“Well, yeah, and I think we all do that,” nods Madonna, “everyone has their own way of being destructive or hiding from the truth. But it helps to be aware of it. And then some day you do have to face it, take care of it.”
When d’you think that day will come?
“For me? I think I’m doing it right now.”
It’s a ‘demons’ thing, see, and the time has come for Madonna to finally “stop running away from certain things”. It’s essential now to break “the cycle” of the mistakes her parents made, specifically because she wants to practice what she preaches and love Lourdes in a “healthy way”.
Was the birth of Lourdes the first time someone else was controlling you?
The whole album is about relinquishing control, isn’t it?
“Yes, from beginning to end,” she declares, “from letting go of the idea that fame is going to make you happy to facing death. And that’s a great liberating moment, to suddenly realise that it’s OK when you’re not in control of everything. And… I’ve been struggling with that for years.”
Why has the idea of losing control always been so terrifying to you?
“Because I grew up without a mother,” says Madonna, as you may have expected. NME may be overcome with melodrama here, but this woman quite suddenly looks eerily, desperately alone. Maybe it’s because when she’s sitting in front of you, you don’t see the fantasy any more; you have to face the fact that Madonna is just a human being, that she’s just like everyone else. Which, for a pop fan, is an unspeakable horror. Black depression ensues.
“When my mother died,” she continues, “I felt like my world was out of control. A child always looks to their mother and suddenly I didn’t have that, I had eight brothers and sisters and my father could hardly be that for all of us. I’ve probably spent the majority of my life trying to control every other aspect. So I became an excellent student and a really hard worker, very ambitious and success-oriented.”
A million people lose their mother in childhood, though, but there are not a million Madonnas. There’s only the one.
“Well…” muses Madonna, “well… somebody had to do it! Somebody had to be me! This is my karma, who I am, what I’ve done, and everyone’s here for their own purpose. I know that sounds very Buddhist, but it’s true. I’m here doing this thing that I’m doing, but I certainly don’t think that I’m better than anybody else. Well… there probably was a time in my life when I did, y’know, think I was so special and whatever.”
You’d have been perfectly within your rights to believe you were the most fabulous superstar in the history of the universe, if you ask me.
“No!” shrieks Madonna. “I never believed that.”
Not even for one moment? Never even said it… just to see what it sounded like?
“Mmmm… brief glimpses of it, y’know,” she decides, “standing in soccer stadium with 120,000 people shouting your name… brief, brief, brief moments. But right after you feel like the most fabulous person in the world you feel the most empty and lonely.”
Really? Almost simultaneously?
“Yes. Because whenever you feel like the most fabulous person in the world you’re only thinking of yourself. And it comes from a piece of ego and pride. And i think it’s really selfish perspective, it’s about taking, it’s not about giving, and it’s very… surface and very deceiving. Because the important things have nothing zo do with the things that you can see.”
NME’s bottom lip is now propelled outwards in a wounded huff. But, but, but… being a fantastic and inspirational and magical superstar pop persona is a FABULOUS thing to be!!!
“Well, yes,” soothes Madonna, “yes, it is fabulous.”
“I’m not saying there’s nothing to be gained from it,” she coos, “nothing to be learned from it, nothing to be enjoyed from it, because some of those artificial things are sometimes the most beautiful and there0s still truth in it and there’s still something of a person’s soul in it, but it’s a matter of perspective. Yeah, it’s fun and it’s a good time and a kick and all of those things in life, it’s as simple as that. Oh, hi, Mom!”
It’s the formidable spectre of Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s US press agent shouting, “Five minutes, my children!” Forty-five minutes gone, several hundred thousand questions left unasked. So we must, in the spirit of the new Madonna, simply learn to let them go.
She doesn’t think about turning 40 or where she’ll be in five or ten years’ time “because I’m afraid if I concentrate too much on that I’ll miss my life as it’s happening to me”. She appeared on the National Lottera 48 hours after this meeting with an orchestra and the Scotting Widows outfit. Today, UK press woman Barbara hooted that the show which represents the very ethos of our ‘money is the answer’ culture was chosen because “we want a Number One single”. Madonna’s still thinking about buying a London home and may tour later this year, possibly in the autumn. She admits she’s in love but says no more and wishes for Lourdes only happiness and fulfillment. The famed beauty spot is gone and NME forgets to mention it, too busy arguing about Posh bleedin’ Spice.
I can’t believe you like Posh the best.
“Why? She’s so mysterious.”
Miserable, more like.
“Really? Well, that’s probably why I like her.” (Uproarious laughter from nearby Liz and Barbara)
Madonna: “I don’t think Posh seems like she’s miserable at all!”
Barbara: “She has a really cute boyfriend who’s a really great football player… and they’re engaged.”
Madonna: “Good on her! Well, she’s got no reason to be miserable. I always think she doesn’t spend as much time getting ready as everyone else.”
I would’ve said the opposite..
Barbara: “She has great taste…”
Madonna: “Yes! That’s why I like her.”
barbara: “She said she wouldn’t have a baby until Guvvi do baby clothes…”
And one legendary Madonna arm shoots right up in the air in a very different sort of spiritual recognition.
“Yessss!” she declares, fist aloft in triumph. “Well, will you please tell Posh that Gucci do have baby outfits because Tom Ford (Mr Gucci) sent me several.”
Blimey, that’s Madonna, you know. We knew she’d show up, eventually.