Log in     

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I’ve rediscovered a booklet from a July 13, 1987, Madonna concert.


During her “Who’s That Girl” World Tour, Madonna did this show at Madison Square Garden to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). This booklet looks like a regular program from the outside, but inside was a comic explaining AIDS and safe sex.


There was also a note from Madonna about how she had lost her best friend to AIDS the previous year. “Don’t let fear keep you from knowing the facts,” she wrote.


To understand how forward-thinking and open-minded Madonna was, consider this: in April of that year, Princess Diana caused a media uproar when she declined to wear gloves while shaking hands with AIDS doctors, nurses and patients. People really believed they could get AIDS from a handshake back then. Click the screen cap below to see one of the news reports on Diana, which included a close-up of her bare hands.


Click to view news report.

A great site called Madonna-TV.com has a short clip of local news coverage of Madonna’s benefit show.


Because of Madonna’s outspokenness at the height of the AIDS crisis, to this day, I don’t care what Madonna does to her face, what she wears, who she dates, what accent she speaks in, etc.  She’ll always be a queen to me. Well, not just because of the activism. I also liked that she said shit like this:


I cut this quote out of a magazine and saved it with the concert booklet.

Diana never sassed the Pope but her little act of bravery made an equally lasting impression on me. A lot of the jewelry I design is inspired by royal women, but strictly pre-20th-century royals. Diana is the only recent princess I’ve made an exception for, so far.


My Diana ring in silver. Click to purchase.

Heart jewelry for the queen of hearts!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

13 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Madonna, Almost 26 Years Ago Today”

  1. Catherine says:

    I was just watching old clips of Madonna from her Truth or Dare movie. I love the performance of Vogue from that film. I also admired Madonna fiercely for her AIDS stance and Princess Diana made a HUGE impression on me. I was (am) deeply affected by her touching the AIDS patients and also her work with the land mine victims. What amazing ladies. I’ll need to save up for a Diana ring 😉 That seems a very fitting tribute!!

  2. That “comic” from Madonna’s tour is amazing. You’re keeping it forever, yeah? There’s a moving story today in NYT Op-Ed section about a young man who fears he’s become infected with HIV, and how lonely he feels. We still have a long way to go.

  3. Christine says:

    My mother was a nurse during the polio epidemic of the 50s and she was appalled by the fact that nurses and doctors refused to touch AIDS patients skin to skin. She herself contracted Hepatitis A from a patient and many of her colleagues did get polio. That was the nature of the job. She was very impressed with Diana, Princess of Wales for shaking hands of patients, and touching them. Part of her philosophy was that patients needed touch and hugging to help them fully recover.

    I’m not a fan of Madonna’s, except for the fact that she did champion AIDS, as did Elizabeth Taylor. I wish Madonna had met with John Paul II. She might have had a chance to use her voice to discuss AIDS and the need for him to allow Catholics to use condoms for safety. One day, the world will judge John Paul II for the AIDS epidemic, particularly in Africa, and I wonder if she won’t judge herself for missing an opportunity.

    • WendyB says:

      This was a guy who spent years turning a blind eye to the rampant sexual abuse of children by the clergy! I doubt he would have been too moved by what a pop star had to say about AIDS in a five-minute meeting, especially considering his continuing opposition to contraception and homosexuality. Incidentally, it was five years later that Sinead O’Connor destroyed her career by ripping up the pope’s picture on SNL … in a protest of child abuse by priests. http://www.theatlantic.com/ent.....or/263020/

  4. AK says:

    Listening to icons of popular culture isn’t how the Catholic Church works, and that’s ok. The fact that it doesn’t listen to millions of people dying of AIDS, or thousands being abused by clergy, is of course another story entirely.

    Anyway, thanks, Wendy, for sharing this bit about Madonna, it’s something I didn’t know and I’m definitely impressed.

  5. stacy says:

    What a touching post 🙂 Madonna really has a good heart.
    That program is amazing — hold onto that for dear life!
    Or sell it on Ebay for one MILLION dollars!
    Diana was a beautiful woman and I would love to have seen her sass the Pope!

    • WendyB says:

      “one MILLION dollars” suddenly reminded me not just of Dr. Evil but of this quote from Homer on The Simpsons: “Bart, with 10,000 dollars we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things, like… love!”

  6. I knew Madonna’s friend that died of AIDS, we worked together at the same nightclub. While I’m no fan of Madonna, I do commend her for her work bringing knowledge to the masses about AIDS. And she stuck with her friend until the bitter end, even covering all his hospital bills. So I do have a soft spot for that act of compassion. XXX

  7. Tina says:

    I have always been a fan of Madonna’s and Diana’s. I have the Christie’s catalog of the dresses that Diana put up for auction to raise money for charity.I thought Diana was beautiful–she also raised a stink among royaty when she was in India and held hands with an “untouchable”. I did not see Madonna in 1987 but Blonde Ambition in 1990.