Bay City is finally in love with Madonna too
The quest to reach out to Bay City‘s most famous offspring has begun. Mayor Charles M. Brunner has drafted a letter inviting Madonna to come home to Bay City and finally accept a key to the city.
City Commissioner Christopher J. Shannon, frontman for a local rock band, is planning a Madonna tribute album in which he hopes to recruit local musicians to cover hits such as ”Like a Virgin,” ”Express Yourself” and ”Vogue.”
Guy Greve, president of the Bay Arts Council, wants to go as far as commissioning an artist to sculpt a statue of Bay City’s Material Girl.
”The local arts council would like to pay homage for her artistic contributions,” he said. ”I could see a sculpture of her in Bay City. One of Madonna’s famous poses could be made into a sculpture.”
Brunner said he has e-mailed a letter to Madonna’s father, Silvio ”Tony” Ciccone, who owns a vineyard in Suttons Bay.
”I sent it to the winery initially, because that was the only e-mail address I had,” Brunner said.
”And I did get an e-mail back,” he said. ”They gave me, I believe, his personal e-mail address, so I sent him an e-mail and a copy of the letter inviting her to Bay City – so hopefully maybe something happens through her father.”
Brunner is hopeful his words will atone for the actions of past city officials who have rejected Madonna on multiple occasions – much to the dismay of Madonna’s family still living here, including her 96-year-old grandmother.
Madonna, who was born in Bay City in 1958 and spent a considerable portion of her childhood visiting family here, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past month.
That prompted city leaders to reconsider bestowing upon her the infamous key to the city that Mayor Timothy G. Sullivan refused to give her in 1985, when Madonna was considered, by some, too risque’ for such an honor.
City officials in the late 1980s also refused to accept a professional sculpture of Madonna from an Italian artist, citing a belief that her popularity would fade out in time.
Nearly three decades since her rise to fame, that notion has failed to come true – Madonna remains a worldwide cultural icon.
Just this week, she knocked Elvis Presley from the history books, charting her 37th Top 10 hit with her new single ”4 Minutes,” a duet with Justin Timberlake. Presley officially was nudged from his standing as the artist with the most Top 10 hits in rock history, according to Billboard.com.
”Far and wide, she wields significant influence in the arts and entertainment world,” said Shannon, Bay City’s 1st Ward Commissioner. ”For Bay City to turn its back on that, it would be a shame.”
Perhaps best known locally for calling Bay City a ”smelly little town” on national television two decades ago – a reference to a former oil refinery that once polluted the city – Madonna graces the cover of Vanity Fair this month, holding the world in her hands for the magazine’s third-annual ”Green” issue – her 10th cover for the magazine.
Local leaders say she’s a living example to anyone growing up in Bay City with dreams of making it big in the arts world. Since moving to New York City on a whim in 1978, Madonna has gone on to sell more than 200 million albums worldwide, as well as author children’s books and star in and direct films.
Today, she lives with her husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, and three children in London.
Brunner notes that he met Madonna’s father in January at the Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival. Tony Ciccone catered the wine for the inaugural event at the State Theatre in Bay City. Brunner, a former rock band drummer, is hoping he’ll make a lasting connection with Madonna and her family, though he was unsuccessful in reaching out to her longtime friend and publicist Lis Rosenberg, who did not return e-mails from Brunner or The Times. ”I’ll do what I can,” Brunner said. ”I’ve got a one-page letter. I hope she gets an opportunity to read it. We’ll just keep working on it.”
Martin Ciccone, Madonna’s older brother in Beverly Hills, told The Times that Bay City should invite Madonna to town and give her the key for her 50th birthday on Aug. 16.
”I’d say go for it,” he said. ”I cannot tell you what she would do. I want to say, yeah.” Shannon said that would be great, but as a founding member of Bay City’s Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, he’s partial to having the singer slip into town, oh say, in mid-October.
”We could even play one of her films,” he said.
Source: The Bay City Times
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