Madonna's brother to write 'devastating' tell-all
I WENT TO Mort and Linda Janklow’s private dinner for their longtime friend Barbara Walters, author extraordinary. Sonny Mehta, her editor at Knopf, believes her sales for “Audition” will hit one million. I can’t give you a guest list for this 30-person bash because I don’t want the Janklows to suffer slings and arrows. But it was simply great! The hosts had dug up a menu from Barbara’s father’s Latin Quarter, which opened in Boston in 1937. At that time a five-course dinner cost $2.50. The Janklows re-created the menu for us starting with fruit cup (remember those?) and adding “surf and turf” and fancy touches. Each table bore a kind of exotic headdress of red feathers and flower petals, such as were worn by the Latin Quarter showgirls. Barbara loved it and shed a tear. At dinner’s end, I gave a kind of recitative verse to “As Time Goes By” and everyone gathered at the piano of David Lewis for a sing-a-long. It’s really something to see a Mayor of New York, Dr. Henry Kissinger and the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Gillerman, all singing like teenagers serenading their ladies.MADONNA’S formerly devoted brother, Christopher Ciccone is preparing to release a supposedly “devastating and graphic” tell-all about his famous sister. Christopher is an artist, writer and in the past, collaborated with Madonna on her early tours. In fact, their joint efforts on “Blonde Ambition” and “The Girlie Show” resulted in the best examples of Madonna in concert. This was back when Madonna concerts were pretty much all fun, and she was not hitting her fans over the head with serious “messages” — or if she did that, she — and Christopher — kept it accessible. Well, that was back in the 20th century. Christopher has always blown hot and cold about his association with Madonna; he was famous because he was Madonna’s brother. He liked being famous. He got a lot of perks and pleasure off the heat of his sister’s flame. He just didn’t like always being Madonna’s brother, as if that was his only title in life. Or the assumption that he was getting some kind of a handout from her. Christopher, like Madonna, was pretty sure of himself and his talent. He has always had a wicked tongue and generally told Madonna things she didn’t want to hear. (He was certainly no Max, assuring Norma Desmond, “Madame is the greatest star.”) Eventually he said too much. So, they have been estranged for a number of years. Some say he just couldn’t attain or come round to Madonna’s elevated spirituality of recent years. He has no desire for rapprochement, obviously! Telling naughty tales of Madonna’s younger and wilder days will freeze him out for good, probably. But most likely it’ll depend on how the Kabbalah looks at forgiveness? I guess Christopher has made his peace with that. Well, to each his own royalty check. I remember Christopher fondly. And I am also fond of Madonna. They were very much alike. Maybe that is the problem. It’s too bad it had to come to this. I just hope he doesn’t use the word “catharsis” when explaining why he wrote it. Catharsis is for a therapists couch. Writing an intimate book is something else. Madonna has six other siblings. Let’s hope this is not the beginning of a trend! ARETHA FRANKLIN will, for the first time, produce her own record album. And another first — it will be a collection of Christmas songs! The Detroit Symphony will accompany the Queen of Soul and try to keep up. Obviously, this will be out in time for the holidays.