Madonna and the Breakfast Club (2019) Movie Script

(bright orchestral music)
(projector clicking)
(Madonna mimicking
bomb exploding)
(Madonna screeching)
- Ooh, ooh.
(Dan sighs)
(static crackles)
- We'll breathe deep.
- Yeah.
- 'Cause you have
to breathe deep
before you do anything.
(static crackles)
(upbeat rock music)
(soft piano music)
- [Narrator] On August 16, 1958,
Silvio Ciccone drove
his wife Madonna
to Mercy Hospital in
Bay City, Michigan
to give birth to
their first daughter,
a child who would be
named after her mother,
and who would become
one of the biggest stars
in entertainment that
the world has ever known.
Madonna was raised in this
ranch home in Pontiac, Michigan.
The Ciccones already
had two children
before Madonna arrived,
and they would have
two more children after her.
(bright music)
Madonna's mother
became seriously ill,
and spending time with
her children became more
and more of a struggle
until she eventually
passed away.
Madonna was just five years old.
(somber piano music)
Raising five children on his
own wasn't easy for Silvio.
While he was at work, Madonna
and her siblings spent a lot
of time at this Bay City
home of their grandmother
and at this very park
directly across the street.
When Madonna was an
adolescent, the family moved
to a more affluent neighborhood
in Rochester, Michigan.
It was here in this building
on Main Street that Madonna,
as an early teen,
entered ballet school.
(soft piano music)
The teacher, Christopher
Flynn, took a liking to Madonna
and they developed a friendship.
He mentored her and taught
her about art and culture
outside of suburban Michigan.
He also convinced her
that she was special
and that she was beautiful,
words she wasn't used to,
and words that she
needed to hear.
(upbeat funk music)
Christopher became
a dance teacher
at the University of Michigan
and convinced Madonna
to apply for a scholarship.
It was here that Madonna
met a graduate dance student
named Peter Kentes.
- The dance program at
the University of Michigan
at the time was a
conservatory approach.
There were only about
50 dance majors total
between undergraduates
and graduates.
The first time I actually saw
her was in the dance lounge
where the dancers would
hang out between classes.
What stood out to me was
the fact that there she was.
Everyone else was sort of
sitting around relaxing
and she was workin' hard.
- [Narrator] For his
graduating thesis project,
Peter included his new friend
Madonna in the choreography.
- Madonna's character
was very specific.
Her character was
based on the customers
that came into this liquor
store late at night.
So, she was able to take that
as a theme and develop that.
Sorta spicy, sort of very
similar to her own personality.
I think it was easier for
her to get in character,
and she added
spice to the dance.
The pictures I took a few weeks
before the show one afternoon,
and I did all the dancers
at different times,
but the one photo that Madonna
maybe wasn't happiest about
was where she's bending over
looking between her legs,
but I think the reason is
because during her solo
I accidentally let
that one stay up
on the wall a
little bit too long.
- [Narrator] Peter was
very into astrology
and predictions based
upon birth dates
and how the moon, sun,
and stars are aligned.
- [Peter Reenactor] These two.
- Yeah, I was a self
taught astrologer.
I have maybe 30 or 40
books that I purchased
and read and studied.
One of the things
I enjoyed doing
was doing charts for
people, birth charts.
I was never a person that
sort of like read my horoscope
and not go out that day, but
when I did Madonna's chart,
- And you can see the full--
- and I had done maybe
over a hundred readings for
friends up to this time,
but this was the first
one where the reading,
everything sort of came out
she was gonna be
rich and famous.
- It's gonna be such
a crazy ride for you.
- Here I was looking
at a skinny 18 year-old
with bruised up legs
and red plastic shoes,
and there couldn't have been
a more unlikely candidate
to be rich and famous than
Madonna when she was 18.
Except in her mind, I think
that was her plan all along
because she didn't seem
surprised when I told her.
- [Peter Reenactor] I've
never seen it do that.
- I hadn't heard from
Madonna for a few months.
School had started, and
she had not enrolled.
I got a call saying she
needed a ride to the airport
and I said, yeah, sure.
And I went, picked her up.
She had her little
doll under her arm,
a little backpack,
and a suitcase,
and Christopher, her ballet
teacher, was there as well.
We piled in the car, and we
took her to the Metro Airport,
Detroit Metro Airport
and dropped her off.
She was ready to leave.
She was ready to move on.
She wanted to go.
She wanted to go to New York.
She was excited to be going.
It was a little trepidatious
because it's such a scary thing.
(upbeat disco music)
- [Narrator] Immediately
upon arrival,
Madonna began taking dance
classes with Pearl Lang
and other notable teachers.
She was prepared to
do whatever it took
to become a professional dancer.
- I met Madonna.
I had a lot of friends over
the years who were dancers.
Yeah, dancers,
actors, musicians.
I had a really good friend
named Michael who was a dancer,
and he was studying with
someone named Pearl Lang,
who was an avant garde dancer.
So, I was invited to a party,
and people were dancing
on the living room floor,
and I noticed this woman
who was dancing, spinning
in the middle of the floor,
and it looked as though she
was dancing in a ring of fire,
and everyone was
moving around her.
I had a sense that
she was somebody
who was gonna do
something in the world.
She kinda came up to me
and said, "Oh, nice arms.
"You kinda look like
Brando a little bit."
That was kind of her lead in.
So, I got the sense that
that might go somewhere.
(phone ringing)
She called me up the next day.
She was over at Michael's house.
They had--
- Hello?
- It seemed like they
had a thing going,
but she called me
up from his house
and said, "Get your gorgeous
Brando body over here,"
which was a nice,
definitely a nice come on.
- Well, good morning.
- [Madonna] Yeah, so
are you coming or not?
- I said, why don't you
guys come over here?
I don't know why I suggested
they come to my place.
- All right, so I'll see you--
- Bye.
(dial tone humming)
- But it didn't really
go any further than that.
She had to go to dance class.
I got the feeling that she
was very committed to dancing.
Seemed like she was always
off going somewhere,
had something to do with
dancing or performance.
Working really, really hard,
almost like obsessively hard,
and I know she was
doing the modeling.
I know she was
waitressing a little bit,
but I got the feeling that she
didn't have a lot of money.
(soft music)
- Oh God, I don't wanna be this.
- Yeah, but then you say
- Why would you want this?
- to yourself, man,
look at what I can do,
that other people, they
wouldn't think of doin'.
- I mean, I guess, but--
- I know, I know part of it
has to do with your head, right?
I know that it's
true, but other people
wouldn't think of doing
the stuff that I do or you.
- Well, of course not,
but people always look at,
they always look at you before
they look at what you do.
(Dan grunts)
(soft synthesizer music)
- [Narrator] To make ends
meet, Madonna began working
as a model for nude
photography classes
at The New School and other
locations in New York City.
- My first session with Madonna
was in 1979 in February,
and I think, if I
recall, I had spoken
to the model registrar,
and I said look,
can you send me a girl who
really has a really nice body?
And that's how I got
Madonna to come to class,
and I was very
pleased, obviously.
To me, she was very
beautiful and pretty
and had a fantastic body,
and that's the first time.
I always said,
look, for the guys,
get your dick out of
your brain or something.
This is not about sex,
it's about sculpture.
It's about a body.
It's about what you
can show with it.
And then I put the model
in different positions
to accentuate form.
My photographs were
very sculptural,
there was nothing
about sex in them.
That's how I see it.
I didn't get the impression
she enjoyed it, necessarily.
It was something to
do to make some money.
It's just here I am.
I'm naked, I'm nude.
Take your pictures of
me, and let me outta here
and get me paid,
(chuckles) you know?
- We liked to hang out
on the Upper West Side,
like up near Grant's
Tomb, areas like that.
There were Corinthian columns,
buildings that had classical
Greco-Roman architecture.
We liked each other a
lot, and we were attracted
to each other, but I
don't know if there was
any potential for a
long term deeper thing.
So, we basically drifted apart
over the period of about
three months we were together.
I hadn't seen her
for several months,
and I bumped into
her on 34th Street.
- N.B.!
- And, just bumped
into her on the street,
and I say, hey, how
ya doin', Madonna?
Nice to see you.
And she was really
warm and affectionate,
and we talked a little bit.
- I quit dancing.
- Wait, what?
What do you mean, you quit?
I thought that was the
whole reason you came here.
- She said, "Well, ya
know, I just felt like
"it wasn't going anywhere.
"Also, I felt like
my body was hurting,"
and I realized
that, she realized
that this would be her life.
- So, now what?
Now what are you gonna do?
- Maybe acting or music?
- So, I invited
her to this party.
I said I think you might
meet some fun people there,
some interesting, there's
gonna be a lot of artists,
musicians, colorful,
your type of people.
I think you might dig,
you might enjoy the scene.
So, she said, "Yeah,
sure, I'll be there."
(party guests chattering)
(upbeat funk music)
Lo and behold, she was.
- I first met Madonna at a party
given by my friend
Norris Burroughs.
She seemed to be,
looked like she felt out
of place at the party.
- I met Dan at a hand
painted T-shirt company
called the Lotus Shop,
and it was Saint Mark's
Place in the East Village.
I kind of gravitated towards Dan
because we were both
musicians as well as artists,
and we had a similar
sort of sense of humor,
and we both kind of
like were attracted
to the same women, which
was an interesting,
something that
manifested over the years
with interesting results.
(party guests chattering)
- I mean, yes.
I mean, I am doing
what you asked,
and you're socializing?
- As beautiful as she
was, that kind of thing
didn't exactly, ya know,
gee, I gotta go hang out,
'cause it looked
like she didn't,
was not really enjoying
herself all that much.
I could even be wrong.
Maybe that was just her way.
- I wasn't sure if anyone...
- Sorry, this
stupid clasp keeps--
- I don't remember exactly
what the issue was.
It was either a broken clasp
or a button or something,
but she asked for assistance,
and whatever it was
that needed doing,
I helped her with it.
- Thanks.
(soft rock music)
(party guests chattering)
Aren't you going to kiss me?
- It actually, it felt
a little like a scene
from a movie to me,
because ya know,
"Aren't you gonna kiss me?"
Have I heard that
in a, I'm not sure.
I did kiss her, though.
It wasn't a long kiss.
I mean, it was, 'cause
I had just met her
and she was so beautiful.
- I knew he was gonna be there,
but I wasn't really
thinking along those lines,
but when I first
saw them together,
I noticed that there was
an attraction between them.
So, it seemed inevitable
in the moment.
(bright music)
(Madonna giggles)
- We left together, we
left the party together,
and walked around.
We walked around the
place, around Manhattan,
for about an hour or so.
(thunder rumbles)
And then I said goodbye to her
at wherever she was headed.
I think it was a
stairway, and there was
a little romantic interplay,
and she went off
down the hallway.
She was very assertive, though,
a very assertive person,
and it made me certainly
wanna see her again,
and I think a few days
later, we had our first date.
(soft upbeat rock music)
We took a bus ride
up to The Cloisters.
I met her at the bus.
We were the only
ones on the bus,
so, I took a bunch of
pictures on the way up there.
And then the bus filled
in a little while later.
We took some more pictures
and some kids were gawkin'
at what's goin' on, and
she had 'em come back
and pose for a picture.
This is the first time
I was ever with her,
and she was doin' all kinds
of antics on the seat,
the back of the thing,
lying on the back of the
seat with her head down,
just posin' for pictures.
I had a camera, and
she was right there
posing for the
pictures. (chuckles)
I think I had been to The
Cloisters in grade school
as like a trip, like
some kind of field trip.
The Cloisters was a convent
that was brought over,
every stone was brought
over and rebuilt.
- Well, everybody had
long hair in Jerusalem
when Jesus Christ was young.
They all must have looked
sort of androgynous, right?
- Yeah.
- 'Cause they had on
those long robes on and stuff.
- Yeah.
- Right?
- Yeah, except the
men all had beards.
- Oh yeah.
When do you think
the guy first shaved,
the first guy shaved?
- I'm sure they trimmed
their beard with rocks.
The first guy that shaved,
it couldn't have been
a very close shave with a rock.
- Wonder why he
started to do it.
Bet ya guy got a zit and he
needed to squeeze it out.
- Or--
- Shaved it off.
- A bat got caught in it.
- Or a mouse?
- Yeah, a creature.
- But how come--
- Everyone said it
looks pretty good.
- But how--
- This is good.
- How come rats are
ugly and mouses aren't?
- It's the scale.
(train rattling)
(soft synthesizer music)
- [Narrator] Dan was
living in Corona Queens
with his brother in an
abandoned former synagogue.
- Some friends of mine
from graduate school
found this old
synagogue in Queens,
and they poured a new floor
and put in electricity.
It had been abandoned
for 15 years.
And one guy left,
somebody got married,
and they asked me to
move in, so, I did.
- [Narrator] Dan invited
Madonna over to the synagogue
where they would spend
more and more time
getting to know each other.
It was here that Madonna would
begin her journey into music.
- Danny and Madonna
were seeing each other.
This is probably the
beginning, I'm thinkin' '78.
They met at a May Day party,
probably with, I think it
was Norris Burroughs's party.
So, they hit it off.
They started seeing each other,
and she would come
over and stay.
So, that's how I met her
over here in the synagogue.
(bright synthesizer music)
(Dan mumbles)
This is the way we got in.
Even though there's
a gate in the front,
back in those days
that gate was kaput.
So, we had to come in this way.
It's a wonderful
neighborhood, you'll love it.
No. (laughs)
So, come on in.
This is the studio
where we rehearsed,
we played, we jammed.
This is, you know, the
general living space
where everybody kind
of would congregate.
By everyone, I mean
me, Dan, and Madonna,
and then we'd, you
know, play around.
Here are the drums.
These are the drums
Madonna played.
Danny played 'em.
Mike Monahan played 'em.
They're still here.
(playful drum music)
She used to put her gum,
she used to put her
gum on this post here,
and there's still little
pieces of gum there. (chuckles)
- You walked in
and saw everything.
There were guitars here,
there was a bass over here,
and a whole set of drums.
(soft music)
I don't think she thought
I'm gonna be a drummer,
but there's a guy
playing guitar,
and here we're playin' music.
(drumsticks tapping)
- I think drums was the
instrument that Danny first,
you know, showed
her stuff to do.
- As a dancer, she was always
into counting, ya know,
everything, eight counts, and
it fit right into drumming,
so it was a very
smooth transition from
dancing to drumming.
And after just goin'
through a few little,
she picked up on it
pretty easily, ya know?
- And then, you know,
it would just be,
if someone's playin' drums
you'd start playin' along
with them, and then there was
jamming that would happen.
(plodding drum music)
So, she would be playing drums,
and learning how to
play drums all day long.
(somber music)
(Dan mimicking
drumsticks tapping)
And then the feet.
She's got the feet in
there opposite the snare,
and away we went.
- [Narrator] At the time, Dan
Gilroy and his brother, Ed,
were performing as a two man
musical act called Bill and Gil
in a variety show in New
York City called Voidville.
- Bill and Gil was a
two man performance.
We used guitars.
We used percussion.
(soft rock music)
That's how Bill and Gil started.
Ed and I had a
performance at Voidville,
a theater in New
City on 2nd Avenue,
and Madonna, she came
over to the synagogue
and came to the show.
There's a photo of her making
herself up in the bathroom
with that pink and black
tight leotard kind of thing,
but that was just before we
were going to do Voidville,
but she wasn't living
here at the time.
(camera clicks)
- So,
there ya go.
- She looked fantastic
in this leotard.
I took a bunch of pictures.
I think she had red shoes on,
red shoes with high heels.
Anyway, I took a bunch
of pictures of that.
In fact, I asked her to come
upstairs at the synagogue
because the space was big.
Pictures looked
really great with
that shocking pink
right in the middle
of this gray brown synagogue.
- [Narrator] A recording
artist named Patrick Hernandez
was interested in having Madonna
be part of his show in Paris.
His song, Born to Be Alive,
was a tremendous hit,
and his team offered Madonna
visions of her own stardom
if she would come
with them to France.
- She looked like
a perfect punk,
like that ideal,
(chuckles) right?
That's why they
brought her over there.
He was gonna release Disco
Queen, and she was like,
ya know, that thing they
were thinking about.
(soft orchestral music)
- She goes to France with
the Patrick Hernandez show
over the course of that summer.
- [Madonna] Dear Dan, I was
crazy to put four letters
in the mail at once.
I'm sure it makes a
person feel popular,
but after all, you
are very lovable,
and I'm not such
a heartless fiend,
although I'm sure I appear
that way to many people.
I have a lot of leisure time
now, much to my frustration.
I can't stand the thought
of doing absolutely nothing.
It's a nightmare
to think about it.
I'm so full of
anxiousness and ambition,
and I long for some
responsibility, some hard work,
and certainly some sweat.
Those are the things
that make me feel real,
besides you, of course.
- She wanted to create stuff,
but I'm not sure she knew
exactly what vehicle to use.
- [Madonna] This is
my last stay in Paris,
and I wonder if the sky
will always be so gray.
I long to put my arms
around you, and to kiss you,
and hold you really close.
Au revoir, mon cherie.
- So, the Patrick
Hernandez thing, for her,
I guess ended at the
end of the summer,
or in the beginning of autumn,
and so she came
back to New York.
(soft rock music)
- I and my sort would
struggle against tradition,
try at least to displace
old cants with new ones.
I thought I was right about
life at various times,
but faith is difficult.
- [Narrator] Dan and Madonna
resume their relationship
right where it left off.
Soon after, they decided
to live together.
- And she would stay over here,
they'd stay over
there, stay over here,
and then it just kind
of gradually she wants,
I'd like her to stay
here, he said so.
You know, we had 3,400
square feet of living space,
and we only had one
kitchen and one bathroom.
So, we had to
kinda work on that.
Over here's the sink.
Good old New York sink,
the original, one and only.
Madonna made a lot of popcorn
here, I could tell ya that.
There was always the smell
of popcorn in the house.
Either Parmesan cheese
on it or paprika
or there was pepper or
something like that.
She loved popcorn.
This was a tough town, New
York, back in the '70s.
She didn't have a place
to say after awhile.
So, it was just, seemed to be
the right thing to do, ya know.
- My rat's dead?
- Nah, (speaking in
foreign language).
- Sounds very French Japanese.
(speaking in foreign language)
French Japanese French, eh?
- There's one thing I don't,
there's one thing I,
there's one thing
I, there's one thing
I don't like.
- I just can't even
quite get around to
talking about it.
- One thing I don't really
like, there's one thing I...
- But hey, ya know,
I'll tell ya one thing.
- Did you ever--
- You know, we're patient.
- Patient?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I don't know if I ever
did, I'm not sure, but...
- Well, I don't know why a
patient could be patient.
- Wonder.
Well, listen, number one,
wondering is very good,
and I'm glad you've
been wondering.
(upbeat music)
- I remember after she
came back from Europe,
she called me and
I went to meet her.
They were shooting that
film A Certain Sacrifice.
- [Narrator] Madonna was also
scouring the help wanted ads
in the acting and
talent trade magazines.
And with that, she landed
a role in the student film.
- I put an ad in
Backstage Magazine, is it?
And I believe it said
something like I'm looking for
a dominatrix with dark
hair who can dance and act.
I was sort of irritated by the
kind of people I was finding,
and then I was going
through all this stuff,
and I was throwing
things out, and something
that I had missed was Madonna's
letter that she wrote to me,
and a picture of her dropped
out of this envelope,
and she was just
putting lipstick on,
and it was an
incredibly sexy picture,
and I was like, I don't really
have to look any further.
And then of course she wrote
this three page letter,
which is pretty amazing.
It was kind of a
history of her life
up to that point in time.
At the end of the letter,
she put a little tiny thing
in little type, is that all?
And it was very cute.
So, the year and month
that I started filming
A Certain Sacrifice
was September of 1979,
and the first scene
was the fountain scene
where Madonna is dancing with
Dasheil, the protagonist,
and as I was filming it, I
was filming it by myself,
no sound man, no camera man,
it was just me and them,
so the three of us, and
I was sort of dancing
in the fountain with
them trying to keep
the water off of my camera,
but that was all improvised.
So, basically just here's
what's gonna happen,
and they just go for it.
That, to me, was the magic
of making this movie.
There was a lot of direction.
There was, the same
time, who she was
created partly
what the movie was.
She was very
beautiful back then.
I still think she's beautiful.
- I told them that I
was in love with you.
(bell ringing)
- And what'd they say?
- They were heartless and,
and then they were really
jealous, just jealous.
- If there were
lines to rehearse,
she always had them rehearsed.
She always was on time,
and even though this movie,
and she knew it, was not
a professional production,
she was going to put the
best into it that she could,
and she did every time.
(suspenseful music)
- That film is just
really (chuckles) bizarre.
I don't think I
would have wanted
to have anything to
do with that movie,
with all due respect
to the director.
(Madonna screams)
- It depends on how
you look at this movie.
If you're looking at it
as if you're gonna look
at a Hollywood production,
you are gonna be
really disappointed.
If you look at it as street
life in New York in the '70s,
I think it's great.
Obviously there's a lot
of amateur stuff in it,
but when it gets it right,
it's really, it's fun.
- You can make the effort,
you can have the desire,
but it's not enough.
Need something more.
(upbeat drum music)
- [Narrator] All the
while, Madonna kept up
with her drumming practice,
and she was soon ready
to take on the challenge of
learning another instrument.
- She already could
keep the beat.
So, naturally, she wanted
to get more into music
than just drumming, not
that drumming isn't music.
Well, people say, oh, you taught
Madonna how to play guitar.
Actually, it's like
riding a bicycle.
No one actually teaches you.
They hold your head,
and at some point
you learn yourself, right?
(upbeat rock music)
- [Narrator] Madonna's
friend Angie,
who had a small role
in A Certain Sacrifice,
was a bass guitar player,
and Madonna thought
she should introduce her
to the Gilroys as well.
- Angie was kind
of tall, stately.
She was a ballet dancer,
gorgeous big beautiful lips.
You'd just be quite taken
with her, and Madonna was.
- Dan and I were between
bands at the time,
and Madonna was playing,
and the three of us
were kind of just, ya
know, playing around here,
and Dan and I had a
bunch of songs, too.
And so Madonna asked
Angie to come over,
'cause Angie had a bass.
So, Angie came
over, and that's how
the first Breakfast
Club started.
We had Madonna on
drums, Angie on bass,
and Dan and me out
front with the guitars.
(upbeat punk rock music)
The material we did was
stuff that Dan and I
had already, a lot
of it was stuff
that was already in the mix.
We did songs like
Curtis Come Back.
Curtis come back
We want you over
on our side.
- That was a good song.
Madonna on drums on Curtis
Come Back, Angie on bass,
Dan and me on guitars.
- It kinda felt like it was
gonna be the sort of band where,
like a Fleetwood Mac
thing where you'd have
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie
Nicks and Christine McVie
taking turns on vocals,
or they would harmonize.
- We did a song called Trouble,
which she was out front,
and the three of us wrote,
Dan, Madonna, and I.
Trouble, trouble,
trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble, trouble,
trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble, trouble,
trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble, trouble
- Dan was on drums, Angie and I
were on guitar and
bass, Madonna up front.
Trouble, trouble
I've got this
trouble in my body
When no love's in my heart
(somber piano music)
- [Narrator] Angie's days
with the band were numbered,
and although fun at first,
she didn't last
long in the lineup.
- Angie was great.
I'm a big fan of Angie's, always
have been, always will be.
Great person, good
woman, strong,
strong fingers playin' the bass.
She was at a little
disadvantage, though,
'cause the three
of us lived here.
- Knock knock.
- Who's there?
- Olive.
- Olive who?
- Olive you.
- I love olives.
Got any?
- Whoa, that's shootin' ya
in the foot.
- You gonna eat that?
- At any given moment,
you could just say,
I need to, can we just
work on this harmony
for a couple of seconds?
And then that would turn
into a half hour, an hour
of working on the material.
And could we just go
over this drum part,
and the bass, things like that.
But Angie didn't live here.
- I just feel bad.
- I have mixed
feelings about Angie.
I just feel like we
were giving her parts
that were too hard,
or it could have been
more like Rolling
Stones, you know,
like, (mimicking
bass guitar music).
- I guess.
- Madonna didn't really wanna
work in that foursome anymore,
and with good reason, because
she knew it wasn't really like
an act that would go.
There was a little bit
of a competition there.
One time Angie said, in
front of Madonna, about me,
"I will have him." (laughs)
And Madonna was like, "Oh,
go ahead, I don't care."
So, it could have been, that
could have been part of it,
you know, who is the
audience looking at here?
Man, they're worse than
marriages, the bands.
Really, the breakup, 'cause
there's so many people involved.
(chuckles) That was the worst.
Anyway, that was the
worst, when Angie.
- It just was time for a change,
and Gary became available.
- [Narrator] Gary Burke
was a childhood friend
of the Gilroys and a
former band mate as well.
(soft rock music)
Hasn't it been a long winter
- It was Dan, Ed,
myself, and Mike Monahan.
Called ourselves the Acme Band,
which I still think
is a great band name.
- So, we had Gary, Mike,
Dan, and me comin' over here
and just playing
for the fun of it.
It was just really so much fun.
Is all blue
- It wasn't like we had
Gary waiting in the wings.
Nothing was happening for
a week or so or even more,
but we knew Gary was around,
and we wanted to play gigs.
So, I think we just
invited Gary over.
- See, I wasn't privy
to their discussions,
but all of a sudden,
I was invited
to be the bass player.
- One, two, three, four.
(upbeat rock music)
I don't have far to go now
But it certainly seems so
With you at the end
of the line, dear
I really do wanna go
But this wind, it keeps
whippin' in on me, yeah
- So,
The cold wind
- They just said like, do
you wanna join the band?
And so I said yeah,
okay, I'm in.
Oh yeah
Sometimes my spirit's empty
And I need to fill it up
I know that there is plenty
But I never get enough
- I was the new bass player.
Angie Smit was out, I
felt bad about that.
I had mixed feelings,
I don't like, you know,
I don't like all that band,
That keeps whippin'
- that band stuff that goes
on when people get replaced
and this and that, you know,
hurt feelings and all that.
I'm not comfortable with it.
So, I had mixed feelings,
but I kinda had a crush
on Madonna at this point,
even though she was
Dan's girlfriend.
Sometimes I try
to attract it
Sometimes I try
to attract it
Sometimes I try
to attract it
- It was the Acme Band, so
it was the same four members
plus this intriguing new chick.
(chuckles) Chick.
It keeps whippin'
- It was like people you
play ball with or something.
It was like people you knew
come on over and we'll play.
Cold wind, it keeps
- We could already play
fairly well together.
Oh yeah
- And Madonna was
that new component.
It keeps whippin'
It keeps whippin' in on me
- It was a good band.
It was a good punky band.
Madonna would come out
from behind the drums
and do her two songs.
Whippin', whippin'
In on me
- She had star quality.
I could see that right
away, on night one.
- While we made that
change, and brought Gary in,
we also brought in Mike
Monahan back again.
- And Mike, who had
been in the Acme Band,
he was gonna come back
and be on drums again,
and that would free Madonna
up to play the organ.
- We got a little keyboard,
a Farfisa keyboard,
and Madonna played the
keyboard for a while.
- [Narrator] With the band
now fully fleshed out,
it was time to start
doing some promotion
and getting some work.
- The photo that was
taken in the alley here
goin' up the steps, it
was just, we decided
we were gonna take some
shots to advertise our gigs.
It was like, I think, Gary,
he was sticking head out here,
and Dan, Mike, Madonna.
I was up on top, ya
know, some silly pose
I'm not thrilled
about, and that's where
this place was, right?
(soft synthesizer music)
(band members chattering)
- [Narrator] Madonna and
Dan managed to balance
their professional relationship
with their personal one,
but Dan wasn't the only band
member with eyes for Madonna.
- Hey, Madonna, can I
talk to you for a sec?
- [Madonna] Yeah,
what's up, bear?
(soft ominous music)
- Did you want something,
but you weren't sure
it was the right thing?
I mean, were you ever afraid
to just say what you want?
- No.
- So, you know
exactly what you want?
- Yes.
- Madonna wanted to be famous.
That was her thing, man.
And she didn't care if she
got through it through dance,
through rock and roll, whatever.
She wanted to be famous.
- I will do whatever I
have to do to get there.
- She would be so squirrelly,
like I wanna be famous.
She wanted to be
famous now, man.
Yeah, now.
- It's not funny.
- I know, I'm sorry.
- And she was like,
you could just see it.
She was like, in
her body language,
it's like, ooh, when's
it gonna happen?
That kind of thing.
- What was it that you
were talking about wanting?
- [Gary] Nothing, I
was just asking...
- Oh, I knew Gary and Mike
had a crush on Madonna.
Everyone had a crush on Madonna.
The guy upstairs, John Horne,
had a crush on Madonna.
I'm sure Gary and Mike
had a crush on Madonna.
She's beautiful,
she's in the band,
you're workin'
with her every day.
- I did tell Madonna a few
times how I felt about her.
I was working in a bookstore.
I told the manager of the
bookstore that I was sick.
I went and I took the
train and the bus.
(somber piano music)
And I knew she was alone
at the synagogue that day.
It's a major betrayal
type of thing, though.
You don't do this, 'cause they
hadn't split up yet.
(knuckles knocking)
- Hey, bear.
What are you doing here?
I've been working
on this new song.
- Wait, Madonna, I
came here because
I just had something that I
really wanted to tell you.
- I'm sorry, of
course, what's wrong?
- I shouldn't be here.
- Gary, just spit it out.
You're starting to freak me out.
- Okay.
Madonna, I don't want anything
to come between me and Dan,
but I have feelings.
I just wanted to say it.
This was stupid.
I know you're with Dan, but...
- Do you wanna
hear my song still?
- Are you gonna say
anything about what I just--
- I don't know what
to say to that.
I mean, I'm flattered.
- I think I should go.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't...
- It kinda like shocked
her kind of thing.
I shouldn't have done that.
I wanted her to, I
wanted to be Chris Stein
to her Debbie Harry,
that kind of a thing.
(upbeat rock music)
- She always wanted
to do something,
she wanted to be the
center of attention,
so, we did a thing where
we walked around New York.
We dressed in white, we
walked around New York
playing through a little
Pignose portable amp
that I was wearing.
We plugged into it
with a cable splitter
so we were both playin'
out of this one amp,
and she was playin'
chords, like these chords.
(light guitar music)
But in rhythm.
(bright guitar music)
Like those All Along
the Watchtower chords,
but she did it, was
doing it with an open E,
'cause she didn't do
the fingering then.
- They would dress all in white.
This was like during
the Breakfast Club days,
and they would take
their Pignose amps
and go in the subway
and sort of busk, but
electric instead of acoustic.
I never saw them, though.
They would go off, and
they would come back,
and they were both
dressed in white
with their Pignose
amps. (chuckles)
They'd gone into the
city, gone into Manhattan,
and just like played.
I kind of admired them
both, 'cause I was too shy
to do that kind of
stuff. (chuckles)
- (laughs) So, we'd
walk down the street
playin' our little...
(light guitar music)
It might have been
the other way.
That was fun, that
was so much fun.
- There's a song
that Madonna wrote
called Daddy Won't
You Please Come Home,
and it's a song that she
writes about her father,
and it's just her on guitar
and her singing by herself,
and it's a very tender song.
I mean, ya know, she's
singin' from this little,
tiny little space in
her heart probably,
which is a very tender spot.
Oh, boy, I got
a letter today
From my daddy, and
here's what he had to say
Baby, won't you
please come home
He said, baby won't
you please come home
- Then there's a song
called Danny's Song,
which Madonna wrote
about Danny Gilroy.
It's a beautiful song all
about Dan's character,
and what it was like
for her to be with him.
It's a very heartfelt
song, but it's funny.
It's hilarious, ya know, like,
he doesn't care
too much for money.
He leaves it there on the floor.
Daniel likes to run
when the sky is blue
And Daniel goes to the rooftop
when the day is through
Well, he's watching
the fleas in the alley
When the phone
rings on the floor
But he doesn't pick it up
'cause he knows who it's for
- I knew the exact moment when
I thought she'd be famous.
She was playing guitar,
strummin' really big and strong,
and she had really short
hair then, combed back.
She looked like Bowie
and Elvis to me,
strummin' away, and
singin', and here I was
playin' the drums
thinkin', hold on.
I think I'm lookin' at
somethin' that's gonna,
something's gonna happen here.
(somber rock music)
- The next song is a
song which Danny wrote
for Madonna to sing.
It's called Moving Along.
That's the song
that we used to do
before we went into Trouble,
'cause this a slower.
(Ed humming)
Movin' along
So move it along
I cannot be late tonight
But you believe in
how my feet can fly
I just got to be on time
- The next song here is
a song called Simon Says.
This is a great track.
Danny put together a track
and played it backwards.
So it's like (mimicking
tape vocals rewinding)
and Madonna sang
it going forward.
(disjointed upbeat music)
Says Simon here
come shine my shoes
And you cry while you do
it 'cause you got the blues
You say that your
heart's going to break
Maybe soon you will
see your mistake
- And it's the first
time that Madonna
heard herself on
headphones on this one,
and she has one of
those moments, ya know,
where it's like
everything just hits it,
and there's some kind
of a vibration that's
comin' outta ya.
Ya don't know where
it's comin' from.
This is what she
kinda felt, I think,
when she had these
headphones on,
'cause shes' goin', wow, it
sounds really great in here.
(disjointed upbeat music)
You said
Feel so good now
- Madonna had started
writing songs.
So, once Gary and
Mike were in there,
she had a song called
Again and again,
over and over
Again and again,
over and over
Again and again,
over and over
Again and again,
over and over
Ah ah ah
- Ya know, she was
just so cute, ya know?
You could just imagine.
Again and again
And it was a showstopper.
- We played one particular gig.
It was kind of a pop-up place.
It was called Bo's
Space and it was
in the West 20s in Manhattan.
And we played a gig that night,
and the crowd really enjoyed it,
but there was a difference
between when Madonna came out
and did her two numbers.
The crowd really went wild
for those two numbers.
So, I guess that got
into Madonna's head like,
hey, maybe I should sing more.
- At the Bo's Space thing,
I think that that was maybe
the first time where
she, I'm not sure,
but felt like, whoa,
there's somethin' happening
with me and my microphone
that isn't happening
when I'm behind a keyboard
with someone else singing.
(somber music)
And that night in bed,
it was, I felt a distance
that I hadn't felt before.
She was thinkin' about maybe
she didn't wanna be in a band,
or she wanted to front the band.
- Before you knew it, Madonna
and Mike came to me and said,
we're thinking Madonna should,
we think Madonna
should do more numbers.
We think we should flip it.
We think Madonna should
do eight out of the 10,
and the Gilroys should do two.
- Hey, guys.
Do you have a sec?
We have something that we
would like to present to you.
- Okay.
- We were thinking that I
could be the lead singer,
that I could be up
front most of the time.
- This band has no lead singer,
and why would we make
you the lead singer?
- We think that this is
going to benefit the band.
- They said, we think
what we need to do
is have Madonna be in
front doin' her songs,
and us be in the backup band.
- No.
It would change the whole...
I don't know.
Dan, what do you think?
- I don't know.
I mean, these are our songs.
- Exactly.
We're the songwriters.
We're the main parts.
- I've written songs.
- You wrote two songs, Madonna.
You can't do a gig
with two songs.
- 'Cause that was
sensitive, ya know?
And the Gilroys weren't
buyin' it at all.
- We weren't into that.
I didn't wanna be a side person.
- I kinda went along with
it, probably once again
'cause I had a stupid
crush on Madonna.
It was just like a pipe dream.
- She wanted to be out there.
She wanted her songs to be sung.
- Both sides went to
their separate corners,
and we decided to request 50/50.
- What does that mean?
- I mean like 50% of
the time I'm up front,
and 50% of the time one
of you are up front.
- No, that's not
what this band is.
- They said nope.
So that was surprising.
I woulda loved it if they
had done that compromise.
I think everyone
would have been happy.
- Okay.
Okay, well, then I think that
we will start our own band,
and you can be up front all
you would like in your band.
Come on guys, let's go.
- Mike and Gary thought
that the best way to go
would be go with Madonna.
- So, it hurt a lot, but me,
Mike, and Madonna split off.
- To Mike and Gary
it was obvious
that this is an act
that could happen.
To Ed and I it was like this is
this young upstart in the band.
- Dan, it's gonna be fine.
- For Dan and Madonna, it
must have been quiet something
because not only was
the band breakin' up,
but this was also the breakup
of their being together.
- It's over.
You got what you wanted.
- What I wanted?
What the hell?
Dan, you're my brother, man.
You think I wanted to see
you unhappy or something?
- No, Ed, I know.
You liked it better when
it was just us living here.
There you go.
Everything's back to normal.
- Once the music
breakup happened,
she was livin' at the
synagogue with me,
and once the band
broke up, it kinda,
it was all a big thing, ya know?
It was all one big thing,
and the band breakup
signaled the beginning of
everything breakin' up, yeah.
(somber piano music)
I was being brave,
is what I was doing.
See, because it was
obvious that Madonna
wasn't here permanently.
That was from the word go.
You could see she was kind of,
and you know you grab her for
a little while is what it was.
- So, Madonna, Mike,
and I went off.
We had to find a place
to rehearse and stuff.
So, we ended up at
this place called
The Music Building
on 38th Street,
a little below Port
Authority in Times Square.
(soft rock music)
- [Man] Let me see.
- [Narrator] The Music
Building was a place
where musicians
could lease out rooms
to hold their equipment
and to rehearse in.
- Well, The last time
I was here was 1982.
So, it's really, really
going down memory lane.
It's kinda freakin' me out.
- [Narrator] Madonna, Gary,
and Mike couldn't afford
to rent a room on their own,
so they shared it
with another band.
- But oh, this looks
like the same horn
that Madonna was on a lot.
Always hustling, always
hustling. (laughs)
We called ourselves
Madonna In The Sky.
There's no mention on the
internet of Madonna In The Sky,
but that was our
short-lived threesome,
Mike Monahan,
myself, and Madonna.
It was the first time she'd
ever been the front person
of a band, the
total front person.
She was writing her little
songs, playing rhythm guitar.
I was on bass and
Mike was on the drums.
Songs like Safe Neighborhood.
(frenetic punk music)
I live at the
top of the hill
No one keeps me
here against my will
I don't need no
safe neighborhood
I got to feel good
my own way, yeah
- Yep, Madonna was
pumpin' out songs.
I was doin' songs, too, but I
didn't feel they fit the band.
I had my own singer
songwriter thing goin' on.
I was always real super
shy about presenting.
They didn't seem to fit,
I was scared of rejection.
Still life, 'til the
breeze blows it all around
Still listening for a sign
- Did you write that?
- Yeah.
Just a little somethin'
I've been workin' on.
- Once in awhile Madonna
would overhear a song,
or I would leave a tape around.
- I like it.
Keep working on it.
Still life, at least until
the breeze blows it all around
Still listening for a sound
(upbeat rock music)
- Come on, guys, come on.
- Here we go.
- Come on.
- She would dress us.
We would go to
Saint Mark's Place,
which was like the
Bohemian center
of New York City at that time.
- Come on.
Come on, now.
- And she'd buy jackets.
Buy purple pants, you're
gonna wear these purple pants.
You're gonna wear
this red jacket.
Here's a peach colored shirt
with a checkerboard pattern,
then she'd do the same for Mike.
So, she was in
charge of that, too.
(Madonna laughing)
- Wow, that's...
- I think I was in on
her very first
choreography of the band.
She said, "Let's do
this song on our knees."
And Mike was like,
Mike was on the drums,
so, he didn't have to.
He was like, "Don't do that.
"What are you doing?"
So, we're like just doin' this
song, crawling on our knees
while I'm playin' bass
and she's playing guitar.
I was all in, like, okay.
You think that works?
Yeah, it's artistic, ya know?
Bam ba boom bomm
Poor Mike, he had a
full time job as a,
it was Metropolitan
Life Insurance.
So, he'd come from
a long day of work,
come to The Music
Building to rehearse,
and sometimes the beat would
slow down or something,
and Madonna would go, "Mike!"
Ya know, and he'd like.
(soft ominous music)
And then one day he came
in, one hot August day,
he came in and said, "I'm done."
- [Madonna] What are you doing?
- I'm lookin' for
my other stick.
What does it look
like I'm doin'?
- You just need to
start being on time.
This is getting
ridiculous, Mike.
It's becoming an every
night thing with you.
- Screw this.
I'm sorry if I'm not keepin'
up with your standards,
but I have a job, I got bills
and you just don't get it.
- Mike.
Mike, stop.
Look, you're just tired.
- Yeah, I am.
I'm really frickin' tired.
I'm tired of this whole thing.
I'm tired of this band, and
just, it's just everything.
I just can't, I
can't do it anymore.
I'm sorry, bear.
I can't.
- So, he quit.
Mike left the band.
So, then there was
a period of time
where it was just
Madonna and me,
and she was always on the
horn tryin' to get guitarists,
tryin' to hire people,
find a new drummer.
- [Narrator] Back when
Madonna was in college,
she had met a drummer
named Stephen Bray.
She got in touch with
him, and he decided
to come to New York
to join the band.
- Steve knew Madonna
from Michigan,
and he came to town, and that
changed everything for them.
- He's a drummer.
He's a musician.
He's gonna come to New York.
Okay, good.
So, Stephen Bray
came to New York.
(upbeat rock music)
- A lot of that
CBGB's thing back then
was anyone can do this.
We just get up and let's
do it, but Steve was,
Steve had chops, serious chops.
- I remember the
first day he came.
He's kind of amazed,
as many people are,
but you could tell
he had to like, wow.
I thought Detroit was
big, that kind of a thing.
He got into New York right away,
and then he sort of took
over the role of arranger,
you know, the leader
of the group, sort of.
- [Narrator] And
now, this new lineup
needed to find
themselves a name.
- How about we just
call it Madonna?
- Yeah.
I love it.
- I wanted to call it Madonna
'cause that made
perfect sense to me.
- I hate that idea.
- Why not?
It's like rock and roll, man.
You wanna stir things up.
That's what we want.
- I'm not going to be in
a band called Madonna.
- That'll piss people off,
people who believe in
Jesus's mother or whatever.
It'll piss them off.
How dare she call
herself Madonna?
And that was her real name,
that's the funny part.
- How about we call
ourselves No Name.
(Madonna giggles)
How about that?
- Wait, what's No Name
spelled backwards?
How about Emmy for short?
It was actually a nickname
I had growing up, too.
- I didn't wanna
have that name, Emmy.
- Not bad.
I'll go for that one.
- Okay, so, we'll call it Emmy.
What a name.
What a horrible name for
a rock group. (chuckles)
(somber music)
- [Narrator] The Music Building
was not designated
for residents,
but with nowhere else to
live, eating, sleeping,
and even bathing in the building
was Madonna's only option.
- We kinda lived at The
Music Building for a while.
Ya know, that's how bad it was.
It was really the salad days.
We were living in the studio.
We didn't have an apartment.
I had one, but I got kicked
out of it or whatever.
- [Narrator] But even this
little bit of security
would soon be pulled
out from under them.
- All of a sudden, we
were out of the room.
We were told the other
group took over the lease.
You're out, you're out.
It's like, what?
- We're just being
kicked out of the room.
That's all I know.
- They can't do that.
We have a lease, don't we?
- I don't know how it
happened, even to this day.
- [Narrator] Brian Symms
was a guitar player
that was renting a space in
another room in the building,
and was not currently
committed to any band,
which was perfect timing.
- Let's go talk
to him right now.
- We needed a room, Brian
was free, he had the talent.
So, that's how we
formed that Emmy group.
(upbeat rock music)
She'd submit the call
It's so hot behind a wall
But she keeps it in a ball
You'll never break inside
But if you wanna try, you
won't make it out alive
She'll slay you with a
glance, put you in a trance
Are you sure you
wanna dance with Emmy
She's gonna steal your heart
And she wants to know
that you want hers
- She was churnin'
out the songs,
but Steve would arrange
them, so she'd come up
with the chords and the words.
Steve would write a rhythm.
I would come up
with the bass part
or Steve would suggest a
bass part, same with Brian.
He would come up with
his own guitar part,
- I gotcha.
- or Steve would say
try this and that.
So, he was sorta the arranger
- I got it.
- at that point.
We were gettin' gigs around.
We had a New Year's Eve
gig once near Times Square.
That was crazy.
But if you wanna try
- [Narrator] With each gig,
the band was getting better
and they were working hard
to put themselves on the map.
Put you in a trance
Are you sure you wanna dance
- She was on the
phone every day.
She was the most aggressive,
you know other people
just sorta like, you know,
they try to move
their careers along,
but she was super aggressive
about it on a daily basis.
Always on the phone
trying to get a gig,
trying to get a
manager, every day.
Madonna was like having
a tiger by the tail.
She was only like 21
or 22 at the time.
(elevator dings)
But don't expect
to stack it right
You'll never
ever see her cry
- Hey, hey sorry.
You work with that music
woman, the August Management.
- August Artists.
I'm her partner, actually.
- Oh, could you please
give her this tape?
I'd really love for her
to listen to our band.
- (sighs) She's
really busy right now.
I'm not sure she's
gonna have time,
but I'll try to
give it a listen.
- Well, we're really good.
Our name is Emmy, and I
think that if you just
listen to the tape
you would agree.
She's a little heartbreaker
- Yeah, I can do it.
- [Dan] Mm.
- I stuck my finger in it,
(Dan groans)
and I got burned.
- Oh, yeah.
- Did you ever get burned?
- Not yet, no, but I bet
you it'll feel familiar.
- That's a lie.
You've gotten burned.
Even Joan of Arc
could tell you that.
(Dan laughs)
She knows a singed
body when she sees one.
- Oh, yeah, I've
seen the pictures.
- [Narrator] Madonna found
a temporary place to stay,
and was trying to find work,
but things were looking bleak.
- There was a very,
very cold night.
She was renting a room
just around the corner
from The Music Building.
It was like two degrees out,
it was like the coldest
day of the winter.
- Hello?
- And the heat in that building
she was renting a room
in, it wasn't working.
So, I went over there, and she
was like in a fetal position.
- Hey.
- Just really freezing.
(whimpers) "I can't stand this."
- What am I doing here?
I'm not getting anywhere.
What am I gonna do?
- She was so depressed, though.
When she was like, (whimpers)
she was ready to
go back to Detroit.
She really was, she
was ready to bag
the whole Music Building,
the whole music thing.
She was so close to really
bailing on the whole thing.
- I think maybe I
should call Dan.
(somber guitar music)
- "Go out to the synagogue?
"You think that he,"
'cause they'd been split up
for X amount of months.
- It was cold.
I didn't think she felt
well and she asked me
if she could come over
to the synagogue again.
This is after our
breakup and of course
I said, yeah, okay.
- He was probably heartbroken
when they split up
a little bit, but he
didn't hold a grudge.
- [Narrator] Madonna
went back to Corona,
back to the synagogue,
back to Dan.
(soft rock music)
- So she came over
for maybe two days.
We went running in the
park as we used to do.
She said, "I feel like
I'm going backwards."
Meaning being here in Corona,
but it was a nice
little, I don't wanna say
it was like the baby bird
returning to the nest again.
It was a fun couple
of days, but again,
it brought back that, it
was like a breakup again.
How many of these can, ya know?
It was a little
like that for me.
So, off she went.
- I think they had a nice
healing kind of a thing.
Dan probably helped her stay
in the game a little bit,
and I helped to the
extent that I could.
I didn't want her to
go back to Detroit,
but I could tell she was,
it was not happening.
She wanted it to happen now.
- Adam, Adam.
- Listen, you can't keep
following me around like this.
You're hounding me.
- No, I'm not following you.
Did you give it to her?
- Yeah, I gave her your tape.
She's very busy,
like I told you.
Eventually, maybe
she'll have a chance,
but not right now.
- No.
Not eventually.
- I think Madonna knew
that there was this woman
who had a studio
on the third floor.
So, I think she wanted
her to come see our gig
and maybe sign us up.
- In February of 1981, Adam's
partner, Camille Barbone,
was finally convinced to check
out the band's performance
at Max's Kansas City.
(audience chattering)
- I had worked very
hard (chuckles)
to get us a gig at
Max's Kansas City.
That was a hard place to
get a gig at in 1980, '81,
but I also sensed
something and I was saying,
Madonna, I don't wanna
rehearse for a month
and do this Max's
Kansas City gig
if we're just gonna
split up the next day,
I remember saying.
No, no, no.
- So, I went to see Emmy
with Steve Bray and Gary.
It was interesting,
because you could see
this gradual shift in direction,
that it was becoming
more about her.
(upbeat punk rock music)
- We did the gig at Max's.
She was great, she
was like crazy.
She was walkin' out on
the tables, ya know?
Madonna was like in
good form that night.
She was like really, had a
good rapport with the band.
She was just like
really doing good.
She was good that night.
She's a little love taker
She's a little body shaker
She's a little heartbreaker
troublemaker, troublemaker
Love taker
Body shaker
troublemaker, troublemaker
- She blew Camille away.
I knew Camille was there.
I was all for it, too.
She keeps it in a fog.
You'll never break inside
But if you wanna try
You won't make it out alive
- But
Camille didn't want the band.
She'll slay you
with a glance
She'll put you in a trance
Are you sure you wanna dance
- So, the next morning, I'm
just like in our rehearsal room.
These two guys come in
and say, "Did you hear?"
She wants to know
that you want hers
- Your band is breaking up.
She wants to know
that you want hers
- [Gary] So I never even got
it from the horse's mouth.
(audience cheering)
- Madonna later
told me that Camille
had offered to manage
her that night.
- I tried to play it cool
like, yeah, whatever, ya know?
I felt bad about it.
(somber music)
I had laid it out there.
I don't wanna rehearse
for the next month
if we're just gonna
split the next day.
When that happens, it
kind of pisses you off.
- Hey.
So, that's it?
You did exactly what you
said you wouldn't do.
Oh no, I'm not
gonna drop the band.
Well, this could be
good for all of us.
No, no, Madonna.
You can't just ignore me, okay?
This is wrong.
- Gary!
What do you want me to do?
- She just turned
and walked away.
I made her very uncomfortable.
(fist banging)
- This isn't over, Madonna.
You can't just do
whatever you want.
- You could tell she was
embarrassed about it,
but she had to do
what she had to do.
- Please open the door.
- It was very
embarrassing, actually,
when I think back on it.
It was like, let it go,
Gary, let it go. (laughs)
- It was this guy, you know?
- Yeah.
- I said, you do it.
I'm gonna be sick.
So, I walked out.
- Yeah.
- Well, the next
day I came back.
- You threw up
on the guy.
- No. (chuckles)
No, but he had saved
one part of the rat
for me to scalp.
Guess what it was?
- I can guess.
- They were all bloaty.
It was icky.
I don't mean to be talkin'
about these things,
but it's reality, ya know?
Reality's gotta be talked about.
- [Narrator] In March of
1981, Camille and Adam
signed Madonna to their
management company.
Madonna immediately
began working
on new music, ready
to present herself
for the first time
as a solo artist.
Using her industry contacts,
Camille began showcasing
Madonna in nightclubs
around New York and Long Island.
One of those clubs
was called U.S. Blues.
Camille hired
photographer George DuBose
to capture this
performance on film.
Her look was becoming
more stylized
as she developed her new
singular onstage persona.
Camille had also
arranged for Madonna
to record a demo tape
of some new songs.
The tape included songs
like Love On The Run,
High Society, and Get Up.
Get up
Get up
Get up
Get up
Get up
Get up
Get up
(crowd member whistles)
(crowd cheering)
(dark electronic music)
- [Narrator] Madonna was
flourishing as an artist,
but the relationship
between she and Camille
took a bad turn, and Madonna
no longer wanted Camille
to be her manager.
- And the rest of the
breakups that happened,
she had to go off on her own.
That was just the way it was.
(upbeat synthesizer music)
- [Narrator] No
longer having a band,
and no longer having
management support,
all that Madonna
had was a demo tape
that she recorded
with Stephen Bray,
which included a song
called Everybody.
Madonna began bringing
that demo tape
around to the dance
clubs in New York
hoping to get a
deejay to play it,
places like Danceteria and
deejays like Freddy Bastone.
- I encountered Madonna
21st Street, Danceteria.
She was trying to
get a record deal.
The deejays that were playing
on the weekend were myself,
Mark Kamins, and it
didn't even have to do
with the weekends.
She was coming, you know,
seven nights a week,
Danceteria was open.
She was there seven
nights a week,
and she was peddling
her wares, so to speak.
(rhythmic dance music)
(hand tapping)
I wasn't interested.
I know I look
foolish saying that,
but it's the truth,
and I'm not gonna say
I thought she was gonna be
a genius, 'cause I didn't.
It wasn't my cup of tea.
I'd be stupid saying
this now, but I probably,
if it came by me again,
knowing what I know now,
I'd sign it, but
if I didn't know,
I'd probably still say no way.
This is just like
pop dance stuff.
The main deejay who took an
interest was Mark Kamins.
I didn't take an interest.
He was one of the most
groundbreaking deejays,
and he had the ears
and the foresight
to know what was gonna
happen with that artist.
He brought it to his company
that he was working with
at the time, Sire Records.
- [Narrator] At the
helm of Sire Records
was a man named Seymour Stein.
- Mark kind of had
a deal with Sire
and Seymour that he would
bring in records or acts
and give it to them first.
So, when he got Madonna,
he brought it to Seymour,
and Seymour took
Madonna on right away.
(upbeat pop music)
- [Narrator] To Stephen
Bray's disappointment,
the record deal wasn't
likely to happen
unless Mark Kamins produced,
even though Stephen had
produced the demo recording.
- They signed her
(snaps) as quickly
as you can sign an artist.
I know it was not, they didn't
think about it too much.
It was like they got
Mark into the studio,
and they did Everybody.
Actually, I was
invited to the studio.
I believe it was
Blank Tape Studio.
I never went.
I wish I did (chuckles)
so I can say I was there!
But no, I never was there.
It was because he said,
"I'm doin' Madonna.
"You know, that girl that
keeps on bothering us?
"We're signing her."
So, like a fool
throughout this story,
Freddy the fool for
Madonna, I did not go,
because I did not
believe in the project.
- [Narrator] In October of
1982, Sire Records released
Madonna's very first
single, Everybody.
- Sire Records, you
gotta hand it to them.
They went after it.
- When Everybody
came out on Sire,
Steve was really pissed
off 'cause Mark Kamins
basically did the exact
arrangement of the demo.
- I think Mark's production,
and I know what Stephen's
work is, and it's very good.
Stephen is a great writer,
(upbeat dance music)
but Mark's deejaying
capabilities and
deejaying wizardry,
it was about creating chaos,
and creating a whole vibe,
and that's what he
did with Madonna.
It was like a funky
house New York sound.
Not taking anything
away from Stephen.
He's a great producer,
great writer,
but I don't think Stephen
could have done that
for that first record, and
they might have been lost
if they didn't go
that direction.
Who knows?
- [Narrator] By November,
the song entered
Billboard's Top 100
on the dance charts,
but Madonna knew that she
still needed to push hard
to get the song played anywhere
and everywhere possible.
- Oh, no, here she comes.
Lock the door! (laughs)
So, my friend Michael
would lock the door,
'cause I just did not
wanna be bothered.
I didn't want her comin'
up to the deejay booth
and standing there
until I played it,
because that's
what she would do.
She would stand there,
give me the cassette,
and if she gave me the cassette,
she wouldn't let me hold it.
Ya know, having somebody
standing there is just,
it gets to you.
You just want, you're like,
what do you want, already?
So, you're either gonna play
it, or you're gonna tell her
I'm not gonna play it,
and I would tell her
I'm not gonna play it.
- [Narrator] Mark Kamins
was on Madonna's side,
and was also very invested in
having this record succeed.
- Because she knew Mark was in
her corner at that time, too.
There was the pre-Mark,
and then the after Mark.
So, the pre-Mark, I
didn't really care.
But then after Mark,
I was like, oh no,
I gotta start playin'
this now. (grumbles)
That kind of music never got me,
that single solo
girl pop star thing.
So, shows you what I know.
- [Narrator] With the help
of deejays, record promoters,
and perhaps the
biggest promoter,
Madonna herself, the
song quickly climbed
as high as number three
on the dance charts.
- It was a 24 hour shift.
I was just really, like
eight cups of coffee,
feeling like chills
and runny, and
Uh, uh, eh, eh, eh
came on the radio,
(static crackles)
although it was kinda
fun, there's Madonna,
it made me think,
man, oh what happened?
It was depressing.
- And now, No Entiendes
is proud to present
the world premiere of Sire
Recording artist Madonna.
(audience cheers)
Now get up and do your thing!
(audience cheers)
- [Narrator] Madonna
put together a track
act performance,
and took it on the
road starting out
at Danceteria.
- Go on, girl.
(upbeat electronic music)
- [Audience Member] Woo!
Everybody come
on, dance and sing
Everybody get up
and do your thing
Everybody come
on, dance and sing
Everybody get up
and do your thing
- It wasn't a huge hit,
Everybody, but it was a hit
in urban areas, in all the
major cities in The States.
It was a good dance hit,
it wasn't a pop hit.
(rhythmic pop music)
- [Narrator] It was enough
of a hit that Sire Records
gave Madonna another
single release,
and then finally a
full first album.
- I went to see her, and
she had a track act going.
She had herself and
another female dancer
and two male dancers, and
I was really impressed.
She'd really gotten it together.
She saw me in the audience,
and she smiled at me,
kind of like cranked
it up a little bit
seeing that I was there.
And for some reason,
I didn't go backstage.
At that point, I think I
was a little intimidated.
To this day, I regret
that I didn't go back
and stay and talk
to her after that
'cause that was the
last time I was anywhere
within 10 feet of her, with
100 feet of her, ya know?
- [Narrator] The release
of Madonna's first album
coincided with MTV
Music Television
taking over TV sets
all over the world.
Music videos like Burning Up,
Lucky Star, and Borderline
were making Madonna
a household name.
- Ooh, it happened so fast.
After Everybody and
Physical Attraction stuff,
those were like club hits.
Borderline was an MTV
video in heavy rotation,
and it was on all over
the radio, ya know,
that whole Reggie Lucas
produced first album,
that was the eponymous album
just called Madonna, right?
And she had her
whole image together,
the East Village Bohemian
thing, but she made it her own.
The bow and the hair
and the rubber bracelets
and the BOY TOY buckle
and the whole thing.
She'd really branded herself.
That's how smart
she is, ya know?
It was a different route,
and it was a fresher route
that she took, and so
I think that aided,
and then the perfect
storm of MTV and Madonna.
The camera loves her,
as opposed to me.
The camera hates
me, loves Madonna.
And the camera loved her.
I mean, she looked good
in those early MTV videos.
So, like, bam!
Rocket to stardom there.
She was a video star.
Video killed the
radio star (chuckles)
- [Narrator] For the very
first MTV Video Awards Show,
rather than performing
one of her current hits,
Madonna shocked viewers
with an introduction
to the title track from her yet
to be released second album,
Like A Virgin.
(bright pop music)
In November of 1984, Like
A Virgin was released,
giving Madonna her
first number one single.
- Usually, second albums
are cursed, ya know?
It's like that second
album, oh my God.
The second year on a
football player's career.
It is always weird,
the second year,
but her second album was mega.
I mean, I had to play it at
the Palladium, Like A Virgin,
I had to play it
three times a night.
"Can you play Madonna?"
- [Narrator] Madonna
and Stephen Bray
remained on good terms,
and she brought him
into the songwriting mix
of the Like A Virgin album,
which went on to sell
over 20 million copies.
- Steve saw that, ya know,
I'm gonna stay with this path.
Even though he was pissed
off that Mark Kamins
stole his arrangement,
he didn't let it
blow up their relationship.
So, that was smart
of him. (laughs)
(dramatic electric guitar music)
- [Narrator] In April 1985,
Madonna began her
first major tour,
performing songs from
her first two albums.
At this point, she
was selling records
at a rate of over
75,000 per day,
and the tour was
selling out as quickly
as tickets went on sale.
(upbeat pop music)
- I knew she was gonna make it,
but I didn't know she was gonna
make it that big that fast.
So, it did blow my mind,
and then as time went on,
she kept on staying
at that level of fame,
or rising to a
higher level of fame.
Marilyn to Madonna
It's like you're going,
I played with that chick.
It's weird.
It's pretty mind blowing.
- [Narrator] She
landed a small role
in the film Vision Quest,
and then a major role
in the film Desperately
Seeking Susan.
She was now well on her way
to becoming a
worldwide superstar.
- She wanted it that bad,
she's that ambitious.
She was not gonna be stopped.
- [Narrator] All the
while, Dan and Ed Gilroy
had continued working on songs
and playing out
as a two-man act.
- Dan and Ed Gilroy
gave me a tape
of what they had been doing
in the last year or so,
I guess it was, and
I was playing it
'cause I was gonna rejoin them,
I was gonna go back to playing
bass for them and stuff.
Steve heard it.
That took a memory
- He liked it, ya know?
I can't wait, I
don't wanna know
- Gary happened to play
some of our tape for Steve,
and Steve said, "Oh
wow, what's that?"
- So, after Breakfast Club
with Madonna broke up,
and then Emmy broke up,
we were able to get Steve
to rehearse with us as he
had been working with Gary,
and we put together
the New Breakfast Club.
(upbeat synthesizer music)
- And Steve and Gary came
over here to the synagogue,
and we started doing the songs
that Dan and I had
been workin' on.
- Getting Steve in the
band was a big deal
because it took us to a really
different level musically.
- We kinda became a dance
synthesizer driven band
with drum machines, and it was
sort of a Steve Bray thing.
- Stephen was really
good in rehearsal
because it was
like all business.
Let's do it, let's do it again,
let's do it over again,
let's do it over again.
Instead of moving
to the next song,
let's get this one right.
- [Narrator] Because of
Stephen having co-written
several songs on the
Like A Virgin album,
the band was able to
get their demo tapes
into the hands of
major record companies.
- But it was a lot of
fun and it was exciting
being courted by
A&R people and such.
- The phone rang, it was
Irving Azoff from MCA,
and saying I wanna
sign you guys.
That was the first I heard.
What a day that was.
- And then Breakfast Club
got signed to MCA Records.
- [Narrator] In
1987, Breakfast Club
released their studio album.
- The big record on our
thing was Right on Track,
which was a big summer hit.
It went to number like seven
on the Billboard Hot 100.
You couldn't go anywhere
without hearing it on the radio
or at the beach or
something like that.
Gonna make a move
that knocks you over
Watch this turn, this
one's gonna put you away.
Yeah, but I'm doin' my
very best dancin', yeah
Every time you're
lookin' the other way
I could move out to
the left for awhile
- And we got nominated for
a Grammy as Best New Artist.
Madonna was very supportive.
She sent telegrams
over here, ya know,
Great F, asterisk, asterisk,
asterisk, asterisk,
I-N-G album.
- Did a lot of
nice videos on MTV
back when they used
to play videos,
and we used to do MTV
veejaying, which was fun, too.
(bright electric guitar music)
Hi, we're Dan and Ed.
We're from Breakfast Club.
Steve and Gary
aren't here today.
- We miss 'em, to.
- We love 'em.
- So, we had a pretty good
relationship with MTV,
and we shot like six videos.
One of them was Kiss and
Tell, which we shot in L.A.
(upbeat pop music)
La la la la la, oh oh
I'll kiss and tell
And everybody's gonna know
La la la la
- Silverlake, I think
is where we shot it,
and Madonna stopped by.
- She did show up
for Kiss and Tell.
It was our second video shoot.
- We weren't all
that well known,
and Madonna coming to the
shoot made an amazing stir.
- Madonna's here, you
know, Madonna's...
She was pretty famous by then.
- The whole, the
crew, and everybody,
the craft services people,
because Madonna
was there. (laughs)
She come up to me, and gave
me a big kiss on the mouth,
and everybody, suddenly
my cache went way up.
It was like can I get you?
Can I get you?
Suddenly I was like,
'cause Madonna, Madonna.
And people were, can
you introduce me to her?
(soft synthesizer music)
- I was a little starstruck
about it. (chuckles)
She had made it so big.
I was a little like tongue tied.
She was probably there
more to see Steve and Dan,
I figured, or
something like that.
- I hadn't seen her in awhile,
and she was huge at that point.
I hadn't seen her
since she was not huge,
and the difference
was pretty amazing,
the way people responded.
- Remember how all I wanted
was for people to notice me?
Now, I find myself just
hiding most of the time.
- And it might have
been at a point
where she was just
bein' hounded,
paparazzi and all
of that, but yeah.
"Now, I spend all
my time hiding."
The ants play
Bingo in your snout
Your eyes cave in,
your teeth decay
Don't cry
- Yeah, let's just,
- It's not serious at all.
Don't cry, Dan.
- No.
- Don't cry.
(Dan grunts)
- You said somethin'.
- Do you cry when I cry?
Do you taste your tears?
(soft ambient music)
(audience cheering)
- [Narrator] In 2008
Madonna was inducted
into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame.
- I got a phone call from
my niece livin' out in L.A.,
said, "Hey, did you hear?
"Madonna was inducted
into the Hall of Fame.
"She talked about Uncle
Eddie and Uncle Danny."
- It was a surprise
that she mentioned me,
like right away,
like that was great.
It was wonderful, in fact,
and it changed my whole,
in town, the musicians in town
were like, did you see that?
Suddenly, again, it's
like we were with Madonna.
It's like she threw
the spotlight.
- I have always been fortunate
to have people around me
who believed in me.
Starting with my ballet
teacher, Christopher Flynn,
and then there was Dan Gilroy.
He lived in an abandoned
synagogue in Queens
with his brother, Ed.
They played in a band together.
I was sick of being
an out of work dancer,
so he taught me
how to play guitar.
I wrote my first song
in that synagogue.
It was called, ironically,
Tell the Truth.
- One, two, three, four.
This is what I'm
going to tell you
This is what
I'm going to say
It's not very
clear, but it's okay
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth to me
- I remember that
moment so, so vividly.
I remember the hair standing
up on the back of my arms,
and I thought to myself,
who just wrote that song?
- Ya know, that thing about
when you hear something,
and you go wow, is
this, and she said this,
when she wrote her first
song, Tell the Truth,
right here on this
Carlo Robelli guitar,
and right here in
this room, she said,
"Oh, what is that?
"Is it me?"
- I felt like I had been
possessed by some magic.
(light guitar music)
I don't have far to go now
But it certainly seems so
But you are the end
of the line, dear
I really do wanna go
Madonna probably felt
like her time here
was really a good time for
her, ya know what I mean?
She came in and
found that footing
that maybe she was looking for.
Am I gonna be a dancer or this?
She saw songwriters and all
this music and instruments,
and so she was able to figure
out I wanna be a songwriter.
I wanna put my stuff out there.
I wanna play music, and
so, ya know, it had to be.
- There are many
talented beautiful girls,
but she had the drive
to push it all the way
to make every bit of her
talent work and pay off.
- And she's smart, and
she's a businesswoman,
and so she wanted it all,
and she really did it.
- I mean, I knew that
she was gonna make it
with that ambition.
I didn't think she'd be
on the cover of Time,
necessarily, two years
later, but she was. (laughs)
- She's the one who made
it happen for herself.
You can be as male or
female as you wanna be,
but you're gonna
be your own person,
and I think that's what
there is about Madonna
to this day that
makes her so powerful.
- She's not some pop star that
was molded by Madison Avenue
or the entertainment
industry to become famous.
She's someone that
was born that way,
and that essence is
there until she's gone,
and maybe, who knows, beyond.
- One, two, ah.
(light acoustic guitar music)
I see you and me on a boat
Or a raft or something
that will float
And we're drifting
Little breeze,
the gentle swell
Otherwise how can we
tell if we're drifting
And if we don't know
Where we're going to,
why should we care
We'll find out
when we get there
I've got you
Oh I know no
matter where we go
Let's keep drifting
And if they say
You're gonna drift your
life away, why do we care
We'll just say hey
I will be there
And if we drift too
close to the shore
We could go there
What for
Let's keep drifting
Yeah, let's keep drifting
- Come on, I think we're ready.
- [Madonna] Okay, bye.
- I'll give you
an extension cord.
- [Interviewer] If she
walked in the room right now,
what would you say to her?
- If she walked in
the room right now?
It would be quite fun, I'm sure.
I'm sure she'd go hey, hey,
and I'd give her a hug,
a long, long, long hug.
That's what I'd do,
and it would be fun.
No doubt. (chuckles)
- [Interviewer] That's a wrap!
(men laugh)
- [Singer] One,
two, three, four.
(upbeat rock music)
I don't have far to go now
But it certainly seems so
With you at the end
of the line, dear
I really do wanna go
But this wind it keeps
whippin' in on me
The cold wind it keeps
whippin' in on me
Oh, yeah
Sometimes my spirit's empty
And I need to fill it up
I know that there is plenty
But I never get enough
'Cause this wind that
keeps whippin' in on me
Ooh, ooh, ooh
The cold wind it keeps
whippin' in on me
Oh yeah
Sometimes I try to attack it
Sometimes I try to attack it
Sometimes I try to attack it
It just blows me away
Sometimes I try
to attract it
Sometimes I try
to attract it
Sometimes I try
to attract it
It just blows me down
'Cause this wind it
keeps whippin' in on me
The cold wind it keeps
whippin' in on me
Oh, yeah
It keeps whippin'
It keeps whippin'
It keeps whippin' in on me
It keeps whippin', whippin',
whippin', whippin', whippin'
In on me