Madonna Makes The People Come Together…Yeah.

I just caught the encore of last night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on VH1 Classic. By the time I settled down in front of the tv last night when it was on LIVE, I was only able to catch Billy Joel’s long-ass introduction for John Cougar/John Cougar Mellencamp/John Mellencamp, and John’s equally long-ass speech, which were both mildly entertaining. I have always liked John Mellencamp, both his songs and his passion for the Midwest and its farmers.

But alas, while I assumed that Madonna’s induction would be last (keeping the people hooked in for the ratings), I had missed her. I set my DVR for today’s show, and now you’re caught up with my story.

As I watched the highlight-filled video about her entire musical career, I marvelled at how much she has achieved. I am one of the many who has followed her since the very beginning. I purchased a mesh shirt (though not brave–or old–enough to wear it over just a bra) and I wore bangle bracelets and sunglasses while doing my best to learn the choreography from the “Borderline” video that was on constant rotation on MTV.


Me and my mesh shirt, circa 1983

I remember having a debate with my dad about a Time or Newsweek article from around 1982 or 1983 that compared Madonna to Cyndi Lauper. It basically proclaimed that, between the two of them, the one who had no staying power was Madonna and that Cyndi Lauper was going to take over the world. (My dad agreed with the article while I begged to differ.)

I continued to purchase her music over the years and always wanted to see her perform live, but figured it would probably never happen. Then my sister surprised me with two tickets for us to attend the Confessions Tour! When Madonna came to Chi-town on this tour, it was big news that she intentionally kept the stadiums she performed in extremely warm. If I recall (there I go, trying to remember stuff again), it was partly for her voice but partly to simulate a hot and sweaty dance club. It was freakin’ hot in the United Center that night, that’s for sure! Our seats were high up but on the side of the stage so we could see really well. It was a really good show and we had a great time. We even had a few cold drinks so we could manage the heat. (hee hee) Since I work in the fitness industry and see lots of “Hot Mamas” who are well into their 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s, Madonna’s level of fitness in her late 40’s didn’t surprise me at all, but man, she is a phenomenal entertainer! Her concert was not just a “show”; it really was an “Experience”. We were blown away by some of her big numbers, like this one:

Now, not wanting to take a darn thing away from Cyndi Lauper (because I also enjoy her music immensely and she certainly carved out a fabulous career for herself as well: WHY did the writer of that article feel the need to declare that only one of them would be successful?), Madonna has certainly affected the music world–and continues to do that–in a major way.

Justin Timberlake was the person who was chosen to give the induction speech for Madonna, and although the parts of the speech where he “jabbed” at his former girlfriend (the troubled Pop Princess) are being heavily quoted today, his entire speech was really funny and well done. I’m sure it’ll be on Youtube any minute now.

Madonna’s speech as also well done. It was sincere and heartwarming, really. It was nice to get a teeny tiny bit of emotion (though no tears!) out of this woman known for her no-nonsense methods. (I also noticed that she dropped the British accent for the speech! Yay!)

The part that puzzled me the most, and I’m hoping to get some comments about it from those of you who watched it, is why Iggy Pop performed punked-up versions of two of her hits (“Burning Up” and “Ray of Light”). I get it that’s he’s from Michigan, like Madonna. I get it that he opened for her on her 2004 Reinvention Tour. But…uh…WHY? Why didn’t she just perform her own stuff? That was so annoying to me! I have not been a big fan of Iggy Pop music over the years, with the exception of this song, which is one of my favorites (and not, methinks, in his typical style):

After I got over the fact that Madge would indeed not perform, I became intrigued by the idea of Iggy perhaps punking up and performing “Like a Virgin”, but he didn’t. That’s okay. Had he done that, there’s no way it would have been more entertaining than THIS version:

Anyone wanna add anything?


  • Jules

    First of all, her live performance of Jump (that you posted) was my FAVORITE part of the show, and I actually still think about that all of the time. I thought it was so clever and innovative in it’s simplicity… and whether it was because of Madonna’s creativity or the genius who gets paid big bucks to come up with those kinds of ideas, I just totally appreciated the thought put behind the performance being such a good match for the song. Having said that, I don’t know the reasons behind Madonna not performing, but you’re not the only one annoyed. Did you read Jen’s post on that, too?

    Nice mesh shirt, by the way. That might be the one article of clothing I never borrowed from you. 😉

    House of Jules

  • Anonymous

    Billy Joels’ “longass speech” was all of 6 minutes. And every minute was either hysterical or eloquent. Turn off your TV once in a while and try reading a book or two.

  • KathyLikesPink

    Wow I am so out of it I didn’t even know the show was on, let alone Madonna being inducted. DUH. I’m going to search for something on the web about it.

    I’ve never purchased any of her music although I think I know the words to all her top hits – I certainly sing along loud enough when they come on the radio!

  • Melisa

    Joodie: Yep, I read Jen’s post the other day. I’m glad to know she was annoyed too. 🙂

    Anonymous: Billy, is that you?? I did say that I found your speech mildly entertaining: relax…breathe!

    Kathy: That’s okay. I don’t think it was the most important news of the day or anything! 🙂

  • Don Mills Diva

    Man I meant to watch that and then I missed it. Madonna really HAS achieved a lot – she has a lot of good tunes and she had me wearing a lot of mesh back in the 80s too!

  • Jules

    Is that “Anonymous” our Dad again? He was always trying to get us to read. Dad, you’re so sneaky!!! 😉

    I did see Justin’s speech on YouTube this a.m., so people might be able to catch some of the show there, INCLUDING BILLY JOEL’S LONG-ASS, YET HYSTERICAL AND ELOQUENT SPEECH!!!… or they could just take “Anonymous'” advice and shut off the TV to catch up on some reading. You know, like “Anonymous” does. Which is exactly how “Anonymous” knows how hysterical & eloquent Billy Joel’s speech was, from all that TV-free reading.

    I’m just sayin’.

  • Melisa

    Joozie: LOL, nope…THAT Anonymous was not Dad. I think it really *was* Billy Joel; my sitemeter indicates someone who searched blogs for Billy Joel stopped into the party.

    🙂 ROFL

  • Troop 542

    This is too funny! I bet it was Billy Joel and he was pissed that Madonna got more attention than him in the aftermath of the induction ceremony!

  • Mom24

    Hhhhmmmm…Elvis to Madonna…you do have eclectic taste, don’t you!

    Billy Joel certainly has his cranky pants on!

  • Mags

    NICE shirt!!! I wasn’t skinny enough (or so I thought) to wear one of those and look cute-but man-you really rocked it out!


  • Melisa

    Troop: Sounds like a good assumption!

    Stacey: LOL at Billy’s cranky pants!

    Mags: Thanks! I think the huge white earrings helped…LOL!