MADONNA 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour hits Chicago, Illinois
I drive to a secret spot and wait in line for tickets, and as luck would have it, I was first in line... I let my brother have my spot, because I'm cool like that... so he could be first, and I was second... and dozens of others quickly lined up behind us. Scored awesome seats for all three shows. Madonna comes to town, and first two nights were amazing!!! Unfortunately she was sick, and had to cancel the last show ...and it just happens to be the night I had the best of the best seats. Ugh!
I was crushed... that was gonna be a really special night... and it was no more. My people told me their people said Madonna's people were waiting on a call from (name witheld) and staying under the name "HONEY WEST"... (what the heck is a Honey West?) so I half heartedly dialed the hotel Madonna was staying at, with every expectation of being stone walled right away. I tell the front desk at the Drake that I wanted to speak to "Honey West"... receptionist paused, and asked "...who is calling?" I said (name witheld) and immediately get put through to Madonna's Suite. Woah!!! ... too cool... I immediately start to wake up...
ring ring... ring ring...
Very Familiar Female Voice: "Hello?"
Franchesco: "may I speak to Madonna?"
Madonna: "This IS Madonna!"
(said in a way like ...don't you recognize my voice? Its as if you called your best friend, best friend answers, and you still ask to speak to them by name, instead of going right into it... its like, duh... its me dude!)
Holy Mother of God... the realization hits that I am speaking directly to the one and only, MADONNA!!!
Vogue was number one on the charts that week... Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy was blazing silver screens from coast to coast and I was (and still am) in love with everything Madonna. I dissolve into a puddle of goo, and immediately have an out of body experience. Time stands still... everything goes into slow motion... all my senses are on fire... and I'm in total Heaven!
"Hi Madonna" (what do I say, what do I say? Never dawned on me I would ever get past the front desk... much less speak directly to the one and only. My mind goes totally blank as I deperately try to string words together in some kind of way) "Hi Madonna, I'm sorry you are not feeling well, and even though the show must go on, your health is more important." (Is probably what I said at the time, it was all one big blur, and I was hung over from the night before, and depressed from the recent news that the show was cancelled, etc. )
Madonna sweetly asks: "Who is this?"
Franchesco: "my name is Frank" (that's what my friends and family called me for short, at the time) "I'm a big fan and I have great tickets to tonights show" (sixth row baby... front and center) "much as I am disappointed that I won't see your performance tonight" (she cancelled the show because her vocal chords were bothering her as seen in her awesome rockumentary... Truth or Dare) "I would rather you take care of yourself Madonna, and not strain your voice and risk permanent damage" (or something along those lines... again, it was all one big blur...)
Madonna: "Fuck you!"
(yeah, that I remember like it was just yesterday. It hit me like a lighting bolth right between the eyes.)
Madonna: "I don't know any Frank... I can't really talk right now... need to conserve my voice... have to go, bye!"
I hear dial-tone and I go numb...
When all the blood starts to rush back to my brain, I start to jump from joy.
"Awww yeah!!!!! ...Madonna just told me to go fuck myself... awesome!!!"
I could not be more happy!!! I had a "conversation" with Madonna, AND she tells me to go fuck myself... bonus!!!
Yep... how cool was that!
After the rush faded away... I felt Madonna was totally justified in telling me to 'eff off... but it was still was kinda harsh. I mean... c'mon now, some guy was telling her get well soon, but gets the big middle finger of doom? Why not just hang up on me instead? Then again, I was the equivalent of a telemarketer... so I totally should've gone eff myself and worse... but it did sting a little. A few minutes go by and I start to piece together that Madonna didn't really say "Fuck you" ... she probably said "Frank who? I don't know any Frank..."
I had drawn Madonna wearing the Dick Tracy hat and coat... had it silk screened on T-Shirts for me to wear to the concert. Luckily I made a couple extras... so when I saw one of the dancers walking around the hall before the show started, I asked if he would give Madonna a T-shirt for me. I would rather give it to her myself, but that wasn't happening. He liked the shirt and said that he would give it to Madonna, if I gave him one too, since he wears the Dick Tracy Costume in the show... I was flattered he liked it that much, and said "yes of course"... the manager was walking around with him too, and he said he wanted one as well. It was a T-Shirt love fest... awww yeah... I will totally bring the shirts to the concert the following night. But little did I know, that by the next morning, the last remaining concert was gonna be cancelled.
The whole day was shot now... no more concert. I was totally free, bummed, bored out of my mind, and climing the walls. Dark and dreary grey of a day. Downpour be damned, I decided to drive down to the lakefront and hit the Drake... leave the Madonna Package at the front desk for the dancer, then find a way to drown my sorrows. As luck would have it... he was in the lobby of the Drake surrounded by all the other dancers from the "Vogue" video when I walked in. Just in the nick of time, since they were all packed and waiting for the shuttle to take them to the airport. They were all very cool, and said that Madonna had already left for the airport in a seperate limmo... and he would totally give the shirt to Madonna when he saw her.
Did Madonna ever get the shirt? Not sure, I never heard back, probably because I didn't leave any contact information... or did I? Again, one great big blur... but in my fantasies, Madonna did get the shirt, and maybe she wore it during some of her workouts, or when she was just bumming around her multi millon dollar house or something, or wore it to bed with nothing else when all her frilly lacy things were out being dry cleaned. Yeah, I have a pretty healthy imagination... so in my world, and in my mind, she so got the shirt, and loved it lots!
So yeah, thanks to "Honey West"... I got through the line, and had a really fun time that weekend. Even when it all fell apart, there was a very happy ending. Madonna if you're out there somewhere, sorry for calling you when you were not feeling well... (but I would still dial that phone if I had to do it all over again.)
I love you, Madonna!!
And I love Honey West, because of Madonna. Didn't know the name at the time, thinking it was something completely made up. Didn't realize Aaron Spelling made a TV show starring Anne Francis the year I was born. Ms. Francis was so beautiful, and I feel so lucky Moonstone asked me to draw her for this Honey West cover... with trademark mole and everything. Just like Madonna and her trademark mole... Awww Yeah, this cover is such a love-fest for me... has all sorts of bells and whistles going off in all kinds of ways. Moonstone said "Honey West" and I immediately went into Madonna Flashback Mode. They had me at "hello..."
Please ask your favorite retailers to order a whole bunch of copies of the upcoming Franchesco Honey West Cover from, Moonstone! And give them to all of your friends, and even total strangers... why not! Every copy will be a great big "FRANK WHO" to dream killers... and by Frank Who... I mean 'eff you dream killers... Because yes, dreams sometimes do come true! A great big "THANK YOU" from me to you, for supporting me and my art! I really appreciate it! Frank You!
and if your local retailer can't or heaven forbid, won't get you any copies...
AMAZING FANTASY can totally hook it up: 20523 S. La Grange Rd. Frankfort IL 60423 (815) 469-5092
email@example.com ask for "Lori, from LaGrange" ...you won't need a special secret word, or secret handshake.
Frank you, baby... Frank you!