Uh Oh! I Like Madonna!

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

Actually, I have for quite some time, but only maybe a handful of her songs. More specifically, there’s “Like A Prayer,” that still brings tears to my eyes 26 years after it was released, then there’s about five other kinda good ones, and there’s a truckload of rubbish. What I like about Madonna was what I happened to witness live in one of those rare TV moments where reality reared its ugly head. Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt, but it wasn’t the sort of pratfall you could laugh at either.

Let me also note that I absolutely LOATHE awards shows, and avoid them wherever I can. Nothing but a bunch of young and rich folk reminding each other how wonderful and brilliant they are, and sharing private jokes that we’re supposed to feel privileged if we actually get them. I always recall Martin Mull’s statement, “Show business is like high school with money.” The only reason I tuned in to the Brit Awards last night was because my TV is programmed to go directly to ITV when it comes on.

I was preparing to watch a news update, but as the TV warmed up, the first thing I saw was Ant & Dec introducing Madonna, who was making her first Brit Award appearance in 20 years. Yeah, and how fortunate we are that the Queen of All Divas has chosen to use this forum to hype a new single, which, all said and done, is not going to rank anywhere near HER personal top 10, let alone anyone else’s.

Still, once her name is announced, you feel this certain curiosity about it that says you gotta watch. She totally changed the scope of how Super Bowl halftime shows should be done three years ago, and much as I would never place her music above any of the other classic rockers, her performance that day was far more interesting to me than those of The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and Prince in previous years. Katy Perry must have watched that performance numerous times before putting together her own extravaganza this year around songs that are, IMHO, far inferior to Madonna’s.

For the Brit Awards showcase, there was the usual cast of thousands, but I remember watching as the robe bearers were carrying this atrocious pile of material behind the Material Girl, and thinking how all this would dwarf the actual artistry of the tune itself, whose title I’ve already forgotten, and I’m too lazy to look up. What I remember is the word “stumble” appearing through the lyrics several times.

How profound that word was, for when she did in fact stumble and fall, I watched in awe. I remember thinking to myself, “OK this isn’t quite as profound as watching the Lee Harvey Oswald assassination, but it is a live TV moment that is almost as unique.” If she had really hurt herself and been unable to continue, how would Ant & Dec have covered for that?

This is why I like her, because she will be the first to admit that her main talent is using negatives to make positives. She slept her way up the show biz ladder and is proud of it, and now delights in having boyfriends who she could be a grandmother to. She has certainly made good records over the years, but that almost seems secondary, or maybe just a bit of luck. As for the new song, really who cared how good it was, it was freaking Madonna, or at least that’s how we were meant to perceive it.

I don’t suppose many cared that even before she tumbled, her voice was way off. After she fell, people could excuse it and ignore it. The fact that she was able to continue the dance routine to the tune in reasonable time was pretty impressive. This is another reason why I like her. She will not allow herself to be anything less than the Brand Name that she’s worked really hard to preserve, and she probably gained a lot of sympathy votes last night, not to mention eventual sales of a mediocre single that might not have even charted otherwise.

What she also did was add a moment to an awards show that has been poking along since the first year it was ever broadcast, in 1987, when 6’5″ Mick Fleetwood was hosting alongside 4’3″ (or thereabouts) Samantha Fox. The same Brits that won Grammy Awards a week before were probably going to win these awards too, and most certainly Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith did. Madonna trumped them all, though we can safely say the way she did was not according to her personal script.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.