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Henry Rollins: "In the '80s, Even I Listened to Madonna"


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http://www.laweekly.com/music/henry-rollins-in-the-80s-even-i-listened-to-madonna-5674065

"Don Van Vliet, otherwise known as Captain Beefheart, was a wise man. The more you listen to his music, the better it gets.

On his album Lick My Decals Off, Baby, released in 1970, there’s a song called “The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the Big Dig)” on which he says something quite insightful: “It sure looks funny for a new dinosaur/T’be in an old dinosaur’s shoes.”

I have several Remember the ’80s compilation CDs. I don’t keep them as a joke. I find them to be a fascinating time capsule and a great vantage point by which to view a decade that is not all that far behind us yet sometimes seems centuries in the past.

I tend to view any time period in which I was alive through what music was around and what I was listening to. There was so much music happening in the 1980s, it is impossible to say it was all good or all bad. The good stuff was great and the bad … well, to me, it was a low-impact bad. Still, it makes you wonder why songs like Cutting Crew’s epic “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and countless others like it were so incredibly popular.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of 1980s records by artists who emerged in that decade, like Madonna, as well as acts such as Bowie, Springsteen and ZZ Top, who found themselves suddenly verging on the archaic as the decade almost ran past itself at MTV warp speed. These three changed their sound radically and, by doing so, not only survived the ’80s but fairly exploded in popularity, with records that sound alien to what they did before.

On a music-fanatic sidebar, I think one of the greatest sleights-of-hand ever perpetrated by an artist was David Bowie going from 1980’s Scary Monsters, one of the greatest records I have ever heard, to Let’s Dance in 1983, which besides Stevie Ray Vaughan’s searing guitar lines is almost completely dismissible. It is hard to believe it’s the same guy who put out Low!

It is my opinion that the savvy Mr. B. thought it was time to land his spacecraft and drench his beak in the deep lake of American financial liquidity.

I think it would be difficult-to-impossible to pinpoint the “thing” that drove all the decade’s big hair and shoulder-padded jackets. But I do remember, at least in America, an almost narcotic sense of optimism. Even if you were broke, there was a feeling that somehow, things were good — or at least, if the ocean liner was iceberg-bound, you might as well finish off the champagne.

President Reagan sold optimism well. He sold it better than any president I have ever seen. Even when I knew what he was saying was based in a reality that didn’t exist, he really made me want to drive that car off the lot.

For every current, there is an undercurrent. To get the desired effect of ’80s joy and make it stick, dissenting voices had to be silenced.

Seasoned veterans of L.A. might recall when, in the early part of the decade, heroin was almost handed out in grocery bags. It was cheap, plentiful and potent. I had never heard of Hoover’s COINTELPRO at that time, but I knew something was up. Someone wanted all the punk rockers dead, addicted or in jail.

Meanwhile, the big music was so bright and so happy. It was like living in two worlds at once.

In the 1980s, even I used the music at times as a narcotic. In 1984, a particularly grueling year of touring — fraught with violence, tough living situations and an overall aura of hostility — I taped music at the homes of two different industry people who got sent everything. I hauled Culture Club, Duran Duran, ABC, Cyndi Lauper and others through one American city after another. I bought a used cassette of Madonna’s Like a Virgin and played it multiple times a day to prepare for the ashtrays whizzing by my head that night.

While the music seemed to be saturated with dazzling cheerfulness, I wondered if it was the soundtrack of a film coming to an end, and if the performers were trying to outshine a rapidly approaching darkness for as long as they could.

The one who seemed best prepared for the end of the decade was Madonna. Not only had she turned herself into a hard-bodied badass, à la Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies, her business model was armored up and good to go, a blueprint for what was to be.

The reason I mention all this is because I wonder if we are there again. The music of power brokers such as Beyoncé and her husband is as big as the weather or the GDP of a Western country. The overwhelming use of production is counterweighted by the almost complete nudity of some of the performers. The lyrics are spiked with sexual references and swearing, enough to stimulate for a while. But ultimately, what sells is nothing new.

Are these people to be the next dinosaurs? Or is the music environment so dynamic, so multiplatformed that its brightest lights, who reside in the thin air at the top of the food chain, will be able to shape-shift into an even more un-killable corporate mutation? Could it be that the 1980s almost killed off popular music but what survived gave rise to a far more virulent strain?

I watched the Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea video for their song “Pretty Girls.” I don’t think it can cure cancer, but if you played it for members of ISIS, they just might instantaneously vaporize."

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I love Henry Rollins. He has always loved and defended Madonna plus he is such a passionate and intelligent man. As an added bonus, he is so sexy.

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The one who seemed best prepared for the end of the decade was Madonna. Not only had she turned herself into a hard-bodied badass, à la Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies, her business model was armored up and good to go, a blueprint for what was to be.

Yes. I've felt Sarah Connor vibes for YEARS. And she should pay hommage to Sarah Connor in a vid. Ghosttown could have been a good opportunity.

Henri Rollins was soooooo incredibly hot in the 90s, by the way. I jerked off many times thinking of him.

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It's the other way around, Sarah Connor payed tribute 2 Madonna.

Linda had a picture of Madonna in her trailer/workout space during Terminator 2

4 Inspiration.

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yes, I think Linda Hamilton was inspired by Madonna's BAT body, no?

She was certainly more muscled and hard in Terminator II.

Madonna at the Blond Ambition tour was so incredibly fierce, powerful strong and dominiering.

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It's the other way around, Sarah Connor payed tribute 2 Madonna.

Linda had a picture of Madonna in her trailer/workout space during Terminator 2

4 Inspiration.

Yes. 1991 US Magazine Link

To capture Sarah Connor's militarized look and mindset, she says, "I trained like a lunatic." Just 13 weeks before production began last October, Hamilton started spending three days a week working with former Israeli special forces member Uzi Gal, learning about guns, judo and combat skills. And six mornings a week, she worked out with personal trainer Anthony Cortes, who tailored a rigorous program for her. "When we first started, running down the block was hard on her," says Cortes. "By the time we finished, she could run eight miles and run up hills with no problems."
"They owned me," says Hamilton. "I could have gone a lot deeper, but I had an obligation to my son, too." When production started, Hamilton, who had gained 40 pounds during her pregnancy, was a lean machine. Though she weighed as much as she had in 1984 for 'The Terminator', she was now all muscle, measuring about 14 percent body fat. But Hamilton had her standards: "My goal was to have a better back than Madonna's."
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Even Madonna's WTG body was perceived as 'shocking' back in the day.

wtgt_ltt01.jpg

We shouldn't forget that for a female star in popular culture her image

has always been quite 'hard' and she has always had a masculine edge,

but not in the glamorous androgynous sense of the sixties or the typical rock chic.

Bytch confused people from day one.

She is completely hors catégorie and always will b.

THE END

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^ incredibly spot on.

I still remember when people wrinkled their noses and said that she had "weird legs" and was "too muscular". And now all of them are fatsos and Madonna has the body of a 16 going on 17.

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^ incredibly spot on.

I still remember when people wrinkled their noses and said that she had "weird legs" and was "too muscular". And now all of them are fatsos and Madonna has the body of a 16 going on 17.

Very true! It's so crazy how she gets slammed for "good" things like staying in shape, having a strict diet, continuing to work as hard in her 50's as in her 20's and 30's, even adopting a dying child.......all things she should be applauded for in a big way.

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Very true! It's so crazy how she gets slammed for "good" things like staying in shape, having a strict diet, continuing to work as hard in her 50's as in her 20's and 30's, even adopting a dying child.......all things she should be applauded for in a big way.

Kurt, the things Madonna gets slammed for always amazes me - it is for everything. When she first become famous, she was actually criticised for not being thin enough :ohmy: - hard to believe now but she even talked about it in her Rolling Stone Hall of Fame acceptance speech - she was ridiculed for being too "curvy and chubby" Then when she lost weight, she was criticised for that.

When Amy Winehouse died, there was an article by some Madonna hating journalist on how Madonna was too disciplined to self destruct which made her a lesser artist or something similar. Then there was criticism of how professional she is and putting her career before her marriages etc.

The adoption controversies were the worst - utterly deplorable how she was torn apart for that. Even a few days ago, there was criticism of her wearing "pigtails" and not ageing appropriately which is the latest garbage. Yet, she has proven them all wrong and has out-lasted all of the pop superstars. Amazing woman who always stands by what she knows is right.

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I love Henry Rollins. He has always loved and defended Madonna plus he is such a passionate and intelligent man. As an added bonus, he is so sexy.

All of what you said and yes, very sexy. Always thought he could play The Man of Steel too.

From the video for Wartime’s “The Whole Truth,” a side project Hank sang for in 1990. Despite what some detractors thought he was doing, I think it was his way of saying that he cherishes Madonna. :laugh: The rest of the gif set here.

tumblr_mvyxv7YiL01rlezllo2_250.giftumblr_mvyxv7YiL01rlezllo4_250.gif

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Kurt, the things Madonna gets slammed for always amazes me - it is for everything. When she first become famous, she was actually criticised for not being thin enough :ohmy: - hard to believe now but she even talked about it in her Rolling Stone Hall of Fame acceptance speech - she was ridiculed for being too "curvy and chubby" Then when she lost weight, she was criticised for that.

When Amy Winehouse died, there was an article by some Madonna hating journalist on how Madonna was too disciplined to self destruct which made her a lesser artist or something similar. Then there was criticism of how professional she is and putting her career before her marriages etc.

The adoption controversies were the worst - utterly deplorable how she was torn apart for that. Even a few days ago, there was criticism of her wearing "pigtails" and not ageing appropriately which is the latest garbage. Yet, she has proven them all wrong and has out-lasted all of the pop superstars. Amazing woman who always stands by what she knows is right.

Madonna being criticized for being chubby in the early days is absolutely ridiculous! I think that early years body is one of her best. It is indeed amazing that she gets criticized for these things. Even more amazing that she's stayed true to herself and not melted down through it all.

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Madonna being criticized for being chubby in the early days is absolutely ridiculous! I think that early years body is one of her best. It is indeed amazing that she gets criticized for these things. Even more amazing that she's stayed true to herself and not melted down through it all.

I know. She looked beautiful and still does today. I was a little bit shocked to hear her refer to it in that speech and how she used it to keep her going. Obviously did hurt her but like you said, she stayed true to herself and did not let people destroy her.

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