How MADONNA inspired FAITH NO MORE
The legendary queen of pop has just celebrated her 60th birthday. Love her or hate her, there is no denying her influence on pop music since the 1980s.
"Madonna's so miserable she's got to make an S&M video." - Mike Patton 1992
Madonna, believe or not, is also a part of Faith No More culture, in fact the very first mention of her is as early as 1985 in the original version of We Care A Lot from the band's debut album.
'We care a lot about the cabbage patch, the smurfs, and DMC
We care a lot about Madonna and we cop for Mr.T
We care a lot about the little things, the bigger things we top
We care a lot about you people yeah you bet we care a lot, yeah'
The song is a parody of pop music culture of the mid 80s. The Live Aid concert and USA's Feed the World song seemed to have irked FNM into creating some kind of statement against the pop singers taking part who cared more about their public appearance than the consequences of poverty itself. To mention Madonna is certainly endearing but also quite scathing.
When writing music for their 1989 breakthrough album The Real Thing, FNM's music included a more pop/commercial sound which was introduced by Roddy Bottum and the new vocal style of Mike Patton. One such commercially proven example is the smash hit Epic which was often referred to as 'the Madonna song' because the band heard it as pop music.
Patton would ad-lib Madonna lyrics into live performances, most famously her chart topping 1990 hit Vogue surreptitiously added to the intro of Chinese Arithmetic. However Patton's references to the queen of pop did not stop there.
Faith No More would join Madonna on the bill at the 1990 MTV music awards, FNM played Epic and Madonna performed Vogue. Both acts were nominated for awards however only Madonna won. While been interviewed for MTV Patton told viewers he was looking forward to watching Madonna perform, "Wubba, wubba, wubba" with a devilish smirk.
On September 23rd 1990 FNM took to the stage in support of Billy Idol at Hampton Coliseum dressed in women's clothing in a protest, "Before the show they sat us down and said 'No fucks, no obscenity, no NOTHING,"' said bassist Bill Gould. "So we dressed up like transvestites and did the show that way. We told all the kids, 'What four- letter words do you think of when you look at us?' and they shouted all the words we couldn't say." Patton briefly adopted the personality of Madonna for the performance sporting a blond wig and a bra, whilst performing the famous Vogue dance moves.
In May 1992 FNM released Midlife Crisis the premiere single from their fourth studio album Angel Dust. Like Epic before it, the song was affectionately christened Madonna as a working title which eventually made it onto to set lists. Patton explains why, "The song is based on a lot of observation and a lot of speculation. But in sort of a pointed way its kind of about Madonna...I think it was a particular time where I was being bombarded with her image on TV and in magazines and her whole schtick kind of speaks to me in that way...like she's going through some sort of problem. It seems she's getting a bit desperate."
Happy 60th Madge.....