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Madonna Interview : Star Hits

Madonna / Star Hits (December 1984)

“I have sunglasses on right now because my eyes are killing me,” apologizes Madonna. “I haven’t slept in three days and a friend of mine is in jail right now and I just found out last night… ugh, forget it, it’s a long story, but never a dull moment in my life.”

She’s just wrapped up a day’s worth of meetings between her manager and Nile Rogers, who’s producing her new LP “Like A Virgin.” The album, which will feature tracks called “Dress You Up,” “Material Girl” and “Angel,” will be released as soon as her debut album gives it some room on the charts. Mr. R, she admits, “is a very passionate man. He lives life to the hilt. When you deal with people who are that way you get good stuff and bad stuff, but it was really great working with him.”

But right now Madonna- nattily turned out in a black leather jacket with silver graffiti, “kind of bluish” lipstick and the usual rubber jewelry and crucifixes – is content to unwind over a grapefruit and Campari, chewing on the questions as eagerly as she attacks her two sticks of Trident sugarless bubblegum.

David: Where did you learn to dance?

Madonna: I really leaned on my own. I watched television a lot and I used to try to copy Shirley Temple when I was a little girl. I used to turn on the record player and dance in the basement by myself and give dance lessons to my girlfriends in my five year old manner. As I got older I started giving lessons to boys, too, and I remember the first guy I gave lessons to the song was “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Stones. It was really sexy, right, like stomping and grinding. When I was about 12 I decided I should try to get pro about this and started going to the schools where they teach jazz, tap, baton twirling and gymnastics. It was just a place to send hyperactive girls, basically.

David: Do you worry about your weight?

Madonna: Sure, that’s why I swim 100 laps every day to keep in shape. It’s good to have a supple body, you can move around easily and it’s a lot more visually appealing. You feel better too when you’re at a normal weight.

David: What one thing would you change about yourself if you could?

Madonna: I always wanted to be taller. I feel like a shrimp, but that’s the way it goes. I’m 5’4″ – that’s actually average. Everything about me is average, everything’s normal, in the books. It’s the things inside that makes me not average. I’d also change my indecisiveness. Yes, no, yes, no YES! In my business career I feel I make good decisions but in my personal life I’m constantly creating havoc by changing mind every five seconds.

David: Who would you like to go out with: Rick Springfield, Simon le Bon, Lionel Richie or David Lee Roth?

Madonna: Ugh. UGH. Yeeeuch! C’mon. I wouldn’t go out with any of them if you want to know the truth. If I had to choose, I’d go out with David Lee Roth, but I wouldn’t dress up for him.

David: Is there any item of clothing you have that you wouldn’t dare to wear in public?

Madonna: Well, underpants. I wouldn’t wear just sexy underpants in public. I have to feel really comfortable and that my clothes look good, but not that I obviously tried to make them look good. My favorite clothes are my Vivienne Westwood skirt with Keith Haring designs, this ripped-up black net shirt and a denim jacket with my graffiti tag “Boy Toy written on the back. I used to go out with graffiti writers and I got into the habit of carrying markers around, but I really lost the zest for writing my name everywhere. Now I have suitors that do it for me.

David: What’s your most treasured possession?

Madonna: A picture of my mother when she was young and she was riding on a horse and smiling and laughing. She didn’t give it to me. My mother died when I was real young and when I moved to New York I stole it from my father.

David: What did you like best about Britain?

Madonna: They have lots of good clothes shops. I always have a good time shopping there because fashion is so important to English people. I didn’t have time to find any good restaurants, but I like the way the cars are on the other side.

David: What is your wildest ambition?

Madonna: Well, I’d love to be a memorable figure in the history of entertainment in some sexual comic-tragic way. I’d like to leave the impression that Marilyn Monroe did, to be able to arouse so many different feelings in people.

David: How do you see yourself in 30 years’ time?

Madonna: Hopefully I’ll be incredibly mellow and wise with age. Not mellow, but very wise and still just as mischievous and childlike and wondering as I am now.