The Material Girl Has Lost Her Way

Nancy Colasurdo
4 min readFeb 8, 2023

It’s become a favorite family story over the years, the time in May of 1985 when I drove to the Spectrum in Philadelphia with my sister and a friend with no tickets in hand for the Madonna concert that was happening that night.

Determined to see The Virgin Tour, we wound up buying tickets on the street from a guy who my sister flagged down while hanging half her body out the car window. They were marked “obstructed view.”

In retrospect, idiocy.

But it was Madonna. And we got in. We could see just fine, as it turned out, and we had a great time.

Back then, aside from regularly dancing in clubs to her songs, Madonna’s appeal for me was about rebellion. I was raised Catholic. It wasn’t quite a fit, but its doctrine had penetrated just enough that I had never deigned to question its tenets or, heaven forbid, push back.

Along came this ambitious, provocative Italian-American woman simply bursting with longing and truth and sexuality. It was intoxicating to arguably repressed young women like me. She was burning up with love, unabashedly singing about virginity, exploring what made her different.

I, too, was ambitious and Italian American, but not so provocative. While Billy Joel was trying to coax us Catholic girls from starting “much too late” into going all the…

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Nancy Colasurdo

Activist Journalist, Opinion Writer, Author, Life Coach in Greater NYC area. Occasional guest columnist at NJ.com. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge.