GA: The East Village today is the scene like Greenwich Village was in the ’50s, but it seem to be much more fashion-orianted.
M: It is. It’s fashionable to “slum.” To live with five people in an apartment and to wear the same outfit every day, to never comb your hair and to live on jellybeans – no pun intended. You know, half the people I hung out with from the downtown area have totally snubbed me. They think that I’m selling out and stuff. If I go back to clubs they won’t talk to me. Nasty little digs like, “Little Madonna, now she’s a big star and she can’t talk to us.” That’s why I don’t feel a real unity with all those people, becuase half of them have totally pusted me anyway. They say like, “Oh, she never really hung out anyway, she’s not really downtown.”
GA: But you obviously still go out.
M: When I’m around weekends and I’m not too tired. Saturday night at the Roxy are great now. I go to the Fun House, too.
GA: What gives you confidence, which you seem to have in abundance?
M: Well, I grew up in a really big family and in an environment where you had to get over it to be heard. I was like the she-devil.
GA: I suppose you were the loudest?
M: Yeah. My father used to pay us money for the grades we got on our report cards, and he geared me up for being competitive when I was really young. My mother died when I was really young so I didn’t have this image of what feminine girls do or anything. And my father never brought me up to get married and have kids, he atually braught me up to be very goal-orianted, to be a lawyer or doctor and study, study, study. We didn’t get allowances, but we definitely got rewards for achieving. And I have all these brothers and sisters so, of course, I sought out the opportunity to be number one all the time. I got the best grades, straight A’s. Subsequently, all my brothers and sisters hated me.
GA: Did you fight with them?
M: All the time. I was the tattletale of the family. I was the rat-tink. I had my father wrapped around my finger. No, no, I mean I was the oldest girl. I had two older brothers, but they would skip classes all the time. They were really bad boys.
GA: What sort of music did you listen to when you were growing up?
M: When I was growing up, my older brothers were into hard rock and I hated it. And they would purposely scratch the needle across my pop records, like my Incense and Peppermints record, and my Gary Pucket Young Girl Get Out of My Mind record, and they would tell me it was trash, and say, “Get that sh*t out of here.” Then they’d put on something like Mahavishnu Orchestra.
GA: What’s “Boy Toy” on your belt buckle?
M It’s my tag name. It’s what I am when I write graffiti… I like nicknames. I think Jellybean’s got the best one though. The name of my publishing company is “Webo Girl.” It’s actually a direct translation: “Webo” means “Ball shaker” in Spanish. But it’s the name of a dance… like the Smurf. It’s the way everybody was dancing awhile ago, and I named my publishing company that because me and this girl Debbie and this girl Claudia were the only white girls that could Webo at the Roxy. And Kano, the graffiti artist, painted on the back of our jackets, one of the painting, one of his pieces and it said, “Webo Gals.” And that was the name of our group.
GA: Do you envision a time when they’ll be marketing the Madonna Doll?
M: The doll who’s hair you don’t have to comb.
GA: With little rubber bracelets and a drawstring in the back.
M: And the only thong she says is, “Stop pulling my hair.” “Leave me alone,” “How much money do you make?” or “Come here, little boy.”
© Interview Magazine