My first memory of Madonna was probably around 1987, I was 4 years of age. My two brothers who are ten years older than me were watching a video of a really cool woman in concert. I found out that her name was Madonna and my two brothers were big fans. The concert was the Virgin Tour, and I literally fell in love with this mysterious woman who sang about Material Girls. I used to watch the video over and over again and used to put my Mom's high heels on and copy the video to Dress You Up. (no shame here!)
My second memory is going to John Menzies (used to be a high street store in the UK, selling videos, music etc). I saw the Ciao Italia video (this must have been around 1989) and I begged my Mom to buy it for me. She wouldn't buy it for some reason and when I got home I begged my Dad to buy it for me. We went straight back to town and he bought it for me. I remember on the way home asking him ''What is a medley'', because I was studying the track listing on the back of the VHS. I used to watch the video over and over again and knew the dance routines and the words to the songs off by heart.
One night in July 1990, my brother shouted downstairs that Madonna was going to be on the radio. It was the live broadcast of the Blond Ambition Tour from Wembley Stadium. We both sat and listened, he loved how much she swore, I loved that there was songs I had not heard properly (mainly songs from the Like a Prayer album and I'm Breathless). We recorded the show on cassette tape and I still have it in my collection to this day.
I remember Christmas Eve 1990 and the Blond Ambition Tour was being broadcast on BBC 2. Me and my Dad watched it and recorded it and again I watched it over and over again. I couldn't believe how different she was, from the Virgin Tour to the Who's That Girl Tour to the Blond Ambition Tour. I was enthralled.
1990 I turned 8 years of age and I was hooked. I realised that not only were there concerts, but there were singles and albums to listen to. I went with my Dad and spent my Christmas money on buying her first album, Like a Virgin album, True Blue and Like a Prayer on cassette.
My Dad also really liked her and in 1991 bought the Immaculate Collection on tape.
1992 and for my 11th birthday I opened my presents to find that I had a NEW Madonna cassette. It was the Erotica album. I was so excited to hear new songs from her and I played that album to death. My favourites being Deeper and Deeper and Rain. It wasn't until I was about 13 that I actually realised what Where Life Begins was all about!
When the Girlie Show was announced it was in our local newspaper. I remember begging my Mom and Dad to let me go, but they weren't having any of it! When it was shown on Sky One I was allowed to watch it. Again I was enthralled. She had changed again. She had short hair!
When I started senior school in 1994, I started to get pocket money. Only a couple of months later she released the Bedtime Stories album. I remember loving it from the first listen. It was also at this point that I discovered that you could buy CD singles, picture discs and a whole lot more. Every week I would buy a CD single
In 1995 Sire released all of her early singles on the yellow CD singles, so over a period of about six months I set about collecting all of those and it was then my collecting obsession started.
My first time seeing her live was the Drowned World Tour. I was 18 years of age and I remember the day the tickets went on sale. I was due in at work that day, and back then you would mainly buy tickets by telephone, so I set my Mom, my Dad and my best friend about getting tickets for me. I went to work and I was so nervous. On my first break I called my Mom and she said the dreaded words ''they're sold out''. I went back to work and could have cried. I was absolutely gutted. When I went for my lunch break I had three missed calls from my Mom. I called her back and she answered the phone with ''YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MADONNA''. I screamed out loud in the lunch room! Full on bitch screamed. I couldn't believe it. After all these years I was finally going to get to experience a Madonna show.
Cut to July 7th 2001. On the way down to London we played all of her albums in the car. When we finally got to Earls Court, the first thing I saw were the big banners with M's face on. It still didn't feel real. When we entered Earls Court, I made my way straight over to the merchandise stand. I bought a programme and a t-shirt and quickly changed into the t-shirt.
When we got to our seats, we were about half way back on the tiered seating on the side. I remember looking at the stage with the lighting grid on the floor of the stage and thinking ''has that fell down''? After about 30 minutes the lights went down and that lighting grid lit up and starting to rise from the floor. I had avoided all of the pictures and set list, so everything was brand new. Suddenly a blinding white light in the middle of the stage with lots of fog started to show the silhouette of someone. As the fog cleared I could see it was HER, the Queen, my idol. She was on a platform and it was bringing her closer and closer. I couldn't believe it. She looked absolutely stunning and was wearing a BIG smile. Earls Court ERUPTED and that was it, I was gone! I cried with tears of joy. There she was, finally! The woman I had admired, loved, idolised for years and years, right in front of me. I had never seen a concert so theatrical live and I was absolutely blown away by it. It didn't even bother me that she hadn't played songs like Vogue or Into the Groove. I was just so grateful to finally see her in person that I wasn't bothered one bit.
I've attended every tour since, multiple times for each tour. My one regret from Drowned World was that I didn't go more than once, so every tour since I have gone at least twice.
I could go on and on, but I won't hehe. I will say this though, when she sang the lines ''now I know you're mine'' in Into the Groove, she wasn't wrong. Ever since I saw the Virgin Tour for the first time I was hooked and I've never looked back since, I truly am hers. Even when it's been ''uncool'' to be a fan, I have always wore my Madge Badge with pride! Here's to the next phase in her career!