An Open Letter To Madonna

20 Jan

Dear Madonna,

Last night, we attended your concert in Nashville. Actually, we attended part of your concert in Nashville. The announced starting time was 8:00, and you did not take the stage until 10:30. As someone who has attended numerous concerts, I understand that 8:00 does not mean 8:00. However, it does not usually mean a two-and-a-half hour wait.

Justin Timberlake started at a reasonable time, and he is one of the biggest stars on the planet.

Taylor Swift started at a reasonable time, and she is one of the biggest stars on the planet.

The Rolling Stones started at a reasonable time, and they are one of the greatest Rock bands of all time.

U2 started at a reasonable time, and they are one of the greatest Rock bands of all time.

Elvis, another one of those performers who everyone knows by one name, started at a reasonable time. You call yourself the queen, but everyone called him the King.Rebel Heart

You should understand that it is no longer the 1980s. Your fans are not teenagers. There were a few people wearing leashes, but most of the people in my section looked to be in their 40s and 50s. Most assuredly, they had to get to work the next day. They wanted to have a good time, but they would have liked to have gotten home at a decent time.

You might want to think about this on a more personal level. You are no longer a spring chicken. Plastic surgery and makeup are wonderful things, but I think you could use some beauty sleep.

The part of the concert that we saw was well done. Your band was solid. The stage and props were cool. Your dancers were awesome. You sang and danced well for someone at this point in your career. However, I am not sure you realize what point that is.

You are no longer a cutting edge performer. Except for a few collaborations, you are no longer a hit-making machine. Your success comes from people who buy tickets to your concerts to hear the songs of their youth. This means that they want to hear those songs in their original formats. Elton John calls it the jukebox, and I have heard him say that he is happy to play them. You should take note from Sir Elton and his ability to connect with his fans.

Before the concert, we read that you had some problems in Louisville. You started three hours late, and many people thought you were drunk on stage. After a situation like that, I assumed that you would want to make amends at our show. I was wrong in that assumption. You chose to be unprofessional and start late once again.

Here is a suggestion. If you are not going to play until 10:30, then announce that the concert will start at 9:30. That will prepare everyone for what will happen.

I will give you credit on one thing. You were not drunk on stage. No one could go through that type of choreography and be toasted at the same time. However, I understand why the people in Louisville came to that conclusion. The part of the concert where you banter with the crowd was odd.

You spoke with a fake southern accent, which was worse than your fake British accent. On top of that, it was condescending to your audience. I understand that we are not from a cultured place like Detroit, but we are not hillbillies. We wear shoes, and they sometimes match our leashes. We have teeth, and we do not marry our cousins that often.

You also talked about how you usually wear little clothing and mentioned something about how everyone wants to see you naked. People have not wanted to see you naked since the Reagan administration. Although, I understand that sexuality is part of your act.

Here is another suggestion. Leave the sensuality up to your dancers. They oozed it during the stripping nun routine. While I am on the subject of stripping nuns, I need to say something about your need to have a shock factor.

The bed routine was a nice touch. Having same-sex couples and a topless dancer was interesting. However, it was far from the most shocking thing I have ever seen at a concert. This is a family blog, and I will not go into details. Just know that you need to talk to Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and the rest of Motley Crue. They know how to shock, and they know how to do it at a decent hour.

You also talked about how your job is to create art and change the world. Actually, that is not true. If you want to use your fortune for great causes, then that is commendable. However, your job is to entertain. In my mind, you, like a great many other performers, are well-paid organ grinder monkeys. Your job is to make the audience happy, and I assure you that many in your audience were not happy.

We left not long after your speech, but we were far from the first ones to leave. That does not count the man behind us who was asleep. Even the drunkest revelers and your biggest fans were fading away.

Odds are that you will never read this, but one of your staff members may stumble upon it while looking for concert reactions. In case that happens, I have a final suggestion.

Respect your audience. During your banter, you mentioned that you are famous. It took a lot of hard work to get where you are, but you are famous because the audience deems you to be. That means that we deserve your respect and should not have to wait for hours to bask in your presence.

In closing, you are a star, but you are not as big a star as you were. You were Madonna. Now, you are Prima Donna. There will come a time when you are just Donna.

I have attended dozens of memorable concerts. Several of those performers I have seen more than once. Rest assured, your concert will be memorable for all the wrong reasons, and I will not be seeing you a second time. For someone with your wealth that probably does not matter. However, that wealth relies heavily on ticket sales. If enough people go away angered, then it may begin to matter.



27 Responses to “An Open Letter To Madonna”

  1. colemining January 20, 2016 at 01:46 #

    I love this, Rick. Such a wonderful summation of those ‘artists’ who have become far too big for their britches. Such a contrast to the REAL class acts that we lost this week.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 01:52 #

      Thanks. On top of that, we see a lot of iconic artists in Nashville, and none of them do what she did.

  2. Marilyn Armstrong January 20, 2016 at 02:36 #

    I’ve actually never been to a concert that started that late. I’ve heard of it, but it was always because there was an accident or some kind of travel snafu. I’m not a Madonna fan, so I wouldn’t have gone anyway. And the kind of concerts we go to seem to start early and end pretty early. Sorry you had such a crappy experience.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 03:32 #

      Thanks. I’m sure that I will get over it. Did you guys make it back from the Wild West?

      • Marilyn Armstrong January 20, 2016 at 04:27 #

        Sadly, yes. And it snowed immediately, a wintry New England welcome. We went to a chamber music concert in Phoenix. It started on time, even though the soprano had the flu. What a trouper!

  3. jcalberta January 20, 2016 at 03:40 #

    whew ! you should get your money back. she sure doesn’t need it.
    but she won’t get any of mine.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 03:55 #

      I should have stuck the money in a hog’s ass and yelled sooey.

      • jcalberta January 23, 2016 at 03:56 #

        LOL ! hoo yah.

  4. Bantering Ram January 20, 2016 at 04:06 #

    Spot on and very well-written, Rick.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 04:06 #

      Thanks. I appreciate that.

  5. Andrew Petcher January 20, 2016 at 08:40 #

    Good post Rick. I guess you won’t be going to see her again?

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 17:35 #

      Thanks. That’s the way I see it.

  6. Lea Mullis January 20, 2016 at 12:21 #

    She has what I repectfully call ASB attention seeking behavior. Rumors ahead of her from earlier venues of her taking the stage “2 1/2 hours” late were making folks who do have to respect their jobs ask to take off the next day. I think her folks need to invent a kinder shock factor.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 17:40 #

      Exactly. She probably slept all day, and we had to go to work. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

  7. Fat Bottom Girl January 20, 2016 at 13:25 #

    Honestly, Madonna would be one of the last performers I would pay to see in concert, even though I am a die hard 80’s girl. I don’t know if I would ever wait that long for a concert to start, and I think I might have left and demanded my money back.

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 17:42 #

      We were kind of a captive audience. Everyone had made the effort to be in the arena and ready to go. If we had known that it was going to be that late, then we would have not bought the tickets.

  8. Cindy Bruchman January 20, 2016 at 13:38 #

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages. Great job, Rick!

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 17:43 #

      Thanks. I tried to find humor in the situation.

  9. Mark R. Cheathem January 20, 2016 at 19:59 #

    *mic drop*

    • Rick January 20, 2016 at 20:52 #

      She didn’t drop her mic. She stuck it in her pants, though.

  10. Lunar Euphoria January 22, 2016 at 16:37 #

    Wow. I would have loved to have seen her in concert. Had I known she was in concert so close to Memphis, I could have bought tickets and made the trip to Nashville. I loved her in the 80s. After reading this though I’m glad I didn’t know about it. I have no interest in supporting someone who is so unprofessional and inconsiderate. And what’s with the weird accents?? I was baffled by her British one. I don’t think I could stomach a Southern version.

    • Rick January 22, 2016 at 19:49 #

      We went to the concert because we thought it was something that should not be missed. It turns out that we missed a good portion of it because we had to go to work the next day.

  11. John S January 26, 2016 at 23:10 #

    Appalling attitude from her. We don’t seem to get that anymore in the UK – I think the local regulations expect concerts to end by a certain time – generally 11pm at the latest – so everything is built around that.

    I liked early Madonna, but lost interest when she started to take herself too seriously, around the time of Like a Prayer. Since then only Justify my love, Ray of Light and Hung Up were any good, in my view, and I saw a bit of the attitude you describe on a chat show a few years ago, where she clearly regarded touring as a chore and a bore. Stop doing it then!

    • Rick January 27, 2016 at 03:02 #

      Actually, I thought we had a rule about concerts ending at a certain time. Apparently, I was wrong about that.

  12. Carl D'Agostino February 15, 2016 at 20:57 #

    Great commentary. Never a fan one way or the other but she was top dollar in Evita and Dick Tracy. At least her movies have to be on time.

    • Rick February 16, 2016 at 03:19 #

      I liked Dick Tracy, but I never saw Evita. I may need to watch it.


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