Madonna news - May 2004


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14 May - More on upcoming box set
Stereomover @ MadonnaVillage reports: "[The box set] is slated for late June/early July release. And will more likely than not, contain 3 or more discs. I don't know what the discs contain yet as no one at Warner has returned my mails all week... shit goin' on, i suppose, don't know... Some names involved: Peter Rauhofer, Richard Vission, Akufen, Johnny Rocks, Blow Up, Calderone, William Orbit, Tracy Young. No title yet. No price yet. Hell, not even a catalog number. It will contain new tracks (THAT we already knew), and will spawn at least one single to promote it. The video will be the LIVE performance. Madonna wanted [Easy Ride] as a single... Warner did not. Both agreed on a live performance... the details are still being worked out.

14 May - Madonna.com reports tour documentary
Two days ago MTV reported Jonas Akerlund will be shooting a documentary of Madonna's tour, which later will be released to theatres. Madonna.com has now reported this news item in their news section, which adds to its credibility.

14 May - Rocco gets ritual haircut
Pop star Madonna's 3-year-old son, Rocco, recently had his long blonde hair sheared off in accordance with the Kabbalah. According to the tenets of the religion, an offshoot of Judaism, a boy's hair must remain untouched until he reaches the age of three, London's Daily Mail said Thursday. At that time, the child's hair may be cut as a symbol of his first step into manhood. Although many people plan the first haircut for the child's third birthday, others wait until the anniversary of the death of one of the movement's founders, a 16th century rabbi, on May 9. Rocco's third birthday was on Aug. 11 last year, but didn't start sporting his new look until this week when he was spotted in at a Los Angeles restaurant with his dad Guy Ritchie. It is a big deal to cut the child's hair when the time comes -- lots of men in the community gather round and each of them cut a bit off, said one Kabbalah insider. (source: Big News Network)

14 May - Madonna gets her man
During more than three decades as a producer, Michael Seligman has amassed enough anecdotes to fill a book or two. Or three. While he can't reveal most of them, Seligman does recall one incident involving Madonna he can relate.
In 1990, the year of Dick Tracy, Madonna is scheduled to sing the film's Oscar-nominated song Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man) during the "Academy Awards" broadcast. "And she worked her tail off for that song," recalled Seligman, who served as the show's supervising producer. "She worked with a choreographer. She worked for three weeks straight every day, day and night, refining this number. She's a perfectionist."
The problem is not everything works perfectly during a live broadcast. "We rehearsed everything and it went fine," said Seligman. The production calls for Madonna to rise from below the stage on a lift through a hole in the stage floor. Once Madonna is on stage, a stage engineer in the rafters will be instructed to switch on her microphone and she'll sing. "So it's time for Madonna to sing and the stage manager with his headset on tells the stage engineer to switch her mike on. But nothing happens. He repeats himself. Nothing happens. The mike doesn't go on," said Seligman. "So the stage manager tells Madonna in this nervous kind of voice that the stage engineer is not answering his call and her mike isn't being put on. 'But don't worry,' he said. 'You'll be handed a mike when you get up on stage. It'll be fine.'"
Madonna apparently disagreed. "As the lift is about to go up, she grabs the stage manager by the neck," said Seligman. "Now the lift is going up and the stage manager is going up by his throat. She finally drops him, grabs the mike and does the number perfectly." Seligman later learns that the heat from the lights in the rafters affected the engineer and he fell asleep. "He looks for me in the truck after the number and I told him that stuff happens," said the producer. "We became friends after that."
And the song that Madonna sang? It won the Oscar. (source: Daily News Transcript)

14 May - Stage creates VIP pits *rumour*
MadonnaTribe reports: "Several rumours have been circulating recently about the chance that the stage of Madonna's re-Invention tour will have a special shape to include two "vip pits" areas. MadonnaTribe sources are now able to confirm the rumour, but - not to bust everybody's excitement - we understand that the only way to get in the pits will be through promotional giveaways. Well, another quite expensive way to "get into the pit" actually exist, and as far it is really expensive, the good thing is that the proceeds are going to charity. Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, the same who produced the 1996 compilation that features the Madonna & Joe Henry duet "Guilty by Association", is indeed currently auctioning on ebay a pair of tickets in the VIP pit at Madonna's show on Thursday, June 24, 2004 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Here's what they say about it: "As if being at the front of Madison Square Garden for one of Madonna's shows isn't enough winners will also get a signed photo of Madonna. Madonna has always been a wonderful supporter of Sweet Relief and now is your chance to help her help struggling musicians. Bid now and help Madonna support artists in need. This charity auction was sanctioned by Madonna." "

13 May - French tour theme
Madonna is planning a French theme for her forthcoming re-Invention tour. The Brit-loving mother-of-two has apparently approached Paris-based designer Christian Lacroix to create costumes for her performances. According to Women's Wear Daily, she wants a Dangerous Liaisons look and has also contacted Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. Ooh la la. (source: British Vogue)

13 May - Madonna exhausted before tour even begins
Superstar Madonna has exhausted herself rehearsing for her upcoming Reinvention world tour. The Material Girl, 45, has been practicing her stage sequences for several months, but still finding time to attend all-night Kabbalah meetings in Los Angeles. Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie were photographer leaving a Kabbalah centre in the early hours of the morning, with the singer's gaunt and tired appearance shocking onlookers. One onlooker says, "I've never seen her looking so tired. She looks like she's pushing herself very hard and could do with a good meal." A member of Madonna's tour team disputes the star's health is suffering and her aberrance is simply due to working hard. The pal says, "The truth is Madonna is putting in a huge amount of work to prepare for her Reinvention tour. She is a perfectionist and doesn't want to disappoint her fans. She looks knackered because she is knackered. Mentally and physically preparing for a huge world tour isn't a walk in the park. It drains the hell out of you. She's maybe been pushing it a little bit hard but she knows her limits." Madonna is rehearing 12 hours a day to get in shape for the 48-date tour, which starts at Los Angeles FORUM on May 24. (source: TeenMusic)

12 May - MTV reports tour documentary
As if Truth or Dare weren't enough, Madonna's delving back into documentary fare once again, this time with director Jonas Akerlund. The singer has already started shooting for the untitled project, which will chronicle her upcoming tour and the "new" Madonna, among other things. She plans to release the documentary in theaters, her spokesperson said. (source: MTV)

12 May - Possible title of new song *rumour*
Fansite DrownedMadonna reports: "According to my reliable inside sources the new song Madonna will debut on the tour will be a song called, Da Prayer. Madonna collaborated with Mirwais and member(s) of Daft Punk on this particular song, which can very likely be the new song performed on the tour; the performance will either be included as a melody with Like a Prayer or as a full performance of the song alone. According to my sources this is the new sound of Madonna's next studio album and please note that this is in no way a remix of Like a Prayer or anything to do with the song. This news should be taken solely as rumors as things are likely to change."

11 May - Music performance in Belgian club
Music performance in the Room Music performance in the Room Music performance in the Room Music performance in the Room Last friday, I went out partying in the Room, a club outside my hometown Leuven (Belgium). To celebrate their 2nd anniversary, there were some special diva performances. The first performance was nothing less than an imitation of Music @ the Drowned World Tour, with matching outfits and choreography. I thought it was done pretty cool, so I thought I'd share some pictures with you (courtesy of GayBelgium.be). ShowRoom is a cool gay-minded party @ the Room, each first friday of the month.

11 May - Madonna begins breeding rare sheep
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have fallen so in love with country life that they have started breeding sheep. The couple are hoping their celebrity name will help to sell a rare breed of lamb called Polled Dorsets. News that the stars have some woolly friends emerged during a hearing into ramblers' rights to roam across their country estate. Madonna's £9 million country retreat is a working estate with a nationally renowned shoot. Ramblers should not be allowed to walk across it, a public planning inquiry heard. Philip Eddell, a consultant estate manager for the popstar's 1,200-acre Ashcombe House, on the Dorset/Wiltshire border, told the inquiry the impact of allowing public access to 12 plots of land would be "devastating". "The impact on the estate of having the land shown on the provisional map included as open country would be devastating," said Mr Eddell. The singer and her film director husband Guy Ritchie claim around 100 acres of land at Ashcombe House, in Tollard Royal, has been inaccurately classified as open country on a provisional map. (source: ITV)

11 May - Madonna's pig squeal!
Imagine pop star Madonna squealing like a pig. This would have been a reality, if Aphex Twin had had his way. Dance music mastereo Aphex Twin wants Madonna to squeal like a pig in his upcoming album. According to the New York Post, the diva agreed to contribute hog-like, grunting sounds, but changed her mind at the last moment. "I wanted Madonna to just do stupid noises. There wasn't going to be any singing on the track. Just grunts, moans and pig impersonations. I really wanted to hear Madonna doing a pig," Twin was quoted as saying. (source: WebIndia123)
~ FYI, this was reported a long time ago too...

11 May - Soap actress next for Madonna snog
The list of celebrities playing on the ever-popular lesbian kiss theme lengthens today, with one soap actress admitting she wants to kiss Madonna. After Blondie singer Debbie Harry admitted she enjoys lesbian sex yesterday, EastEnders' Charlie Brooks told one radio interviewer she hopes to follow in the steps of Britney Spears and plant a smacker on the Material Girl. Brooks, who played murderer Janine Butcher in the show before leaving earlier this week, said she would enjoy meeting the star, even if Madonna tried to kiss her. "I'd let her. I'd really like that - full-on, on the lips," the pregnant actress admitted to Capital FM.
The comments follow the media uproar over Madonna's MTV awards appearance last year, where she kissed pop starlets Spears and Christina Aguilera. Since then, less famous celebrities have spoken of their faux lesbianism to grab the limelight.
Coronation Street's Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow, joked earlier this year that she wants the soap's bosses to write a cameo for Hollywood star Christina Ricci, so that she can have an on-screen - and presumably off screen - affair with her.
On screen, male super-stars are also keen to sign up for gay romance, although off screen is a different issue. Colin Farrell and Jared Leto are set to start in the biopic of legendary warrior - and bisexual - Alexander the Great later this year, while Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger have inked a deal that will see them playing cowboys in love for Brokeback Mountain. And on the small screen, the soaps have pushed ahead with gay kisses - Coronation Street is currently showing its first gay relationship plot in its 43-year history. (source: UK.Gay.com)

11 May - Lack of condoms kept Madonna and JFK Jr from having sex
Madonna failed to consummate her romance with John F Kennedy Jr because they didn't have any contraception, according to a new book written by the late socialite's former university pal. Robert Littell claims the pair were worried their fling would become public if they went out to buy condoms. In his new tell-all, THE MEN WE BECAME, Littell says, "John and Madonna were in a hotel room in Chicago, unable how to figure out how to get some contraception into the room without getting caught. "While them managed to entertain themselves, they never achieved what would have been the definitive celebrity coupling." (source: Contactmusic)

11 May - Caresse hints at Dutch concert
Gelredome in Arnheim German website MadonnaMusic asked some more information on the lack of a German tour stop; here's what Caresse Henry replied: "Unfortunately the closest venue is Arnhem (Netherlands). We have been trying to visit as many countries as possible and Germany is one of those we have always visited. The decision not to visit Germany this time is not due to lack of interest by the German fans rather than lack of time during this summer. I am sorry that you are disappointed. I am sure we will visit Germany on the next tour." (thanks to MadonnaTribe for the translation from German)
If this information is correct, the venue would be the Gelredome, one of the 3 largest stadiums in the Netherlands. It has a movable roof, so it can be used as a closed venue, giving room for 16000 standing places. However, there's no information (yet) whether this venue has been booked or even considered.

10 May - Mazar hates working with Madonna, denies rumours
Madonna has a reputation as a tough taskmaster — even with her friends. Debi Mazar, the diva’s long-time friend, says she doesn't like to work with Madonna because she's such a hard-driving boss. "I actually hate doing videos and I really don't even like working for Madonna because she's such a perfectionist," Mazar told Sharon Osbourne for an episode of her show that airs tomorrow. "The hours are long, it's grueling, she's ... always like, 'Do this! Do that!' She's — she's, you know, Madonna! ... She really works you to the bone."
Mazar also blasts widespread reports that she and Madonna ended their friendship over Kabbalah. "When that... broke, I was like, 'Wow, that's so awful that somebody would try to make it look like we weren't friendly,'" Mazar says on "Sharon". "We called each other immediately when all that stuff came out. We were like, 'Oh my God, did you see that?' She was like, 'Yeah,' and she goes, 'Oh it's so ridiculous — please!' It's just another day in her life but for me, I've never had my name associated in a negative way with her or anybody else. I was kind of like, 'Oh my God!' " (source: MSNBC)

07 May - Platinum package update
Seat locations are now available for all platinum packages. Users can now purchase packages and receive real-time seat locations during the purchase process. This is your chance to secure guaranteed, great top price level seats. Packages are moving quickly so reserve yours now. Click here for more information. (source: Madonna.com)
Meanwhile, there are new tickets available for all dates at London's Wembley Arena at Ticketmaster.

07 May - More news on remix album *rumour*
Stereomover @ PeterRauhofer's message board has posted more news on the rumoured remix album: "Alongside unreleased remixes from American Life and a new track, some classics like Into the Groove, that Stardust remix of Holiday, Lucky Star, Express Yourself, Crazy For You, Impressive Instant and unreleased mixes of Music are set to be included on the comp. It is still hush as Warner might make it available to fans by selling it at the shows. Things are rough at Warner right now. And Madonna's last two albums for them might end up being compilations. It will probably be a double-disc, but some have speculated that it be 3 discs. Loaded with pictures, interactive material, and complete discography. I doubt the 3-disc thing and knowing Warner, all we will get are radio edits of these mixes, but it is still possible. [...]
This comp will be announced once the tour has kicked off on May 24th. In my opinion, there will not be another single from this album and those Akufen and Daddy G remixes were actually for songs other than Easy Ride and Mother and Father. A lot of her classics are being given a new twist. But you never know... We'll see..."

06 May - No tour for Australia
Madonnalicious visitor Gillian, asked Caresse Henry whether Madonna would be visiting Australia and New Zealand on the re-Invention tour, here is the response:
" Unfortunately we have such a short window of time for touring and cannot fit this into the itinerary but I know Madonna loves Australia and New Zealand and hope to get her there very soon.
We will be televising the show although know that isn't enough and apologize. There just isn't enough time in the day and the summer in particular! "

06 May - News on the 'surprises'
The show will contain a few surprises; click here for more information.

06 May - Another source on the setlist
A report by Stereomover, member of PeterRauhofer's message board confirms the setlist we posted yesterday. Click here to read his message.

05 May - Complete tour setlist
We can finally reveal the complete setlist for the tour. Click here for the spoiler.

05 May - Special guest on the show
MadonnaTribe reported some news on a special guest on the show; click here to read.

05 May - Spoilers on setlist, choreography and stage *rumour*
MadonnaMad member Kat has gotten some info from one of the dancers, which is mostly the same as the info we got from other sources and therefor pretty reliable. Check our tour news page for spoilers on the setlist, the choreography and the stage.

05 May - More on Barcelona *rumour*
Spanish fan club member Isla Bonita reports: "Barcelona's Radio Station "Radio Flaixbac" has told me that Madonna will play an intimate concert in Barcelona, and she will record three songs from this concert for an upcoming live cd, that will go on sale this christmas. Also MTV Europe will broadcast to all Europe this show, like they did with the Barcelona Springsteen show in 2001.
Like I've said before, the show was meant to be intimate in a small place, maybe in Barcelona's Music Theatre, but because of the spanish fans reaction it could be changed, and it could be in Palau Sant Jordi, a much bigger place, so all the fans can get a ticket. This will be probably the last show of the tour, at the end of September." (thanks to Frank from DivinaMadonna for providing us this info)

05 May - Possibly Spain, but no Italy or Germany
Fansite DrownedMadonna reports: "We are very sorry to make this announcement. Caresse Henry has informed us that possibly 2 more European countries will be added but Italy and Germany are not included this time around. She said she is "So sorry, we are limited with the amount of cities we can do in a summer. I apologize. And thank you for all your support."
One of our readers from Spain has informed us that a Barcelona's radio station today stated that Madonna will come to town to make a special concert during the "Forum De Las Culturas 2004", which will be opened from May 9 to September 26. If this news will be confirmed, as we hope for Spanish fans, it will the most important concert of the summer in Spain."

04 May - Madonna fights threat to privacy
Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie begin a fight this week in a “nimby” protest — not in my backyard — against public rights of access to their estate in Wiltshire.
They will object at a public inquiry to the opening up of part of their 1,132-acre Ashcombe estate, near the village of Tollard Royal, under the new “right to roam” legislation.
The couple say free access for walkers would violate “private and family life and their home” under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Countryside Agency, the government body implementing the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, has begun mapping areas of open country, giving access to about 8 per cent of England, classed as mountain, moorland, heath and downland.
Land in the first two mapping areas, the south-east and the lower north-west, will be opened in September. The singer and her husband, described as Mr and Mrs Ritchie in documentation, are appealing to the planning inspectorate against the inclusion of 17 parcels of their land on the maps.
Their estate — which they bought for £9 million two years ago — is run as a commercial sporting business. Madonna, who has two children Lourdes and Rocco, divides her time between the Grade II-listed Georgian Ashcombe House, the former home of society photographer Cecil Beaton, and houses in Beverly Hills and London.
The singer — she had a hit with the single This Used To Be My Playground and starred in a film Body of Evidence in the nineties — is not expected to attend the hearing. Her spokesperson said: “She will not be making any comment.”
Madonna’s time at the estate has not been without problems. She has complained about low-flying aircraft, suffered an attempted burglary and was ordered to take down 12ft-high security gates after neglecting to apply for planning permission.
She was later granted retrospective permission. (source: The Telegraph India)

04 May - News on encores & number of songs
Fansite Madonnalicious has reported the number of songs on the show, as well as some information on the encore songs. Click here for the spoiler.

03 May - I'm gonna destroy my ego
Madonna says she used to be extremely selfish and was provocative just to satisfy her own ego. "At the start of your career you've got a message, but then you get distracted with time. You get money, fame and you start to put emphasis on the wrong things," she told Austrian magazine Woman. "I had to finally admit that I did a lot of things to satisfy my own ego, for the fun of shocking people and out of an overblown sense of self-importance," she said.
The 45-year-old singer went on to say that becoming a mother was what finally changed her attitude toward life: "It happened much too late. I was 38 when my daughter was born. Before that I wasted a lot of time looking for love in the wrong places. I destroyed good relationships and I was a magnet for lousy guys."
"Before having Lourdes I wasn't at all interested in what I could do for other people," Madonna added. "I looked at the people around me and I thought: What can they do for me? Do they look good next to me? Will they give me what I want from them? It was only when I gave birth to Lourdes that I thought to myself: What do I want to teach her?"
Madonna, who also has a son with husband Guy Ritchie, added that now that she's a mother she can't spend most of her day on beauty care like she used to: "Today I have the choice: I can either play guitar or have a manicure. I can't do both."
The singer, who attends religious sessions at the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, says she's even convinced her husband Guy Ritchie to read up on the Jewish spiritual teachings. "My husband was always a scientific type and a total Darwinist when I met him. He was never interested in spiritual things like God and the Bible. But Kabbalah is based on scientific facts and that captured his analytical mind. "My daughter also attends her own spiritual course every Saturday where she learns about sharing and the power of her words. It's changed her a lot - she doesn't overreact as much anymore," she said. (source: News24)

03 May - Early songs on tour
We have some more spoilers, this time about the early songs included in the setlist.

03 May - Fun for the road
New York Post columnist Liz Smith talked to Madonna on her upcoming re-Invention tour. Click here for the full article (contains spoilers on setlist, costume designers and tour documentary).

02 May - Another bagpiper on tour?
The Scots lawyer who piped at Stella McCartney's wedding last year has been asked to accompany Madonna on her forthcoming Re-invention world tour.
Lorne Cousin, a rural property lawyer at the Edinburgh-based legal firm Turcan Connell, flew to Los Angeles last week where the rest of the show’s performers are preparing for the five-month tour.
The concerts, which kick off in LA on May 24, are scheduled for 48 venues across the US, Britain and France, with sell-out gigs at London’s Earls Court and Wembley Arena, as well as Madison Square Gardens in New York.
Although no further details of the tour have been disclosed yet, another Scots piper, Calum "Spud" Fraser, was asked to travel to New York for rehearsals in March. Fraser played at the christening of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco, at Dornoch castle in 2000.
Now Cousin, who specialises in the sale of estates and country houses, will be adding his bagpipes to the tour.
Cousin, from Campbeltown, is no stranger to glittering events. Last August he piped at Stella McCartney's wedding to Alasdhair Willis on the Isle of Bute. The star-studded nuptials were attended by celebrities such as Chrissie Hynde, Kate Moss and Madonna and film director husband Ritchie.
Cousin is an accomplished solo piper and has regularly competed in major piping gatherings across Scotland for many years, in 1988 winning the prestigious Burgh Cup at the Cowal Highland Gathering. The gathering's oldest cup, dating back to 1901, it is open only to over-16s resident in Argyll and Bute and an unwritten rule among pipers dictates that once won, a piper doesn't compete for it again.
Cousin also plays with the Kintyre Piping Society at their recitals. William McCallum, the society's treasurer, has listened to Cousin's piping for many years and rates his playing highly.
"He's always been a great little player, ever since he was a boy," said McCallum.
"Last weekend he was up here judging a junior competition for us. But he mostly plays in major competitions. Last year he played in the Gold Medal standard and, although he didn't win he is a very good player.
" He competed a lot in our junior competitions, but because he lives in Edinburgh now he doesn’t play with us as much."
Although Cousin is too young to have played with the rest of the Kintyre Piping Society on Paul McCartney's 1977 hit Mull of Kintyre, his family have had celebrity ties for many years.
His father, Alastair Cousin, who is a well-respected vet in the Campbeltown area, treated Linda McCartney’s pets when she and her family spent time there, and he became a good friend over the years.
Alastair Cousin is also the chairman of the Linda McCartney Kintyre Memorial Trust, which helped to erect a statue of her two years ago after she died of cancer in 1998.
The bronze statue was commissioned and donated by Paul McCartney, but it was the trust who helped to facilitate the project in the area and create the garden in which the sculpture now stands.
Famous family ties and experience of performing at competitions and a celebrity wedding are one thing. Now Lorne Cousin faces piping to huge audiences worldwide.
Leading Scots piper Lindsay Davidson, who is currently working on a bagpipe opera, believes that piping is starting to become more popular in mainstream music. He also believes that new technology has enabled bagpipes to play alongside other musical instruments in large concerts without tuning problems.
"Bagpipes are a lot more popular than they were," Davidson said.
"New technology has allowed them to break through barriers and now players can tune up against other instruments in a way they could never do in the past.
"There is also a growing interest in piping and what bagpipes may be able to do in the future. A lot of this has been brought on by young folk groups that are beginning to use pipes in their records. People are starting to see them in a new light."
Davidson also believes bagpipes are easily incorporated into big pop productions, such as Madonna's.
"The bagpipes are a dead ringer for the electric guitar," he added. "The two instruments can be interchanged with ease and would work well in a large concert venue." (source: Sunday Herald)

01 May - American Life songs on tour
Click here for a spoiler on the American Life songs that will be included in the tour setlist.

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