cropped image of the cover of Madonna's 'Sex' book


Madonna: recession buster

 Miguel Gonzalez

US superstar Madonna is touring Australia, 23 years after her last visit. With a career spanning more than 30 years, she’s certainly left her mark on popular culture. We look back at the early 1990s to see how Australia reacted to Madonna’s controversial Sex book and 1993 tour.

The first clip is about the release of the Sex coffee-table book in late 1992.

Journalist Chris Bath says that book retailers in Newcastle were hailing the singer ‘a recession buster’, and struggling to keep up with demand – although certain shops banned customers from opening the book on their premises. Some fans bought multiple copies of the $60 book, opening one and keeping the rest sealed in their mylar bags. A wise choice considering that, long out of print, the book has become a collector’s item with unopened copies now usually selling for hundreds of dollars.


The second clip comes from Queensland, and shows the excitement over Madonna’s first Australian tour The Girlie Show.

In those pre-internet days, fans spent days in line waiting to buy their tickets. Dana Flannery was the first in line, having camped out at Ticket World’s doorstep for eight days. The report also mentions a fan who spent $15,000 in tickets – an impressive amount at the time, which would only buy seven VIP tickets for 2016’s Rebel Heart tour.

The report says that ‘Madonna is set to become more of a material girl through ticket sales for her Australian concerts. Hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands as fans scooped up 35,000 tickets for her debut concert at ANZ Stadium’.