344 posts categorized "ME"

May 06 2019
Madonna, Andy Cohen & More Honored At GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS; Queen Of Pop Urges Everyone To Give Back, But Never Give Up Comments (0)

IMG_1032Unyielding advocate for personal power and giving back (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I bought my ticket for the 30th GLAAD Media Awards upon learning that Madonna would be honored there as a tireless Advocate for Change, a much-needed reboot of our appreciation for all she's done for LGBTQ people over the years.

I always cover the carpet, but figured she would not walk — and was right — so wanted to be sure I had a nice spot inside.

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IMG_4044Getting with the programs

In the meantime, sadly, one of my dogs has been caught in a life-or-death health battle, so I thought I'd have to pass up the awards. As it turned out, he was in good hands Saturday, so I was able to take a breath, Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 11.56.56 AMgo and enjoy a very memorable night.

Pictured with my longtime buddy Lav ->

I did the carpet with my old friend Peter Dee, who manned the Q&A part while I filmed. (It's Boy Culture, not Dad Culture.) I wore my familiar CK jacket but accessorized with a vintage Madonna purse to hold my video cam.

The carpet's always fun — you're stressed out that you don't deserve to be next to major news orgs, then overhear that they'd accidentally been recording their interviews on slow-mo, or that someone will IMG_4046hog too much time with the best gets, leaving you with the dregs, then find out the ones you really want have no problem circling back to you anyway.

My own snafu — my video sometimes records with all the audio pitched to one side, not stereo. And I can't figure it out. So watch our supercut of snippets from Shangela (she tackles MAYOchella), Gus Kenworthy (got to say hello to his boyf Matt Wilkas), May Hong of Tales of the City, the Pose cast, Trace Lysette and Alexandra Billings of Transparent, Yuval David (Madam Secretary), Jonathan Van Ness, Sonja Morgan, Adam Rippon, Benito Skinner and more ... but do so with one ear:

With the carpet behind me, I dashed inside to find I was seated at a great table, where I met the owners of the Stonewall Inn. (We also had a Jennifer Coolidge caricature at the table who was apparently a Trumper, as she loudly complained about a very pregnant Chelsea Clinton's passionate speech about tolerance.

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IMG_0966The dress was exquisitely, appropriately over-the-top-and-beyond ...

The show was one of GLAAD's best, with participation from the Pose cast, Rachel Brosnahan, and a hilarious presentation by Sarah Jessica Parker of the Vito Russo Award to Andy Cohen, who she teased for his younger wild ways. Shangela was a most capable hostess. One could even say she had the mostess.

I realized right away my camera gave me carte blanche, so I went from table to table getting lovely posed pics of Sarah Jessica Parker and Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen, Rosie O'Donnell and more.

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.26.24 AMI was thrilled with my SJP shots

When Madonna strolled into the banquet room about 25 minutes before her presentation and took a seat, shielding her eyes with red sunglasses, I did not hesitate. I was the first photographer to approach and politely ask for a shot. She turned her head and said, “Nope, nope, nope.” Asked and answered!

IMG_1134Yes, Madonna got teary-eyed.

Still, I was able to park by the stage, so I got excellent close-ups when she was affectionately lampooned by Shangela (in a cone bra) and celebrated by Anderson Cooper, Rosie O'Donnell and queer rapper Mykki Blanco. Taking the stage to the strains of her new empowerment anthem “I Rise,” Madonna gave a lovely, funny, bittersweet speech, in which she thanked Christopher Flynn, Keith Haring and her best friend Martin Burgoyne for helping to form her values, remembering through some tears the plague years, when she went to St. Vincent's and embraced dying men in their beds to give them humanity. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.16.54 AMAt Madonna's feet

She spoke of her refusal to turn her back on marginalized people, promising to never let her LGBTQ fans down.

IMG_1077The gays — including actual gay Gus Kenworthy & honorary gay SJP back there — watching Madonna speak

She was most emotional when talking about how her commitment to fighting AIDS led her to champion Malawi, from which she adopted four of her six kids.

IMG_1197Like it or not ...

For comedy, Madonna recalled making Truth or Dare and having had no idea it would inspire men to come out as gay, let alone suck off so many Evian bottles.

Best of all, Madonna delivered a rousing reminder that we need to be who we are, whether people like it or not. She raised two middle fingers as she made this evergreen pronouncement, which came minutes after she'd pledged $25,000 to GLAAD during an auction run by celebrity benefit auctioneer Erin Ward that evening.

Madonna's gratitude to gay men in particular (no mention of her gay, estranged bro Christopher Ciccone) was palpable, her wit was in good order and she was, as ever, unready to back down from anyone or anything.

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IMG_1208Wrapping up

I also loved her use of a James Baldwin quote about how we don't own anything, but are mere shepherds of our talents — and we owe it to everyone to give back.

All this, and she was 15 feet away from me!

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IMG_1259Madonna was feeling both Rosie and Shangela — and Shangela had made fun of her cone bra!

After that, she sneaked back through the stage and vanished, hand-in-hand with Rosie O'Donnell, but everyone else stayed and after-partied. She had, after all, told us in parting that Madame X is a freedom fighter, and a freedom fighter's work is never done.

Check out a chunk of Madonna's speech here:

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Apr 29 2019
And They Were Each Assigned Very Hazardous Duties Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 5.30.35 PM(Images via Spelling-Goldberg Prods. & by Matthew Rettenmund)

Got a very sick dog, and may not be blogging a while.

Scan 2(Image by Bob Deutsch)

Please head to Gr8erDays to read about my 29-star salute to Chiller Theatre, featuring Tony Danza, Joan Van Ark, Cheryl Ladd and more!

 
Mar 21 2019
LIKE A PRAYER Turns 30 Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 1.19.58 PMThe back cover of my book with Anthony Coombs, MLVC6o (Image by Alejandro Mogollo)

Madonna's Like a Prayer turns 30 today, which is something I wish I could say about myself!

It's truly mind-boggling to think this album has been with us so long. I vividly remember buying it and being blown away by the entire thing, by Madonna's growth as an artist. My college dorm advisor, a dad in his thirties and an ex-hippie, made a point of telling me (I went to the University of Chicago, were everyone was an egghead and I was this kid with a room covered in Madonna posters) that he was shocked by how musically refined Like a Prayer was. He was impressed.

Scan 3Japan always had the best graphics. (Image via Warner-Pioneer Corp.)

I went home from one of my first gay bars with a sexy, slightly older guy, Enrique (where is he now?), who played the album while we fooled around, a photo of his young daughter on prominent display as “Oh Father” — and he — throbbed.

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Feb 22 2019
Where's The Arty? Comments (0)

When I was in high school, I drew.

A lot.

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Feb 14 2019
Join Me For The North American Premiere Of MADONNA AND THE BREAKFAST CLUB! Comments (0)

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Join me on Wednesday, March 6, at Nitehawk Cinema Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 1.36.10 PM(188 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY) at 8 p.m. for the North American premiere of Madonna and the Breakfast Club, the new docudrama about Madonna's early years in NYC directed by Guy Guido!

I'll be moderating a panel after the screening, which will feature Guy, his amazing Madonna look-alike star Jamie Auld and two subjects from the film — Ed Gilroy and Gary Burke.

It will be a rare opportunity to see an accurate portrayal of Madonna's musical roots, and to hear directly from some of her earliest musical collaborators what she was like when she was Madonna ... but before she was Madonna.

Click HERE for Tickets!

Trailer after the jump ...

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Jan 01 2019
New Year's Superstition Comments (0)


Follow Along Here!

Also, Madonna says 2019 is the year she starts using reading glasses. Me, too! Though for me, I'm using them (sparingly ... for now) again. I had Lasik six years ago, but that shit does wear off, and as they warned me, you do need reading glasses eventually. Sigh.

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Dec 05 2018
RUMOURS-Monger Comments (0)

Lindsey BuckinghamWe went our own way. (Image via Matthew Rettenmund)

Was thrilled to see my first Lindsey Buckingham concert — and to meet the guitar god — in NYC last night. Full review here.

After the jump, one of my favorites of his songs ...

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Nov 24 2018
Naked Came The Strangers Comments (0)

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// Fix responsive height for YouTube