madonna at usblues in roslyn, li, 1981

I was contacted by John Phillips, the bouncer at Hurrah's who was sidelining as a radio promotions man, shopping Madonna's first demo to radio stations.

He put me together with Camille, of Empire Management, Madonna's manager. Camille asked me to go to Uncle Sam's Blues, a club in Roslyn, Long Island and make live photographs of just the singer who was fronting a band called "The Breakfast Club".

Just the singer, not the band. Hmmmm?

madonna 2

There was this sexy, young woman wearing barely-concealing costumes of chamois skin and foxtails. She was oozing sexuality, but seemed shy or unsure of herself. I went back stage between sets to meet her.

I asked her what her real name was.


I offered her encouragement and wrote a short list of suggestions regarding her performance. I was trying to be supportive.


When her manager, Camille, discovered the note, she was furious and ejected me from the dressing room, screaming, "How dare you speak to my artist!"

I stayed in the club and shot the second set.

I took the train back to Manhattan and never heard from Camille again. I referred Madonna to the promoters of Club NY and we saw her shows at the Underground, Danceterial and the Roxy, without a band.

My negatives of Madonna'sfirst gig sat in my files for 15 years before anyone had any interest in publishing them.

I have since recouped my expenses and then some from my first meeting with Madonna.


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