Before the world knew her as Madonna, the one-named pop star who transformed the entertainment industry, a 24-year-old Madonna Louise Ciccone invited photographer Richard Corman to her Lower East side apartment for a photo shoot.
Iconic photographer Richard Corman remembers the first time he met Madonna. He told Rolling Stone magazine…
"[It was] in the summer of 1982 at her apartment on the Lower East Side. Prior to entering the building, I had to call her from a phone booth from across the street as she let me know, under no uncertain terms, that I was not to enter the building without her alerting all of the tenants due to a lot of illegal activity going on, on the stoop and on the ground floor – which she had no part in."
Once inside, the burgeoning pop star offered him black coffee and gum on a silver-plated tray. "That was the introduction," he recalled. "A few minutes later, we were moving about her apartment and I was photographing her in her kitchenette, at the stove, on her desk chair."
One enticing photo shows Madonna pouting prettily from a bench, sandwiched between a row of bemused eldery locals. Another portrays the denim-clad singer on a rooftop, hanging with some kids who are trying endearingly hard to look tough for the camera. This type of cross-generational camaraderie was an everyday thing for Madge, according to Corman. "She was absolutely the pied piper of the neighborhood, and all of the kids sang and danced with her on the rooftop almost daily. She carried her boombox up to the roof – the kids would hear the music playing and run upstairs to dance with her as she sang and listened to her demo tapes."
Corman added, "Today, there would be an entourage of about 30 people around her. Back then, it was just her and I. It was simple; it was poignant. It felt like we captured something that was genuine."
(Madonna by Richard Corman, via Rolling Stone)