LR: Three records away from being platinum? We should go out and buy them. What are you planning to do on stage after you put a band together and start touring?
Madonna: Well, the first tour that I do, I’m not going to go crazy and spend tons of money. I really want it to be pretty basic. I’d like to keep it simple to start off with and really just come across as a performer and a singer and rely on myself. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of my track shows where I use dancers, but I still want to incorporate that even with my band. I have those two singers who move really well and they’re great. One of them is the guy in my “Borderline” video. I want to make the dancing and stuff part of the live show. But I want to keep it simple, the way TAMI shows were.
LR: When you were growing up in Detroit, what did you dream that you would become?
Madonna: I thought of being everything. When I was younger, I bounced around and did everything. The first thing I wanted do was a movie star. Then, I wanted to be a singer and then, I got into dancing more and really started concentrating on that. I just felt like I really needed a skill to go to New York with. I had to arm myself because I didn’t know anyone in New York and I had never been here before. I loved to dance and I was really good at it so I figured well, I can always start off as a dancer in New York and just take it from there. It will always help me as a performer on stage, but basically it was something to arms myself with.
LR: Why did you think you had to arm yourself with something?
Madonna: I just knew that I couldn’t go to New York and say, “Well, I’m here now. I’m gonna do something.” I always have to be good at something. That’s me. I have to know that I’m great at something. I knew that I could sing, but I didn’t know how to go about becoming a singer. The singing I did in Detroit was in the backyard with my girlfriends.
LR: You lived in Paris for awhile, didn’t you? Tell me about that. How did that haappen?
Madonna: When I stopped dancing, I got involved with (singer) Patrick Hernandez. I was going to go on a tour with him as a backup singer and dancer. But his record producers decided that they didn’t want me to be a back-up singer, they wanted to make me a star in Paris, in france, in Europe, whatever. So I went and lived in Paris for six months. That was really the begining of my singing career. Someone said, “We’re going to make you a star. We own a record company, we’ll make a record with you. Our company is based in France, come to Europe. We’ll work with a vocal coach, we’ll find material for you, we’ll support you, we’ll take care of you and we’ll give you money and you don’t have to sign a contract.”
So, of course, I jumped on that because I was living in New York for two years as a dancer, starving, and I really ultimately wanted to get involved in the music business, so that was a perfect opportunity. So I went there and that didn’t work out because they were busy with Patric, they were a very young record company, and they didn’t know what to do with me. They just saw talent and they wanted to do something with me. There I was, stuck in Paris for six months.
LR: Stuck ? You didn’t like Paris?
Madonna: No, I hated it.
Madonna: Because I was miserable. I had no friends. Well, I made friends eventually, but I was used to the fast-paced living of New York and Paris everyone takes their time. I really wanted to do something. I had so much energy and I wanted them to do something with me. I just didn’t see the results and I didn’t see them fast enough. They weren’t doing anything, really. It was a good experience for me, though, because when I went there I started writing a lot, writing lyrics and stuff. I hadn’t really learned how to play an instrument yet. So I continued to take dance classes there and I worked with a vocal coach for a little while and I wrote a lot and I traveled around Europe. That was a good experience so I don’t complain about it.
But at the time, I would march into their offices and say, “What are you doing with me? You’re not doing anything with me. Every time I come in here, you say you’re busy. Now do something with me. You said you want to make a record, let’s make a record. I’m ready to make a record.” And they’d say, “Oh there, there, Madonna. Now here, take some money. Now go out and buy yourself a new outfit, okay? We’re really busy right now.” They were completely condescending to me and it really annoyed me. It was miserable.