10.21.2008

Madonna's Tale of the Tape

As Madonna and her now very much soon-to-be ex-husband, Guy
Ritchie, ready their phalanx of upper-crust lawyers to battle over
Madge’s $600 million estate, isn’t it the perfect time for a little
reminder of the Material Girl’s humble beginnings? Andrew Morton,
Madonna’s trusted biographer, certainly thinks so. Yesterday, Tina
Brown’s Daily Beast posted
what they described as audio from a home recording of the pop-singer
dating to the time she spent living in the basement of a Queens
synagogue 27 long years ago. (Ah ha! Now we know where her Kabbalah
obsession comes from.) These “lost tapes” were recorded by Madonna’s
roommate Ed Gilroy, brother to Madonna’s then-boyfriend, Dan. "It is
sweet and raw,” Morton says of the recording. “It signifies to me how
far she has come, a reminder of the explosion of talent."


It may be “sweet”—at one point, Madonna implores Dan to stop picking
his nose before asking, “Well, my butt’s itchy. Should I start itching
it?” But it’s far from “raw.” The nearly four-minute clip is heavily
edited and liberally interspersed with Madonna’s Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame speech earlier this year. The whole affair feels loaded with
self-mythology (which, all things considered, isn’t particularly
surprising), as if Madonna and her handlers couldn’t let a snippet of
audio out into the world without referencing the cosmic force she has
become. In fact, the whole itchy butt bit is introduced with one of
Madonna’s ubiquitous Talmud quotes: “For every blade of grass there’s
an angel that watches over it and whispers ‘grow, grow.’”


Still, it’s a treat to hear the first song Madonna ever wrote, “Tell
the Truth,” after practicing the four guitar chords her boyfriend
taught her “over and over and over again.” And her stuff wasn’t bad,
neither; much of its sounds like Chrissie Hynde or Debbie Harry trying
to record their own Exile in Guyville—which, now that we think about it, neatly describes Madge’s own predicament at the moment.

source: NYObserver.com