Madonna had rough cuts of many of her Like a Prayer songs a year in advance?! (Image via Gotta Have Rock and Roll)
Gotta Have Rock and Roll is about to auction a trove of Madonna memorabilia, all ostensibly from the collection of Darlene Lutz. Lutz was, for many years, Madonna's personal art consultant. They reportedly had a bad breakup, so it wouldn't be surprising if she decided to sell off her Madonnabilia.
What strikes me as odd about what's being sold is that it's stuff Lutz really shouldn't, speaking intuitively, have.
The most infamous item in the auction is a long letter presumed to be from Madonna to John Enos, a friend and briefly a fling of Madonna's in the '90s. The letter has made international headlines (25 years later!) for Madonna's insecure rantings about how she'd rather die than be Whitney Houston or Sharon Stone, to whom she was often unfavorably compared back then.
Stone has actually responded — with unbelievable grace:
(Image via Facebook)
Pretty classy, huh?
Interestingly enough, the letter appears to have been pulled from the sale. Perhaps Madonna wasn't thrilled that it was included or challenged its authenticity; hard to say, as letters of the famous are sold all the time without incident. UPDATE: The letter was returned to the auction, without comment.
But back to my suspicions.
I can not wrap my head around why Darlene Lutz would be in possession of the items in this auction, which include a large number of cassettes containing rough cuts/demos/alternate versions of Like a Virgin, True Blue, Bloodhounds of Broadway soundtrack, Like a Prayer, and I'm Breathless songs; a letter from Madonna to her brother, Christopher; a letter from Madonna detailing apartment-design directions; a previously unseen Bruce Weber image just of Madonna's brothers; jewelry from 1984 ... why would Lutz have this stuff?
Also curious is the fact that the cassettes seem to have popped up in the auction after Patrick Leonard, one of Madonna's most important collaborators, teased a similar — but different — cassette with an unreleased track. It's almost as if the cassettes were added in response to the excitement from fans over Patrick's post.
After chatting with a friend, we noticed most of the items see to have a link to Christopher Ciccone. Whether he was the conduit by which Lutz rightfully obtained them as gifts/hand-offs back in the day, or whether he'll make any cash from this sale, I am not sure. I'm just finding it hard to understand the provenance. I do not wish to accuse anyone of anything, and selling stuff you own is fair game.
P.S. For my money, the real prize is the grouping of Gaultier drawings for Blond Ambition. Which would also be more credibly coming from CC than from DL, considering his position in her life and on her tour.