Madonna news - Sep. 2004

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15 September - On Tour with Madonna: Mike McKnight and MOTU
This year's Mega Summer Tour season is in full swing, and Madonna is on the road again to promote her most recent album release, American Life. Like many top artists, Madonna mixes studio-produced tracks to support her highly choreographed live performances and the musicians on stage.
Mike McKnight produces those tracks, and makes sure they sound great at every show. In fact, Mike has programmed every major Madonna tour using a MOTU system driven by Digital Performer. We recently caught up with him during Madonna's Re-Invention tour, in an interview directly beneath the stage, to get the latest details about his setup.
Check for the complete interview.

15 September - Keyboards on the Re-Invention Tour
When Madonna goes on tour, it’s news. E! News Live will keep you updated on Mads’ devotion to Kabbalah and the sometimes bizarre related tidbits — like her adoption of the name Esther for the purposes of her studies — or the Swear Jar she's said to keep backstage to collect fines from anyone using profanity in her presence (this interview would've been spendy had Ms. M been within earshot). A Madonna tour is news not just for the celebrity dirt factor, the predictably controversial stage imagery, or the staggering sums of money the tour spends and earns. No. When Madonna goes out, she goes big. Big stage sets, big video, big lighting, and, most importantly, big talent in the band.
Rumored to be her farewell to touring, the Re-Invention Tour finds the keyboard lineup intact from the last tour: Marcus Brown is the principal keyboardist. Musical director Stuart Price divides his time onstage between playing bass guitar and sculpting synth sounds. Master of Everything Mike McKnight occupies what might be the hottest seat in the touring sphere as the guy who makes it all run and plays supplementary keyboard parts from his sub-stage bunker.
After tussling with a security crew that would’ve done Tom Ridge proud (at one point a guard hassled McKnight because his badge didn’t entitle him to escort us anywhere), we sat down with Brown, McKnight, and keyboard tech Peter Wiltz.
Check for the complete interview. (source:

15 September - Madonna / Radio Zet Promotion
The world's Queen of Pop, Madonna, is going to feature in the biggest ever promotion campaign, focussed on one artist, in central Europe.
Madonna will promote Radio Zet, a Polish national commercial station, owned by a consortium owned by Polish shareholders, the French Lagardere Group and Advent International.
In a TV spot, based on one of her hits, Madonna will appear alongside Poland's leading actor Zbigniew Zamachowski, internationally known for his leading role in Kieslowski's 'White (Three Colours/Trois Couleurs)'.
Says Radio Zet president & program director Robert Kozyra: 'Madonna is a very powerful brand in the world and Radio Zet is a very powerful brand in Poland. This symbiosis will bring massive results for both of us.'
The campaign will start Monday September 13 on all national TV channels in Poland, in the best selling glossy magazines, on billboards and on Radio Zet itself.
Kozyra adds: 'From the moment the news of the campaign broke in Poland, we have been bombarded with interest from both Polish and international media and of course from ordinary Poles.'
Preparations for the campaign have taken 10 months. More than 100 people in Europe and America were working on the campaign,which will be seen by Poland's 38 mln population. (source:
~ Madonna wasn't involved in the making of the commercial. It's only a virtual remake of the Music video, in which Ali G is replaced by a Polish actor.

15 September - Tour documentary to premiere in Cannes
Madonna at the 1991 Cannes Festival The film crew that has recorded some re-Invention shows for the upcoming documentary has confirmed to us that the movie will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It will be the second Madonna film that premieres in Cannes. On May 13th, 1991 Truth Or Dare also opened at the festival (under the European title 'In Bed With Madonna'). The 58th Cannes Film Festival will take place in Cannes, France from May 11th till May 22nd, 2005.

15 September - Madonna to arrive in Israel today
After all the media hype and the on-again, off-again announcements, megastar singer Madonna is finally scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday, just in time to celebrate Rosh Hashana.
If all goes according to plan, Madonna, who is participating in the international congress of the Kabbalah Center, will be accompanied by members of her family, and will be surrounded by some 2,000 participants from 22 countries.
The Kabbalah Center has booked approximately 1,200 hotel rooms in Tel Aviv and Tiberias for the event.
On Wednesday, Madonna is due to visit Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, where a left-wing women's group will hold a vigil opposing her presence in "occupied territory."
Hundreds of Kabbalah enthusiasts are expected to join Madonna at Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch.
Madonna's PR agency, Arad Communications, has requested that journalists covering events with Madonna wear white and not bring writing utensils or cameras to the press conference.
Madonna also asked Jews not to violate the High Holy Days to see her, and she specifically requested non-Jewish photographers.
Heading the American delegation is the center's Rabbi Phillip Berg, who has served as Madonna's spiritual guru during her well-publicized Kabbalah studies.
The Web site Israel 21c is reporting that Madonna will be the main attraction at an event called Spirituality for Kids, set to take place next Sunday. The 45-year-old singer, along with husband Guy Ritchie and other high-profile American celebrities, will join Israeli political leaders including Labor Party Chairman Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom as part of a Kabbalah learning retreat in Tel Aviv over the High Holy Days, the Kabbalah Center announced.
"We need to honor these heroic and courageous children. A gathering of this magnitude can have the power to diminish the volatile gap between Israeli and Arab communities to help the people recognize that love is stronger than hate and that peace is the focus for the future," said Berg in a press release.
The event will include speeches from Madonna, Elies Jabol – a Christian Arab who is the head of House and Hope and peace agreement leader in the Middle East – Sufi Sheikh Manasra, and Druse Sheikh Abulrocan.
Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra, who is also the interim minister for internal security, plans to meet the diva in the former capacity, but also has a good excuse to meet her in the latter, given that the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, where she is booked to stay in the 24th-floor presidential suite, will be saturated with security personnel.
In an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday, Ezra said that it would not hurt if the singer, who is to spend five days in Israel, were to be photographed with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, but did not know whether the schedules of the prime minister and the material girl would permit it.
The key beneficiaries in the hotel industry will be the David Intercontinental and Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv and the Galei Kinneret and Hof Gai in Tiberias. Most of the participants in the congress will be in Israel for 12 days.
Israelis who wants to swell the ranks of the congress participants can attend two days of services and eat 10 meals at the David Intercontinental for NIS 4,000. Accommodation is not included.
Catholic-born Madonna was last in Israel in 1993 for a concert appearance. She came to Jerusalem, spent less than an hour in her luxury suite at the King David Hotel, and immediately headed for Tel Aviv. (source: Jerusalem Post)

15 September - Jewish photographers banned from Israel pelgrimage
Organisers of Madonna's spiritual retreat to Israel requested that Jewish photographers do not cover her visit so they don't break religious laws and that all journalists wear white.
The self-proclaimed Material Girl, a keen afficionado of the ancient Jewish mystical tradition known Kabbalah, is due in Israel Wednesday for a three-day retreat which begins with a traditional blessing ceremony to welcome in the New Year.
But organisers from the Kabbalah Centre have made clear they will not accept any photographers of Jewish origin in order not to encourage Jews to break a religious edict banning work over the holiday, a spokesman said.
Jewish reporters may attend the ceremony but they will not be allowed to write inside the synagogue set up inside Madonna's Tel Aviv hotel.
And any journalist wanting to attend any of the events must be dressed in white.
"The Kabbalah Centre does not want (Jewish photographers) to do anything which will break the religious rules over the holidays," spokesman Lior Horev told AFP.
Commenting on the dress code, Horev said "all Kabalah Centre members would be wearing white for traditional religious reasons" and organisers did not want the media to stand out by wearing other coloured-clothes.
Madonna turned to Kabbalah in 1997 after coming into contact with the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre which, according to its website, offers a path to spiritual enlightenment through an eclectic mix of Orthodox Jewish tradition, visualisation and positive thinking.
Two months ago, she took the Hebrew name Esther and is now reportedly observing the Jewish sabbath. (source: AFP)

15 September - Madonna wraps up "Re-Invention tour" in Portugal
Pop superstar Madonna was set to wrap up her world "Re-Invention Tour" with a second sold-out show in Lisbon after more than three months on the road.
Since kicking off her tour, her first in three years, in Los Angeles in May, more than 900,000 fans have seen the one-hour-40-minute show which has also taken the 46-year-old pop diva to London, Paris, Washington and her former home New York where she performed for six nights.
As in all other cities where she has performed, tickets for the concerts in the Portuguese capital sold out within hours of going on sale. The pop star wowed the 15,000-strong audience at the riverside Atlantic Pavillon in Lisbon on Monday night, her first-ever performance in Portugal.
"People kept applauding, it was complete hysteria. Sometimes you couldn't even hear the music," 35-year-old Paulo Figueiredo, who wore a kilt to the concert to mimic the star, told AFP.
Some fans had camped outside of the venue since Saturday to ensure they had a close-up look at the singer as she performed classics such as Vogue, Frozen and Papa Don't Preach.
Many heeded a call by a local fan group who had asked people to turn out for the concert dressed in white, while others wore large crucifixes to imitate the look used by the star in her earlier "Like a Virgin" days.
Among those in attendance was Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes who watched the show with one of his sons. "It was a fantastic show. I am very happy that it took place in Portugal," he told reporters afterwards.
Images from both Lisbon concerts were being filmed to be turned into a DVD of the tour to be released in 2005.
Unlike in previous Madonna tours which made headlines for their sexual themes, the singer adopted a more spiritual approach in her latest tour, touching on themes of war and famine which was not always well received by critics, with some -- especially in Britain -- accusing her of preaching.
Throughout the duration of the show, anti-war video images of helicopters, tanks, atomic blasts and wounded children were broadcast on giant screens as well as dummies of George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein.
Famished African children featured in the backdrop to accompany her version of John Lennon's Imagine, which closed with a Palestinian and Israeli child walking side by side.
While praise for the special effects and high production standards were almost unanimous, some fans faulted the singer for not interacting much with the audience.
"As a pop concert I think it is the best thing I have seen. But I thought she was a bit cold," said 36-year-old lawyer Miguel Feldmann.
Once her current "Re-Invention" world tour is closed, Madonna plans a pilgrimage-retreat to Israel in observance of her new Kabbalah beliefs. The pop diva began looking into Kabbalah -- or at least a modern version of the Jewish mystical tradition -- in 1997, and is now one of its most high-profile proponents. (source: AFP)

14 September - Madonna ends "Re-Invention tour" with sell-out concerts in Portugal
Madonna performs Vogue in Lisbon Pop diva Madonna was to end her world "Re-Invention Tour" after more than three months on the road with two hotly-anticipated concerts in Lisbon. Tickets had sold out for Monday and Tuesday nights concerts in the 12,000-seat Atlantic Pavillion in the Portuguese capital within hours of going on sale. Portuguese fans had lobbied for Madonna to make her first ever trip to Portugal organising an Internet petition begging her to visit the country. But the concerts almost never took place due to a row with the evangelical church about renting the theatre. "The goddess of pop is among us," "At last she is here", and "The biggest show ever in Portugal" screamed the headlines Monday ahead of the evening date. Hundreds of Spanish fans are expected to be among the audience on Monday and Tuesday night as Madonna did not play any dates in Spain during the world tour which began back in May in the United States. The Re-Invention Tour is the first for Madonna since 2001, and also took her to Manchester, London, Dublin and Paris. (source: AFP)

14 September - Site updates
The Mad-Eyes team is back from the concerts in Paris and Arnhem and we've been busy updating the site. Check out our tour section for a full show review of Paris, diary updates for Paris, Arnhem and Lisbon, a high quality picture gallery for Paris, and new tour wallpapers.

13 September - Esther makes appearance in tour book
La Toilette d'Esther Esther in the tour book Madonna is a subtle joker. After all the media buzz about Madonna supposedly changing her name to Esther, she found nothing better than to make Esther do an appearance in her tour book. Just check the page with the text "How could it hurt you when it looks so good". The painting is a piece from Théodore Chassériau, called... "La Toilette d'Esther"! The original painting, in which Esther prepares herself before being presented to king Assuérus, can be seen at the Louvre in Paris. Our good friend Marcin who works at the Louvre, has send us a picture of the original work.

13 September - Madonna releases special seats to her fans
Madonna has just released special seats to the public for her last two shows in Lisbon on September 13th & 14th! Normally reserved for her friends & family, Madonna is offering her favorite seats to her beloved fans. This is a once in a life time chance to be seated where Madonna can look into your eyes and sing directly to you! If you are interested in purchasing tickets please email Fan Club coordinator Johann before Sept 11, 11.00am, pacific time. Tickets start at €100 and range to €150. Hurry! There are not a lot of tickets left in these great locations. (source:

13 September - I'll Remember to appear on Leeza Gibbons comp.
Entertainment news personality Leeza Gibbons will put her name on a compilation CD to help raise money for her Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, titled Leeza Gibbons Presents Reflections, on Sept. 14. The disc, which will be released by Top Sail Productions and distributed by WEA, will include tracks from Madonna ("I'll Remember"), Sarah McLachlan ("I Will Remember You"), Celine Dion ("Because You Loved Me"), Josh Groban ("To Where You Are"), Barry Manilow ("Memory") and Reba McEntire ("Moving Oleta"). Top Sail will donate 100% of the project's profits to the two memory disease foundations. Gibbons became active in Alzheimer's work after both her mother and grandmother were diagnosed with the disease. (source:

13 September - Beer named on Madonna's honor
JW Lees, a brewer in Manchester, England, has named a beer -- Material Girl Ale -- in Madonna's honor. A crate of the new brew was delivered to the pop star's dressing room during her Re-Invention tour, but it is not known whether Madonna, who is known to enjoy a pint of Guinness, enjoyed the 7.5 percent alcohol strength beer, Sky News reported Saturday. The Material Girl Ale bottles are labelled with a similar design to that of Madonna's Immaculate Collection greatest hits album. "She played the Hacienda in 1994 and we thought that it would be a good way to mark her first gig back in Manchester," a spokesperson for JW Lees told The Sun. "We know she likes an ale and thought this one was a little bit special." (source: TeenMusic)

13 September - Madonna throws low-key party for Guy
Superstar Madonna threw a birthday party for her film-maker husband Guy Ritchie at the weekend - in a room at the back of a London pub. The Material Girl wanted to make sure Ritchie's 36th birthday was one to remember, so she decided to forego glitz and glamour in favour of drinking ale with his friends. The 46-year-old singer paid £30 (€44) to hire the venue in The Punchbowl pub in the British capital's exclusive Mayfair district. An insider says: "The party was great fun but not the type of do you'd expect Madonna to organise. "She drank ale all night and really let her hair down. She had hired a two-piece Irish band and sang along to all the songs with everyone else. "Madonna left by herself just before 1am and she was pretty merry. She could have hired The Ritz and had champagne flowing all night but she knows what Guy likes. "Guy said it was the best night out he'd had in ages. He stayed on until 3.30am and was in a right old state, telling all his pals how much he loved them and singing at the top of his voice." (source: Ireland Online)

13 September - Madonna estate 'open to Quakers'
Madonna has stopped ramblers walking across most of her estate. Ramblers may not be welcome on parts of pop star Madonna's £9 million estate, but a group of Quakers say they are. A Quaker burial ground, visited by local members for centuries, lies amid the 1,132-acre Ashcombe Estate, on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. Madonna partly won a challenge to rules allowing ramblers on to her estate, but the Quakers say she has not tried to block them.
Quaker Audrey Acton said: "We have had no obstruction from Madonna." The 60-strong Shaftesbury Preparative Meeting scatters ashes of the dead, during funerals, at the historic site.
It also stages a pilgrimage and worship gathering there every 10 years. The next one is scheduled for 2010. In 2000, there were around 200 Quakers, many of whom had come from other meetings in the area. Madonna is said to be "OK with that", according to a member of the group. The burial site on the land, which belongs to Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie, was established in 1663 when the then-owner of the estate, William Fry, became a Quaker. At the time, Quakers were being persecuted and had no other safe place to lay their dead to rest.
Ms Acton, a member of the Quaker group in Shaftesbury, said: "We are not interested in Madonna's estate as such, we are only interested in the burial ground." In June, the Ritchies won their bid to prevent ramblers from walking across most of their estate. They claimed at a public inquiry in May that their human rights would be infringed. The Planning Inspectorate ruling means walkers are not able to go within sight of the couple's home, sitting in the estate's grounds. A spokesman for the pop star said he was unable to comment on any land issues. (source: BBC)

13 September - CBS broadcast cancelled
Even Madonna doesn't always get what she wants. A deal for the pop diva to air one of her concerts on CBS has fallen through. Madonna wanted the special to air for more than two hours and be commercial-free, CBS entertainment spokesman Chris Ender said. But the network wasn't willing to meet her demands. CBS had expected to tape the special during the European leg of the Material Girl's "Re-Invention" tour. (source: Chicago Tribune)
~ So the CBS broadcast seems to have been cancelled. Meanwhile, there are many rumours about the tour DVD. It's been confirmed that the Lisbon concert will be filmed for the DVD but no release date has been set yet. A hristmas release seems unlikely and rather a spring 2005 release can be expected. The Paris shows have been filmed for the documentary, which should also follow in 2005.

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