Blond Ambition World Tour

Infobox concert tour
concert_tour_name = Blond Ambition Tour

image_caption = Madonna performing during her 1990 World Tour
artist = Madonna
album = "Like a Prayer"
"I'm Breathless"
start_date = April 13 1990
end_date = August 5 1990
number_of_legs = 3
number_of_shows = 9 in Japan
32 in North America
16 in Europe
57 Total
last_tour = Who's That Girl World Tour
this_tour = Blond Ambition Tour
next_tour = The Girlie Show World Tour
The Blond Ambition Tour [cite web |url= |title=Madonna's Bare Ambition; At Cap Centre, the Vamp Of Video in a Stage Spectacle |accessdate=2008-10-11 |last=Harrington |first=Richard |coauthors= |date= 1990-06-09|work=The Washington Post (achieved on HighBeam Encyclopedia) |publisher=The Washington Post Company] [cite web |url=|title=Madonna Tour in Vogue |accessdate=2008-10-11 |last=Brown |first=Joe|coauthors= |date= 1990-06-08|work=The Washington Post (achieved on HighBeam Encyclopedia) |publisher=The Washington Post Company] [cite web |url=|title=Madonna's 'Breathless' captures a '40's Ambiance|accessdate=2008-10-11 |last= |first=|coauthors= |date= 1990-06-17|work=Worcester Telegram & Gazette|publisher=Worcester Telegram & Gazette Corp.] [cite web |url= |title='Material Girl' to perform on HBO. (rights obtained to Madonna's 'Blond Ambition' concert tour) |accessdate=2008-10-11 |last=Mitchell |first=Kim |coauthors= |date= 1990-07-02|work=Multichannel News (achieved on HighBeam Encyclopedia) |publisher=] [cite web |url= |title=`Truth' about Madonna: She dares to be the boss |accessdate=2008-10-11 |last=Ebert |first=Roger|coauthors= |date= 1991-05-17|work=Chicago-Sun Times (achieved on HighBeam Encyclopedia) |publisher=Sun Times News Group] (also known as Blond Ambition World Tour and Blond Ambition World Tour 90) was the third concert tour by American singer/songwriter, Madonna. The tour spanned fifty-seven shows in twenty-seven cities in Japan, North America, and Europe, and lasted approximately four months. It was a highly controversial tour, mainly for its juxtaposition of Catholicism and sexuality."Rolling Stone" called it an "elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza" and proclaimed it "the best tour of 1990." [cite web|url=|title=Crucifixes, Leather and Hits|date=2006-06-01|accessdate=2008-07-13|last=Walters|first=Barry|work= Rolling Stone]

About the tour

Sire Records announced the Blond Ambition Tour in November 1989, following the success of Madonna's fourth studio album, "Like a Prayer". Initially, the tour would only reach Japan and North America, as Madonna was considering roles in several films. In April 1990, additional dates in Europe were added. [Citation| last =Kolson| first =Ann| publication-date =1990-06-14| title =Putting "Blond Ambition Tour" on its feet| periodical =Philadelphia Inquirer| publication-place =Philadelphia| publisher =Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC| page =C1| accessdate =2008-10-11] The tour was acknowledge by several names ("Blond Ambition Tour"', "Blond Ambition World Tour" and "Blond Ambition World Tour 90") throughout its run. The tour incorporated as central themes sex and Catholicism, a combination which engendered controversy. The Pope called for a boycott of the show in Italy, and one of three scheduled Italian dates was canceled. The show has achieved a measure of cult status, with elements such as the cone brassieres becoming cultural icons in their own right.

The show's risque overtone caused problems. In Toronto, police were alerted that the show might possibly contain lewd and obscene content (particularly a masturbation scene) and threatened charges unless parts of the show were changed. The show went on unaltered, however, and no charges were made.

French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier designed the costumes for the tour, including the now-infamous cone brassiere. Additional costume pieces were designed by Marlene Stewart, who had previously worked with Madonna on the 1987 Who's That Girl World Tour.

Director Alek Keshishian captured more than 250 hours of film of Madonna and her troupe during the tour. This footage was edited and released to movie theaters as ""

Due to ongoing throat problems, six shows had to be canceled, bringing the tour down from 63 shows to 57; altogether, some 125,000 tickets had to be refunded.

In 1998 a tribute show was produced at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California titled "The Blonde Exhibition" in which twelve Madonna look- and sound-alike performers from across the US recreated the singer's career from beginning to (then) end. A year later this idea was carried over into the MTV Video Music Awards in which Madonna herself appeared.

The show

The show was separated into four different segments. The first segment was the "Metropolis" segment, which was inspired by the famous German silent film of the same name by Fritz Lang. The set was straight from Madonna's " Express Yourself" video (also inspired by this film) featuring a huge staircase inside a huge "machine-room" full of half-naked male dancers.

The second segment was a religious-themed set of five songs in which Madonna simulated masturbation on a crimson-sheathed bed during "Like a Virgin". Afterward, the set turns into a Catholic church-like atmosphere, complete with her back-up singers and dancers dressed as nuns and priests, and Madonna "confesses" with songs including "Like a Prayer".

The third segment was taken directly from the "Dick Tracy" movie, which was just starting in cinemas during the tour. Parts of the segment included Madonna interacting with the character of Dick Tracy, played by one of her back-up dancers Slam.

The fourth segment was more of the light-hearted kind with a spoof-segment of Madonna mocking her image as a "Material Girl". The set ended with a dramatic yet minimalist performance of her then-current hit "Vogue", featuring paintings by Tamara de Lempicka on the huge screens behind Madonna and her dancers. (Paintings by Tamara de Lempicka had previously been used in the opening of Madonna's 1987 Who's That Girl World Tour.)

The encore of the show was a combination of another light-hearted rendition of "Holiday" before Madonna went into a super-stylized version of "Keep It Together", which was inspired by the work of Bob Fosse".

The Japan and North American shows featured Madonna in her trademark blonde ponytail hair extensions. However, because the hairpiece kept getting caught in her headset microphone and was pulling her real hair out by the root, she switched to short blonde curls for the European leg of the tour.

The tour grossed U$65.7 million.

Opening acts

*"Technotronic" with "Pump up the Jam"
*"Adele Humphrey" with "Berio JAM" (selected venues only)


#"Express Yourself" (contains excerpts of "Everybody")
#"Open Your Heart"
#"Causing a Commotion"
#"Where's the Party"
#"Like a Virgin"
#"Like a Prayer" (contains excerpts of "Act of Contrition")
#"Live to Tell"
#"Oh Father"
#"Papa Don't Preach"
#"Sooner or Later"
#"Hanky Panky"
#"Now I'm Following You"
#"Material Girl"
#"Into the Groove" (contains excerpts from "Ain't Nobody Better")
#"Holiday" (contains excerpts from "Do the Bus Stop")
#"Keep It Together" (contains excerpts of "Family Affair")

Source: [cite web|url=|title=Blond Ambition Tour|accessdate=2008-07-13|work=Mad-Eyes (fansite)] [cite web|url=|title=Tour Achieves: Blond Ambition Tour|accessdate=2008-09-08|work=Madonna's Official Website] [cite web|url=|title=Blond Ambition Tour|accessdate=2008-10-11|work=Sindri's Madonna Page]

Tour Dates

Additional Notes

*May 25 Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont IL
*June 6 The Centrum, Worcester MA
*June 15 The Spectrum, Philadelphia PA
*June 19 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford NJ
*June 22 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford NJ
*July 1 Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
*July 7 Paris-Bercy, Paris (never release)
*July 11 Stadio Flaminio, Rome, Italy
*July 15 Mungersdorfer Stadium, Cologne, Germany (moved to Dortmund on July 17)
*July 17 Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany (moved to Riemer Reitstadion on July 15)
*July 28 Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain (moved to Vigo on July 29)


*Director: Christopher Ciccone, Madonna and Vince Paterson
*Artistic Director: Christopher Ciccone

*Musical Director: Jai Winding

*Tour Manager: John Draper
*Production Manager: Chris Lamb, GLS Productions
*Road Manager: Mike Grizel
*Set Designer: John McGraw
*Lighting Designer: Peter Morse
*Choreographer: Vince Paterson
*Costume Design: Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marlene Stewart
*Make-up and Hair: Joanne Grier


*Keyboards: Jai Winding, Kevin Kendrick, Kevin McKnight
*Guitar: Carlos Rios and David Williams
*Bass: Darryl Jones
*Drums: Jonathan Moffet
*Percussion: Luis Conte
*Backing Vocalist: Niki Haris and Donna DeLory
*Dancers: Luis Camacho, Oliver Crumes, Slam, Jose Gutierez, Kevin A. Stea, Gabriel Trupin, and Carlton Wilborn

Broadcasts and recordings

Two shows were released commercially. The August 5 show in Nice, France, was taped and aired on HBO in the United States and released worldwide exclusively on Laserdisc, titled "Live! - Blond Ambition World Tour 90", as part of a sponsorship deal with Pioneer Electronics. One of the Yokohama, Japan dates was also taped and released on VHS and Laserdisc in the Japanese market as "Blond Ambition - Japan Tour 90". Pioneer signed an exclusive deal to release these concerts on laser disc only and thus no video or DVD has yet been released.

In addition to these shows, the August 1 show in Barcelona, Spain was taped and aired on television in Europe, Australia and Canada by SACIS-RAI. This show is known by fans for Madonna's unusually big hair (likely caused by the extremely hot weather) and numerous technical mistakes (including Madonna forgetting part of the lyrics to "Sooner or Later" and "Material Girl," getting her monocle caught on her headset microphone at the beginning of "Express Yourself"), and not realizing that her headset microphone was still live as she exited the stage after "Where's the Party," resulting in her command at a backstage crewmember to "Get the fuck out of my fuckin' way" and complaints about the oppressive heat to be broadcast to the audience while the dancers performed during the closing of the number. Also, at the end of "Holiday" a man came on stage and put a shirt on Madonna and her dancers bearing the results of an important football match that had taken place the same evening. Madonna looked bemused and commented "Anybody gonna arrest this man?" Later, in the beginning of "Keep It Together", she told her audience, "Strange people walk on my stage, they put shit on me, I can't hear myself...I'd like to fucking kill somebody." All three Parisian dates was taped by Alek Keshishian for "".

Video of one of the Houston, Texas dates taken from the video screens has been widely circulated among the fan community. In addition a poor quality Germany-only DVD "Blond Ambition Tour 1990" is from the same Houston show, which was also partially aired live on the MTV special 'Blond Date' during a 'Madonna Weekend'.


External links


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