Elaine Paige, Patti LuPone, Charo, Raquel Welch, Ann-Margret, Bette Midler, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Diane Keaton, Olivia Newton-John, Elton John, John Travolta, Pia Zadora, Meat Loaf, Elliott Gould, Sylvester Stallone, Barry Gibb, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Jeremy Irons, Raul Julia and Michelle Pfeiffer. And then there were the directors: Ken Russell, Herb Ross, Alan Pakula, Hector Babenco, Francis Coppola, Franco Zeffirelli, Michael Cimino, Richard Attenborough, Glenn Gordon Caron and Oliver Stone.

So why didn’t it get made until now? And with none of the individuals mentioned above? I’m sure I don’t know. All I do know is that all those years, I sort of regretted saying no to Robert in that dusty street. So I was glad that everything came full circle when I was asked to make the film again by Robert Stigwood and Andy Vajna at the end of 1994.

When I began work on the film, the incumbent actress to play Evita was Michelle Pfeiffer. She had waited such a long time to do the film that she had even had a baby in the meantime. I met with Michelle, whom I greatly admire, and it was clear that with two small children she wasn’t about to embark on the long Lewis and Clark journey I had in mind—a long way from the comfort of nearby Hollywood sound stages. While spending Christmas in England in 1994, I received out of the blue a letter from Madonna. (I had developed a remake of The Blue Angel with her some years previously, but it had bitten the Hollywood dust.) Her handwritten, four-page letter was extraordinarily passionate and sincere. As far as she was concerned, no one could play Evita as well as she could, and she said that she would sing, dance and act her heart out, and put everything else on hold to devote all her time to it should I decide to go with her. And that’s exactly what she did do. (Well, she didn’t put everything on hold, as she did get pregnant before we finished filming).

You can watch a making of Evita documentary from Alan Parker’s official website.

Today in Madonna History: December 4, 2011

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On December 4 2011, shoe designer John Fluevog told the Calgary Herald’s Theresa Tayler that he never expected that Madonna would pay her respects by whipping out a pair of shoes he had gifted to her, putting them on during a scene in her infamous, documentary Truth Or Dare.

“Yah like ‘em?!” she said, as she flirted with the camera, showing off the “Munster” platforms.  At the time, it was a massive publicity break for the respected, but still little-known, Canadian designer.

Fluevog told Tayler that he rarely tells the story of how Madge ended up with a pair of his kicks:

“I don’t really like giving away shoes. It’s not what I do. This is a business. One night I was watching Madonna on one of those American talk shows. She was being very naughty, talking about spankings and saying all of these silly things. I thought, this is a game player. Her whole thing is a game. She needs a pair of my shoes.”

Fluevog then sent one of Madonna’s stylists a pair of his shoes and he never heard back.

“Not a thank you, not anything. Then, someone told me she wore them in the movie . . . I didn’t like Madonna’s game. I found it annoying, but I respected what she was doing.  The movie moment was a game-changer for Fluevog.  Things exploded for us. It was all a bit of shock to me.”

Today in Madonna History: December 3, 2005

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On December 3 2005, Confessions On A Dance Floor entered the Billboard 200 album chart at number-one with sales of of over 350,000. It was her third consecutive studio album to reach the top and her sixth chart-topping album overall in the US.

Internationally the album hit number-one in 40 countries, including Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Brazil and Australia.

Today in Madonna History: December 2, 2000

On December 2 2000, Madonna’s Don’t Tell Me single was reviewed by Chuck Taylor in Billboard magazine.

Don’t Tell Me was Madonna’s final single to be released on cassette in the U.S.  In the U.K., Warner Bros. issued Madonna’s next two singles in the format, with the last being 2002’s Die Another Day. In Canada – the first market to regularly issue Madonna’s singles on cassette (beginning with the cassette maxi-single for Angel in 1985) – her final cassette single was 1995’s Bedtime Story, while her final cassette maxi-single was 1994’s I’ll Remember.

Today in Madonna History: December 1, 1990

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On December 1 1990, Madonna was named one of the 10 Women Of The Year by Glamour magazine.

The cover photo was taken by Patrick Demarchelier.

Madonna was furious that Glamour removed the gap between her teeth without first asking for her permission.

The gap between Madonna’s front teeth is iconic.  Wouldn’t you be annoyed if someone removed your freckles, or changed your eye colour without asking you?

Today in Madonna History: November 30, 1980

On November 30 1980, Madonna’s band, Emmy, recorded a four-song studio demo which was later distributed on TDK cassettes around New York City.

Band member and songwriting partner, Stephen Bray, was asked to describe what he remembered from these songs in a 1998 interview with Bruce Baron for Goldmine magazine, and he commented on each this way:

  • (I Like) Love For Tender – “Sort of our Byrds thing. Nice song, arrangement was too long though.”
  • No Time – “This was a giddy, up-tempo romp with drums and rhythm section stuff inspired by the fast playing Police and XTC attitude, but with a pop top.”
  • Bells Ringing – “Our most psychedelic number I recall, too long again. It had a definite Stones-ish attitude.”
  • Drowning – “The best tune of the moment, I always thought.”
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