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15 July - Visit turns into reunion for the Ciccones and Ritchies
Guess we can call Madonna's Chicago visit this week truly a family affair. The Material Mom invited a bunch of relatives -- including her father, Tony Ciccone, her brother Christopher and several other siblings and Michigan-based cousins -- to hunker down with her for something of a family reunion at one of Our Town's poshest North Side hotels. (For security reasons, I'll wait until the frequently stalked Madonna leaves town to tell you where she stayed.).
But I can tell you this: Madonna's husband, director Guy Ritchie, son Rocco and daughter Lourdes are here, too -- clearly ''providing Madonna with a strong comfort level'' during her down time when she's not performing, said a close observer of the superstar's Chicago visit.
MADONNA DOES CHICAGO
CURRENT VISIT (Reinvention Tour)
Where she ate: Breakfast at the Drake Hotel.
Where she stayed: See Zwecker (above).
Where you might spot her: Bice (she is a big fan of Bice's in New York).
JULY 30 - AUG. 4, 1987 ('Who's That Girl' Tour)
Where she ate: Carlucci's (stuffed artichoke and a big order of broccoli).
Where she stayed: The Whitehall Hotel, where she reportedly requested the windows be plastered with aluminum foil to keep the sun out of her orbs. (A later report put her at the Ritz-Carlton.)
Where you may have spotted her: Elements on Wells (now defunct -- she sipped a raspberry seltzer).
Material Girl travels heavy
Talk about baggage. Here's what Madonna, according to her own record company, has brought to bear during her four-night stand in Chicago:
- 40 tons of weight for the United Center stage.
- Above-ground equipment (lights, sound, videos and speakers) weighing 55 tons.
- A full truck to house the Material Girl's wardrobe and makeup.
- A total of 110 traveling companions.
- 25 cases of Kaballah Water.
For those who would like to see it for themselves, tickets, at all price levels, are still available for tonight and Thursday night's shows. Call Ticketmaster (312-559-1212).
More Material material
- Looks like little Lourdes -- Madonna's 7-year-old daughter by former boyfriend Carlos Leon -- might become quite the swimmer. She was spied having a great time splashing around in the hotel's pool -- constantly surrounded by a team of bodyguards with Special Forces training. (That means they can put you down faster than you can read this sentence!)
- Madonna and her own large phalanx of bodyguards enter and exit the hotel (usually just to go to the United Center) via a hidden loading zone -- ironically exposing the entertainer to the stench of rotting garbage awaiting the trash haulers.
- While their mom secretly sneaks in and out, Lourdes and Rocco have made several appearances in the hotel's lobby -- including a highly emotional scene when the kids first saw their cousins, aunts and uncles arriving from Michigan.
- As she has in every previous visit, Madonna's purchases have reportedly brought some smiles to the faces of several Oak Street merchants.
- There's a good reason it's been slim pickin's on Madonna sightings around town. Her luxurious hotel digs give her few reasons to want to leave. Along with its elegantly appointed living rooms and sleeping accommodations, Madonna's enormous suite includes a full-size dining room and kitchen, a large open terrace complete with a Jazuzzi, plus a specially designed exercise room, outfitted with equipment installed to match her specific requests for yoga and pilates workouts.
- Even at the hotel, few staff members have seen the world-famous star, except for a few carefully screened room-service employees and spa workers brought in to provide various in-suite treatments, like massages and facials.
- Along with Madonna's family and staff accommodations, a number of rooms are occupied by the film crew who are closely following the Reinvention Tour -- making the documentary expected to be released next year. Reportedly, the Chicago filming has heavily focused on Tony Ciccone, apparently getting Madonna's dad's take on things.
(source: Chicago Sun-Times)
12 July - Exclusive: the American Life sessions
We heard a lot of rumours about the tracks that were recorded for the American Life album but didn't make the selection. Mad-Eyes reader Ellectrika has obtained - through a friend at Maverick - a scan of a promo disc which features some of these tracks. While we're unable to provide these audio tracks, this scan at least confirms the titles (click to enlarge). We recognize some early versions of some American Life album tracks, such as 'American Life' (obviously an extended version), 'The Process', 'Nobody Knows Me', 'An Easy Ride', 'Intervention' and 'So Stupid' (2 versions). A title that we heard before, 'My Ejector', is featured as well as the new titles 'I Can't Place It', 'The Supabitch Parade', 'Hare Krishna', 'Little Piece of Nothin'' and 'Mindtrappa'. No further details on these tracks is available. It's unlikely any of these tracks will ever see the light of day, just like the many other ditched tracks of previous albums.
12 July - Re-Invention Ball in Toronto July 16th
Music brings the people together for a special edition of Grapefruit.
Grapefruit Promotions is pleased to present the Re-Invention Ball – the official Toronto launch party for Madonna's Re-Invention Tour and a fundraiser for Casey House.
The Ball starts spinning on Friday, July 16 at Tequila Lounge, located at 794 Bathurst Street (corner of Bloor and Bathurst). Doors open to media and special guests at 9 p.m., then to the public at 10 p.m.
DJ Aural and DJ Shane will take guests on a musical journey as they spin a career-spanning set packed full of hits, remixes, live tracks and classic album cuts. Grapefruit is also flying in Madiva - star of MTV, U.K. Television and peer of Madonna herself. New York's most infamous Madonna impersonator is sure to dazzle the crowd with some of her greatest numbers In addition to the theatrics, guests can also win posters, DVD's, gift certificates, clothing and an all-inclusive vacation package for two. Prizes for the event have been donated by Grapefruit's generous sponsors in support of Casey House.
Tickets can be purchased at Music Authority (95 Maitland St.) starting on June 18. Tickets are $20 in advance and priced higher at the door. Tickets are very limited and are sold on a first-come first-serve basis. For all the up-to-date information on tickets, sponsors, dates, Madiva and Madonna herself, please visit www.shanepercy.com. (source: Madonna.com)
12 July - The baby rumours return
She's turning 46 next month, but Madonna is determined to try for one more child.
"She has it all planned out to a T," a friend tells us. "She began visiting her fertility doctor in Los Angeles in late March. Her tour was already planned for the summer, but Madonna wanted to undergo tests to find out if she would be able to get pregnant and carry a baby at her age."
The singer admitted in a recent interview that she worried that "because of my exercising and this, that and the other, I've kind of screwed up my cycle a bit."
But source says her doctors have now told her she's in good shape to conceive. Her Madgesty is also said to have sought the blessing of her Kabbalah counselor, Rabbi Yehuda Berg. Berg told her "that more kids would be a great thing for her spiritual growth," according to our source. "He said, 'Go for it.'"
The singer, who has taken the Hebrew name Esther, has one daughter, Lourdes, 7, by former lover Carlos Leon, and a son, Rocco, 3, by husband Guy Ritchie. All of her little ones stand to be well-dressed: In the fall, Mom is coming out with a line of children's clothing inspired by her storybook "The English Roses." She's also working on an animated film based on that book, a CBS concert special and a theatrical-release documentary about her tour. Let's hope she schedules some baby-making time with Guy. (source: New York Daily News)
12 July - Next Best Thing director blames Madonna for heart attack
The Material Girl was such a prima Madonna on the set of John Schlesinger's last film that she may have driven the Oscar-winning director to heart failure.
The director of "Midnight Cowboy" and "Billy Liar," who died in July 2003, blamed Madonna for his 1999 heart attack. That damning charge lives on in letters and production notes he wrote while directing Madonna in the $25 million flop The Next Best Thing, the London Telegraph reported.
After suffering a heart attack just after finishing the film, an enraged Schlesinger fired off a missive from his hospital bed, laying some of the blame for his collapse on Madonna and producer Tom Rosenberg for agreeing to her demands.
"I am f---ing angry with Tom being influenced by Madonna," Schlesinger wrote to his agent. "I do not for one moment think that their behavior has not added to the reasons I have ended up here," he said.
In the film, Madonna plays a yoga instructor who is made pregnant by her gay best friend, played by Rupert Everett. One memo hints that the actress wanted producers to "beautify" 34 shots of her with computer-generated wizardry. Later, Madonna lobbied for the removal of a pivotal scene that she felt was too "gay" - much to the disgust of Schlesinger, who was homosexual.
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, told the Telegraph last week she was surprised by Schlesinger's remarks. "No one has ever questioned her level of professional behavior," Rosenberg said. (source: New York Daily News)
09 July - ICON Re-Invent Yourself contest
Madonna has an unbelievable gift for ICON members! The chance to win a Gibson Guitar identical to the one that she plays in the Re-Invention Tour – except for you it's signed by the lady herself!
It's time to put your love for Madonna to the test and Re-Invent yourself! Here is the contest: Madonna has had many faces and looks through the years. Sometimes brunette, sometimes girlie blond sometimes dressed with highly sophisticated outfits but also sometimes very pure and natural.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to pick up one of those looks and re-invent yourself by turning your own appearance into Madonna's! No, you are not dreaming, we are asking you to try and look like Madonna herself!
No matter if you're a boy or a girl, strike a pose dressed like Madonna and sending us your Re-Invented shot, as well as the original Madonna image you decided to copy.
For more details about the competition please visit ICON - the closing date is 31 July. (source: Madonna.com)
08 July - Madonna tops the book charts for the third time
Callaway Arts & Entertainment is pleased to announce that Madonna's third children's book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, will debut at No. 7 on The New York Times' July 11, 2004 best-seller list three weeks after its June 21 release. Yakov and the Seven Thieves will be Madonna's third book in a row to hit The New York Times best-seller list in the children's picture book category.
Madonna's first two children's books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody's Apples, both debuted at No. 1 on the best-seller list of The New York Times, and remained on the list for 18 and 10 weeks, respectively. Both books have appeared in 38 languages, plus a Braille edition, and in more than 110 countries worldwide, including England, France, Germany, China, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Yakov and the Seven Thieves, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32- page jacketed hardcover. The book's evocative images were painted by Gennady Spirin, an award-winning artist, who has illustrated 33 previous children's books. Madonna says Yakov and the Seven Thieves "is a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven -- no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others."
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, headquartered in New York, is the originating publisher of Madonna's children's books and has licensed book rights through The Wylie Agency to 42 distinguished houses, including Gallimard Jeunesse in France, Penguin Books for Young Readers in the U.K., and Hanser Verlag in Germany. The book is distributed in the United States by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Publisher and CEO of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Nicholas Callaway says, "The response to Madonna's books has been overwhelming. She strikes a chord with both parents and children, creating stories that both speak to them and entertain them."
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media -- book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design. Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the third of five children's books by Madonna. "Each book deals with issues that all children confront," she says."Hopefully there is a lesson in each book that will help kids turn painful or scary situations into learning experiences. I hope [they] inspire kids of all ages -- even grown-up ones."
MADONNA'S FOURTH CHILDREN'S BOOK, THE ADVENTURES OF ABDI, WILL BE RELEASED WORLDWIDE ON NOVEMBER 8, 2004. (source: PR Newswire)
05 July - Lisbon "not cancelled nor confirmed"
Yesterday John Giddings, the European Coordinator of Madonna's Reinvention World Tour, was in Portugal to attend a concert by Phil
Collins and made a brief comment about Madonna's Portuguese concert being "not confirmed nor cancelled".
This is the first time someone from Madonna's camp talks about the situation (the announcement of the cancellation of the shows came
earlier this week through a statement from the Mana Church) and it also seems to confirm that negotiations are being made with other Portuguese promoters to make the show happen.
It is an impasse that has been lasting for one month: is Madonna coming to Portugal or not? "The concert is not cancelled nor confirmed", said yesterday John Giddings, the European coordinator of the Tour. The story so far looks like a novel coming to an end, Madonna and Mana Church being two names impossible to separate. In Portugal the star made two worlds becoming one: the devotes of the Mana Church and the one of her fans. The thing that unites them is the music: the pop music of Madonna and the religious one of the Mana. We met collector fans and fans who signed petitions and talked to Jorge Tadeu, founder of the Chruch. They are two types of "fanatism" (in a positive meaning: "of fans") that call the" opposing emotions ", according one of Madonna's fans: "the religious one appeals to the fragility of the people; a star as Madonna appeals to the diversity: she gives music to us "
Until a month ago, it was unlikely that Madonna had ever heard about the Mana Church, and was also unlikely that the Mana Church was releasing press statement about Madonna claiming that the agent of the singer the Europe, John Giddings, cancelled the concert.
But yesterday Giddings laconically said to the Pùblico "the concert is not cancelled nor confirmed". And he did not want to give more
explanations. On the other hand, according to some rumours, to promote the concert it will now be Ritmos e Blues, and not Tournée, the
promoter who has been organizing the concert of Madonna for 12 of September in the Atlantic Pavilion, in Lisbon until now. Nuno Braancamp, responsible for Ritmos e Blues, had no reply.
The same place, the Atlantic Pavilion, and practically in the same dates, have been reserved for two mega-events that will attract thousands of people, and will include the recording of DVD and Compact Disc.
The first Madonna concert in Portugal - the last one of her Re-Invention Tour, is scheduled to be recorded in DVD and should include images from the live show and rehearsals. The convention and commemoration of the 20 years of the Mana Church, between 8 and 11 of September, is also going to be recorded and broadcasted by the Maná Sat channel and the organization also wants to record a DVD and a Compact Disc with four international Christian bands and a choir with orchestra.
Although there is no actual overlapping of dates, the concert of Madonna requires two additional days for set up and rehearsals, and one of them is indeed day 11, the last one of the Church convention, and it is likely that the DVD will be recorded in the previous days.
None of the parts involved intends to abdicate of the Atlantic Pavilion: because of its characteristics, the Madonna show can only take place in the Atlantic because it involves, for example, 68 tons of equipment suspended from the ceiling - and the pavilion is the only venue in
Portugal with the capacity to receive the Re-Invention Tour. On the part of the Mana - that reserved the space before Tournée - both the church and the Atlantic Pavillion declared that a change of venue "is is of question". However, the founder of Mana, Jorge Tadeu, refuses to
collaborate with Ricardo Casimiro, responsible of Tournée, accusing him of "arrogance" and "threats"; Casimiro answered saying that it finds
"this all surreal" and that he had never spoken with Tadeu. Tadeu admits to being looking for an agreement with John Giddings, in a
collaborative effort to set the dates in the right way so that both events can be carried out. (source: Publico, thanks to David Figueiredo and MIR))
05 July - Madonna hires back expert
Madonna has hired a chiropractor to help her straighten her posture following the nightly strenuous dance moves on her current re-Invention tour. The Vogue singer, 45, has splashed out $252,000 (GBP140,000) for the Los Angeles back expert to ensure her spine remains in perfect condition. A source says, "Madonna's back is causing her serious problems. "After performances, the chiropractor will crack her bones and straighten her spine." (source: Contact Music)
03 July - Lisbon concerts cancelled (?)
While there's no official confirmation, press agency AFP claims that the Lisbon concerts have been cancelled:
"Pop superstar Madonna has cancelled what would have been her first-ever concert in Portugal after a row with an evangelical church, local media reported.
The superstar was scheduled to bring her "ReInvention" concert tour to the 12,000-seat Atlantic Pavilion in Lisbon on September 12, according to concert promoters Tournee who booked the space in April for September 9-13.
But after the concert had been announced, the Lisbon-based Mana Christian Church said it had already booked the grounds for September 8-11 to hold a "Convention of Faith."
The church said it had reserved the grounds in February and it has refused to change the booking despite pleas from fans and an offer of a 25,000 euro (30,000 dollar) donation from Tournee.
Jorge Tadeu, a self-proclaimed apostle and founder of the church, told daily tabloid Correio da Manha last month he was "revolted" by those who "want to exchange Jesus for Madonna".
"In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath," he added. "We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana church, but is part of a wider battle between the devil and Christ."
The Mana Church said in a statement issued Friday to national news agency Lusa that it had been informed by the singer's legal representative in Europe, John Giddings, that the concert would no longer take place.
Madonna kicked off her latest world tour, her first in three years, in May in Los Angeles.
Her return to the concert stage has received mixed reviews, with some suggesting the 45-year-old mother of two had erred by swapping her trademark sexuality for a new-found spirituality."
03 July - Madonna to expose the shady side of the fashion world
Madonna, has decided to expose the shady wing of the fashion world by buying the film rights to the book MODEL: THE UGLY BUSINESS OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN, which she will produce under her own production company. "The screenplay has been written by DAVID BRENDEL and the film is tentatively being given a release date of next year (05). At the moment Madonna is looking around for beautiful women who can play some of the world's most famous supermodels, while she is obviously hoping as many of them as possible can be prevailed upon to appear in cameo roles." Rate the music quoted a source as saying. (source: Yahoo! India News)
03 July- Concertgoers desperately seek to look like pop icon
Madonna's concert tour may be called reinvention, but for her die-hard fans, the show was more about reminiscing. Her serious Material Girls and Boy Toys came to her Sunday-night concert at the Worcester Centrum - her last show there is tonight - decked out in fashions inspired by their favorite Madonna era. As Madonna concert virgin Sylvie Kulike put it, "You've got to represent a little bit - even if it's Worcester." Among the more memorable Madonna wannabes:
Lauren Girouard, 20, a student from Acushnet
Madonna incarnation: "The Material Girl." Girouard, who attended the show with her brother Brandon, wore a tight black lace mini with a ribbon choker and black stilettos. "I was contemplating wearing a cowboy hat, but that was mixing,'' she said.
Important Madonna accessory: Pink bustier handbag with lace trim.
Madonna as family entertainment: "Our dad was a huge fan," said Girouard, who recalled doing Madonna puzzles as a kid. Added Brandon: "We watched The Blonde Ambition Tour (on video)."
Sofia Gagua, 26, marketing analyst from Needham
Madonna incarnation: "Who's That Girl.'' Black satin corset, gray pleated miniskirt, black opaque tights and platform sandals. "I tried to figure out what she would wear,'' said the Russian-born Gagua.
Important Madonna accessory: Rhinestone cross pin.
J.D. Donner, 37, hair salon owner from Norwich, Conn.
Madonna incarnation: "Thoroughly Modern Madge.'' Donner said his outfit - black sequin top, cropped cargos and lace-up heels - echoes the superstar's current, more sophisticated look. "It's more age appropriate, but yet fun,'' he said.
Important Madonna accessory: Platinum "Reinvention'' ticket. For $700, he got a seat in the eighth row and a pass to the VIP party.
Madonna every day: Donner said his ensemble is the kind of thing he wears every day for work at Antenna and Himma, his two salons.
Rebecca Burcher, 31, a real estate broker from Milford, N.H., and Chelsea Bradway, 31, a teacher from Southboro
Madonna incarnation: Bradway did "Desperately Seeking Susan.'' Burcher was "so totally '80s - the best era ever.''
Madonna marker/milestone: Burcher and Bradway have been best friends since 1982 - just before, they pointed out, Madonna's first hit.
Important Madonna accessory: "I was always partial to the necklaces,'' said Bradway, who dressed like this in middle school and, unbeknownst to her husband, saved the clothes.
Julie Steele and Megan Howe, both 20, students from Manchester, N.H.
Madonna incarnation: Early 1980s - "Like a Virgin.'' The young duo went big on the details: oversized earrings, hair bows and accessories. "We thought, 'Oh my God, we have to go all-out,' '' Howe said.
Madonna karma: "I came out when her first record came out,'' Steele said.
Important Madonna accessory: Steele's pleather jacket and hair accessories.
Sylvie Kulik, 31, nanny from Boston
Madonna incarnation: Gap ad. "It was a good look for her,'' said Kulik, who sported a white tank top over a black bra, jeans and a black cowboy hat.
Important Madonna accessory: The bling, including a "SEXY" rhinestone necklace. Kulik also wanted to wear a wig. ``But (my friends) said it was too ratty,'' she said.
(source: Boston Herald)
03 July - Madonna reserves best seats for fellow Kabbalists
Madonna has reportedly reserved the best seats on her world tour to members of the Kabbalah. The singer, a devout follower of the mystic branch of Judaism, has dedicated 50 free seats at each gig on her Reinvention tour to fellow Kabbalists - but, according to American website PageSix, many members are cashing in on the star by selling the tickets for huge profit. PageSix discovered Avner Mader- the head of the Boston Kabbalah Center - offering tickets on website Craigslist.org, with the following message: "Madonna VIP Tickets $300-600 - Tax Deductible... VIP tickets, best seats in the house." "If you have been wanting to see this show, then this is the way. All monies go to a non-profit foundation, and your donation is tax deductible. Enjoy the show with the best seats in the house, and get a tax write-off!" (source: Irish Examiner)
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