Today in Madonna History: June 1, 1985

On June 1 1985, Warner Bros. and Sire Records took out a centerfold ad in Billboard magazine to celebrate the resounding success of Madonna’s first concert trek, The Virgin Tour.

Featuring the cover image from her current hit single Angel as its backdrop, the spread cheekily alluded to Madonna’s “virgin” moniker with its caption:

“You were wonderful! We’re proud of you. Congratulations on your first tour.
– Warner Bros. and Sire Records.”

Today in Madonna History: May 5, 2012

On May 5 2012, Madonna expressed her condolences for the death of Adam Yauch:

“The Beastie Boys were one of a kind! And so was Adam! They were all an important part of my musical history and integral to the musical revolution that was happening at the time. I’m very sad to hear about Adam’s passing. God bless him and his family”

Adam “MCA” died of parotid gland cancer at the age of 47.

The Beastie Boys were the opening act, supporting Madonna, during her 1985 Virgin Tour.

Today in Madonna History: January 18, 1986

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On January 18 1986, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Music Videos chart in the US. It went on to become the country’s top-selling music video of 1986.

Today in Madonna History: May 25, 1985

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On May 25 1985, Madonna performed The Virgin Tour at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The show was filmed by Daniel Kleinman, and released by Warner Music Video and Sire Records on November 13 1985.

Here is the dialog from Madonna’s famous Virgin Tour introduction (filmed by James Foley for the video release, it was not present during the concerts):

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was an enormous success.  The home video release was the top selling music video cassette of 1986 in the USA, and the video was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 100,000 copies.

Today in Madonna History: May 23, 1985

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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):

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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:

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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!

Today in Madonna History: November 11, 1985

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On November 11 1985, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was released on home video in the U.K. and France. The concert was filmed on May 25th, 1985 at Cobo Arena in Madonna’s home town of Detroit, Michigan. The concert film was directed by Daniel Kleinman and the music was produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

At the beginning of the video Madonna declares:

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

The live performances of Like A Virgin and Dress You Up were released as music videos on MTV to promote the live video release.  Both videos were nominated for Best Choreography at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

Though it was also released on laserdisc in some countries, to date it has sadly not been officially reissued on DVD.

Today in Madonna History: August 14, 2012

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On August 14 2012, Madonna’s first make-up artist, and close friend, Debi Mazar spoke to Allure.com’s beauty editor, Sophia Panych about what Madonna’s hair and make-up was like for The Virgin Tour in 1985:

Her hair was long and wild, and she had just had her bangs cut. She had this thick, curly, gorgeous hair—thicker than anyone else I knew—and it didn’t really need much. I just tried to make sure her bangs nicely framed her face and make sure it moved well, rather than creating a polished look. Really, it was more about the music and the show. We just wanted her to look good, get on stage, and do the damn tour. Plus, she was in her twenties: Her skin was good, and as long as you had bright lipstick and good hair, the crowd didn’t care—they just wanted to dance.

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