I have sunglasses on right now because my eyes are killing me," apologizes Madonna. "I haven’t slept in three days and a friend of mine is in jail right now and I just found out last night… ugh, forget it, it’s a long story, but never a dull moment in my life."
She’s just wrapped up a day’s worth of meetings between her manager and Nile Rogers, who’s producing her new LP "Like A Virgin." The album, which will feature tracks called "Dress You Up," "Material Girl" and "Angel," will be released as soon as her debut album gives it some room on the charts. Mr. R, she admits, "is a very passionate man. He lives life to the hilt. When you deal with people who are that way you get good stuff and bad stuff, but it was really great working with him."
But right now Madonna- nattily turned out in a black leather jacket with silver graffiti, "kind of bluish" lipstick and the usual rubber jewelry and crucifixes – is content to unwind over a grapefruit and Campari, chewing on the questions as eagerly as she attacks her two sticks of Trident sugarless bubblegum.
David: Where did you learn to dance?
Madonna: I really leaned on my own. I watched television a lot and I used to try to copy Shirley Temple when I was a little girl. I used to turn on the record player and dance in the basement by myself and give dance lessons to my girlfriends in my five year old manner. As I got older I started giving lessons to boys, too, and I remember the first guy I gave lessons to the song was "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Stones. It was really sexy, right, like stomping and grinding. When I was about 12 I decided I should try to get pro about this and started going to the schools where they teach jazz, tap, baton twirling and gymnastics. It was just a place to send hyperactive girls, basically.
David: Do you worry about your weight?
Madonna: Sure, that’s why I swim 100 laps every day to keep in shape. It’s good to have a supple body, you can move around easily and it’s a lot more visually appealing. You feel better too when you’re at a normal weight.
David: What one thing would you change about yourself if you could?
Madonna: I always wanted to be taller. I feel like a shrimp, but that’s the way it goes. I’m 5′4" – that’s actually average. Everything about me is average, everything’s normal, in the books. It’s the things inside that makes me not average. I’d also change my indecisiveness. Yes, no, yes, no YES! In my business career I feel I make good decisions but in my personal life I’m constantly creating havoc by changing mind every five seconds.
David: Who would you like to go out with: Rick Springfield, Simon le Bon, Lionel Richie or David Lee Roth?
Madonna: Ugh. UGH. Yeeeuch! C’mon. I wouldn’t go out with any of them if you want to know the truth. If I had to choose, I’d go out with David Lee Roth, but I wouldn’t dress up for him.
David: Is there any item of clothing you have that you wouldn’t dare to wear in public?
Madonna: Well, underpants. I wouldn’t wear just sexy underpants in public. I have to feel really comfortable and that my clothes look good, but not that I obviously tried to make them look good. My favorite clothes are my Vivienne Westwood skirt with Keith Haring designs, this ripped-up black net shirt and a denim jacket with my graffiti tag "Boy Toy written on the back. I used to go out with graffiti writers and I got into the habit of carrying markers around, but I really lost the zest for writing my name everywhere. Now I have suitors that do it for me.
David: What’s your most treasured possession?
Madonna: A picture of my mother when she was young and she was riding on a horse and smiling and laughing. She didn’t give it to me. My mother died when I was real young and when I moved to New York I stole it from my father.
David: What did you like best about Britain?
Madonna: They have lots of good clothes shops. I always have a good time shopping there because fashion is so important to English people. I didn’t have time to find any good restaurants, but I like the way the cars are on the other side.
David: What is your wildest ambition?
Madonna: Well, I’d love to be a memorable figure in the history of entertainment in some sexual comic-tragic way. I’d like to leave the impression that Marilyn Monroe did, to be able to arouse so many different feelings in people.
David: How do you see yourself in 30 years’ time?
Madonna: Hopefully I’ll be incredibly mellow and wise with age. Not mellow, but very wise and still just as mischievous and childlike and wondering as I am now.
David: Do you go to church?
Madonna: No. I never go to church anymore except to steal crucifixes. That’s a joke. But I get a lot of letters from religious freaks because of my name.
David: How does it feel to have a name like Madonna?
Madonna: It feels like I have to live up to it. I didn’t get made fun of because I went to Catholic schools and I never remember feeling tormented for my name.
David: What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?
Madonna: I don’t like ice cream, but if I made a sundae it would have vanilla, chocolate chip and coffee ice cream with hot fudge topping and whipped cream and nuts. But none of those cherries on top. Those cherries are gross.
David: What happened between you and Simon le Bon and a certain birthday cake backstage at Madison Square Garden?
Madonna: Huh? Was there a birthday cake? There was a lot of food and champagne. I fought over a piece of cake with Simon? That’s an interesting rumor. I never did anything of the sort. I actually got very ill and had to leave right when they were doing their first encore. Champagne on an empty stomach. I went to see them because Nile was going to do an encore, otherwise I didn’t think I would have found myself there.
David: What would you do if you could be invisible for a day?
Madonna: I’d go to my record company and listen to all the people saying what they’re really going to do with my next record.
David: Do you read your horoscope?
Madonna: Yeah, well, no. If I happen to read the New York Post that day, but I don’t seek it or anything. I’m a Leo. I do believe in it, but I don’t really follow it or study it. I think it’s a bona fide science. I think there really is something to say for it.
David: What do you think about Ronald Regan?
Madonna: I don’t think about him very much but I think he’s a pretty good actor. I think he’s a puppet for all the people in cabinet, I think everybody else makes the decisions and he’s the guy that gets up there and hopefully doesn’t get shot at. Nancy? Give me a break.
David: What would you do if you had more time?
Madonna: Relax. Read, watch movies. I wish I had more time to see my family. They’re in California, New York, Brazil, everywhere. I have eight brothers and sisters. Last time I went home was Thanksgiving and I hadn’t been home in two years.
David: Have you ever cried yourself to sleep?
Madonna: Oh, so many nights. What’s the point, there’s so many, they’re horrible. You just cry yourself to sleep or you don’t go to sleep at all, that’s me anyways. I have insomnia terribly when I’m upset or excited by something that’s going to happen the next day.
David: Is New York City scary?
Madonna: No, not at all, I find other places outside of New York scary where people are really backwards and they look like they want to shoot you for looking so different. Like the south, where there are some really ignorant people.
David: What’s your favorite place to go dancing?
Madonna: There are not any great night clubs as far as I’m concerned in New York City, and I used to always think the best clubs were in New York. The last good time I had in a club was at the Paradise Garage in New York or the Rhythm Lounge in Los Angeles.
David: Who does your laundry?
Madonna: Me. I take it to this Laundromat down the street and they do it for me.