Happy Birthday Material Girl

I will never forget the day I saw “Lucky Star” .

I was 12.  

It was a Saturday morning, still in my oversized bedtime t-shirt, eating a bowl of Cheerios on the couch, mindlessly watching MTV {early days, circa 1983}.  

And then it happened.  I was mesmerized … this snappy pop song… her bracelets and hair bow … her dance moves …  I couldn’t turn away.  I sat there all day waiting for MTV to play it again …   and again …. and again.  This day changed my love of music forever and began my love affair with Madonna.

I was 14.  Money in my front pocket, I furiously rode my banana bike downtown to the local record store.  I was the first in line, waiting for them to unlock the doors so I could get inside to buy “Like a Virgin” on its release date.  My dad wasn’t too pleased with my choice of how to spend my allowance, but he didn’t dare try to stop me. I spent the next month playing it over and over and over again as I danced in my bedroom …  singing into my hairbrush … in my hair bows, bangles and layers of rosaries.

“True Blue” held my most beloved song to date … “Papa Don’t Preach”.  However, my bestie Kandy, never wasted an opportunity to tell me how inappropriate that song was for a 16-year-old … today I ask, “really Kandy? Really?”  { grin }

“Like a Prayer” wrapped up my high school years with a proverbial bow. The controversy surrounding that video alone made me love her even more.

“Vogue” found me away at college in New Jersey. I found it comforting having my girl with me while away from home … hittin’ the clubs. {bigger grin} Does anybody remember that MTV had a Vogue video contest? Well they did … and we did one … but I never understood why we never saw that video again after submission?

I was lying  in a pool of feverish sweat in my mother’s dark guest room “dying” of strep throat.  Exhausted from her healing efforts, she turned the radio on low, doing her best to provide me some kind of comfort so she could make her escape.  As she was leaving, with a small crack of light peeking through the door, she heard me mumble what she thought was yet another request from her suffering child.  When in fact it was me trying to share my “excitement” that the song playing, barely loud enough for a mouse to hear, HAD to be the new Madonna song … and so it was … and I drifted off happily into a Nyquil-induced coma to the sounds of “Erotica”.

“Ray of Light” followed me to my new grown-up adventures in the Twin Cities.  I loved her new “techno” sound and her ability to re-invent herself yet again .. what a smart business woman!

“Music” comforted me for many weeks in a hospital intensive care waiting room.

And “Hung Up” brought me back to Iowa City to a new life.

My own children became a Madonna fan when “Hard Candy” featured Justin Timberlake and Timbaland in the song “4 Minutes”.  But that’s about as far as their fan-dome took them … sadly.

29 years later … she’s still my icon.

And today,

I am holding a ticket to see Madonna in concert in Chicago on September 20.

My dream.

My #1 on the ol’ bucket list.

Happy Birthday Madonna!


One response to “Happy Birthday Material Girl

  1. Great post about an amazing artists career highlights.

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