Friday, July 22, 2011

Maclean's Magazine - Madonna -May 13, 1991

A Sex Symbol Talks Back.


  1. Great interview. I love what she says about Michael Jackson and it taps into something I've wondered about, I mean is he an artist? Sure he was a talented performer but he never evolved, EVER. 30 years into a career and he was still doing the same routine to the same songs, no evolution whatsoever. It's almost like a circus monkey.

    Real artists evolve, their lives and work make one narrative.

    Michael Jackson's life and work tell the narrative of a perturbed, deviant individual that became worse as time went on, like it happens to deviant people like pedophiles, it's a progressive degeneration of who they are, until they become monsters.

    I never got the hype over Michael Jackson and I guess its because I don't like entertainment for the sake of escapism, I need to get away from it with a memoralbe message, which Madonna has always delivered.

    I also think it's sad how Madonna was always viewed as an attention whore, a calculating maquiavelic personality. The more I see her career in perspective the more I realize that was never true. Madonna was an artist.

    It makes me think of how unfair life is, because there has never been a more maquiavelic, calculating singer than Lady Gaga, I have no doubt that she literally sits down on a chair and wonders what can she do that will manipulate people to fulfil a certain maquiavelic purpose of hers.

    And yet in a year she got all the media to suck her ass and give her the artist mantle, it's pathetic.

  2. what are you talking about? michael had deep messages in almost all of his songs.

    and michael definately evolved sonically, just not as drastically as madonna. however this is not a weakness as michael's compositions were FINER in their subtle changes. he also wasn't the type of artist who NEEDED to jump from genre to genre. madonna needed to in order to stay afloat/in fashion and maintain interest.

    and also, he started his career as a child, so the progression into adulthood was actually quite great. you need to open your eyes and ears on that one.

    and re lady gaga - perhaps she is more visually obsessed and theatrical than madonna ever was but i don't believe she is any more calculating. she is a product of our times, a pastiche of past references and the digital age. she is the fan amongst us that has manifested as a performer, only that she has real musical talent and songwriting abilities.

    and of course with artistry there would be moments of calculations and moments of instinct and freedom. madonna is attention whore numero uno and you and i and everyone on this fucken blog knows it. wake up.

    you're pigeon-holing and judging really ticks me off. what makes ME feel sad that these artists are so misunderstood by the likes of your self who believe madonna germinated every creative impulse herself. she did not. she is a collaborator and no more creative than your references.

  3. The likes of people like you who are totally delusional also make me sad.

    And I stand by what I said of Michael Jackson, he had NO evolution whatsoever in his career and if anyone truly depended on their collaborators it was Michael.

    Madonna didn't need to jump into any genre or change looks to stay afloat, that was the natural evolution of an artist.

    And gaga is the fan amongst us manisfested as a performer?? lol.

  4. lol i suggest you take your blinkers off.

    do you care to qualify your opinion that mj's music did not evolve at all?

  5. it's so easy to be mean but it takes work to appreciate the beauty in something or someone.

    i say that to all.

  6. Some good points have been mentioned that could go into another whole subject on their on...

    MJ evolution- I agree as talented as MJ was he DID not evolve musically or style or his whole presentation. I was never a big fan except his early stuff "off the wall" etc. I think he was guilty of living in safe bubble and not exploring outside of it.

    As Ramon says looking at MadonnaS career retro retrospective, she really risked everything each time an album was released by trying different musical genres. think about it from the start she started out as punk and post punk rock, rock, then disco, then electronic new wave, then club dance which she made pop and making it more R&B back to rock the list goes on etc..
    i mean it keeps going to soulful ballads to showtune to techno to hip hop, she never stops making the risks. THAT IS AN ARTIST to me.

    Lady Gaga is and always will be POSER! Shes a success only of the moment generation of the uninformed and part of the gay community who would rather have rich white straight 25 year old rep them in politics or movement. BARF! She is such a USER! ME and my friends dont buy into that foolishness.
    Things come in waves these days with social media and can be manipulated and repackaged, SCARY! older generations that loved pop culture tend not to be part of the twitter or tumblr or FB or care as much so its hard to teach the younger generations what was real and how such mega stars like Madonna was and is revolutionary.
    Not saying this to all of them BUT it is a scary time not just pop culture but in youth generation in general. the self entitlement, the attitude where you think you dont have to work for something etc. Thanks to the WEB! I know it will catch up and things will change but we wont see if for awhile.

  7. I really don't know how anyone can say that there was evolution in Michael Jackson's career.

    When he had his 30 year anniversary concert in 2001, the one where Liz Taylor was there, I mean he sang Billie Jean with the moonwalk the same way he had done so in the 1980's!!

    And mind you, this wasn't some ironic tongue in cheeck self tribute. He did it because he had nothing else!! His music, image and career never evolved past Thriller. EVER.

    When he came back with Invincible, one of the reasons it was a massive flop was because the music was thriller 2.0, and the video was like thriller 2.0 too. It was really sad to watch. The world had evolved but Michael Jackson was still in 1980.

    After his death everyone has forgotten about it, but my vision is not clouded, he will always be that formerly great pedophile freak living off past glory.

    Can you imagine Madonna performing Express Yourself with a cone bra gold bustier after 30 years?? I can't, because it's unthinkable for a real artist to get stuck in time. Madonna is not a one trick pony. Michael Jackson was. Sure, his one trick was amazing, and once in a lifetime great, but a one trick pony he was, make no mistake about it.

    Also, I want to point out that, if Madonna had ever been a calculating person, she never would've done the things she did.

    She would have never spoken on behalf of gay people and against aids in a time of extreme homophobia. She would have never done the blonde ambition tour. She would have never done truth or dare. She would never have done Justify My Love or the Sex Book. She would never have done or said the things she did.

    Madonna did all of that because she had an artistic vision that she wasn't going to compromise, even the risk of losing her whole career, she still wouldn't compromise her aristic integrity. THAT is an artist.

    A charlatan is someone who comes in at the last time in the game, and steals the glory of the people who fought for their ideals, like lady gaga is doing now with her whole gay rights charade.

    Go on Gaga, steal the glory decades after Elizabeth Taylor and Madonna and countless others put their careers and lives on the line, you go do that lady gaga!!!! you're good at stealing!!

    At the end of the day, Madonna was a revolutionary artist who did things her way and for the liberation of people, and that is something Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga will never be.

  8. to me, calculating doesn't necessarily equal fearful and doesn't necessarily cancel out moments of abandon. also, to say that madonna didn't often consider the effectiveness/timing of the things she did/released/said would be inaccurate. to be in control is to be calculating. to relinquish control is to be free. to me, m does not appear to free of her stardom, of the material world or of her ego. i don't begrudge her for it but that is plain to see.

    also, in truth or dare she showed us everything she wanted us to see and as unflattering as she could afford. scenes were also reshot or planned by her or alek. like she said to kurt loder in mtv's dinner with madonna - 'even a lie is very telling'.

    michael definately reached a creative lull in the 2000s and wasn't very prolific but from motown, to disco, to soul, to ballads, to pop, to rock-tinged pop songs, to new-jack swing, to orchestral compositions to neo-soul - his overall MUSICAL evolution is there for you to hear if you care to. but you don't sound like a fan of his to me so of course you would shut your mind to it all.

    and in terms of visual/performance - does anyone bemoan marilyn monroe for remaining blonde when she hit the big time, or frank sinatra for always wearing suits, or basquiat for painting with those brushstrokes, or keith for his signature graffitti style? the answer is no. because not everyone needs to change drastically. not everyone is a chameleon like madonna that needs to change with her backdrop in order to survive. and not everyone needs to peel back layers.

    michael jackson did michael jackson. it's as simple as that.

  9. Great to read all of that for the first time in my life!

    The photo in the last page (pic of Madonna with Donna & Niki) fascinates me.

    I was wondering which show that was taken at - then I noticed the English policemen in the background (along with Liz).

    So this photo was taken BACKSTAGE at WEMBLEY STADIUM on the Blond Ambition Tour. It's wow! To think they allowed a photographer backstage to take that shot at Wembley. NOTHING like that was printed at the time of the tour...

  10. "to be in control is to be calculating. to relinquish control is to be free."

    BULLSHIT. To be in control of everything is the ultimate freedom. And while Madonna was in control of her art, she couldn't possibly predict the outcome of it all, and a calculating person like gaga would never be able to take the artistic risks Madonna did.

    Gaga is so calculating that she says enough to not bother everyone but to make people think she's groundbreaking and only idiots fall for her game.

    You are obviously an idiot and there is no point in arguing with you but regarding Truth or Dare, Madonna objected to many scenes that were included in the final cut thanks to Alek who was after all the director.

  11. ramon, you're such a sheep and a fool. weeks ago you were defending gaga if i'm not mistaken, only to be chastised by pud, then you came back with a witty little graphic and now the cool kids have accepted you back and you're running with it. where's your integrity? you know nothing and you're blind.

  12. Are you serious?? when have I defended Lady Gaga?? GIVE ME FUCKING QUOTES. I've NEVER defended Lady Gaga.

    Have I criticized Madonna for not having guts anymore and allowing Lady Gaga to steal her spot in pop culture and her legacy?? ABSOLUTELY.

    Defend Lady Gaga?? NEVER.

    So if ANYONE is a sheep or a fool in here is you everybodygetget, NOT me!

  13. When I was a kid, there wasn't many stores carrying MacLean's magazine. I was living in suburbia Orange County and often had to travel to Tustin or Long Beach, or sometimes Los Angeles, for magazines that had Madonna on the cover.

    I called around to several places and I remember a Tower Records having this magazine. I forget where but it was at least a half hour drive. Anyhow, by the time I got there (I'd asked them to please hold the magazine for me), they said someone had taken the magazine. I remember being so incredibly upset, to the point of crying. I was young, what can I say? Ha ha.

    Anyhow, this is the first time I'm seeing this magazine, and FINALLY getting to read the article.

    20 years later...but it finally happened. Thank you Pud. :)