And Finally Artist News

Madonna producer posts Like A Prayer demos on YouTube in attempt to halt auction

By | Published on Wednesday 24 July 2019


Madonna collaborator Patrick Leonard has posted three demos from the recording sessions for the singer’s ‘Like A Prayer’ album onto YouTube. His hope is that doing so stops the original cassette from selling at auction.

The demos are part of a controversial auction organised by Madonna’s “former friend” (to quote Madonna) Darlene Lutz. The collection of 73 Madonna-related items – including a brush with some of her hair on it and a love letter from Tupac Shakur – originally went up for sale in 2017. Since then, Madge has been pursuing various legal routes in an attempt to block it all from happening.

Although Madonna did successfully secure an injunction at one point, this was eventually overturned. Earlier this year, all legal routes available were exhausted. The online auction was rescheduled and will now finish this Friday. That does not mean, however, that attempts to derail the sale are over.

In an effort to make the demo tape he recorded with Madonna back in 1989 (one of several demo cassettes included in the sale) less desirable, Leonard has posted three of its seven tracks on YouTube. Versions of ‘Like A Prayer’ and ‘Cherish’ are listed as having been recorded the day they were written. Plus he has posted unreleased track ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’.

“I hope these posts stop the sale of that cassette at auction”, he says. “Not cool at all that someone would sell it. Not theirs to sell”.

It seems somewhat optimistic that this will significantly damage the item’s value. Bidding for that particular tape is currently at $1283 – well above the $300 estimate, and making it by far the most sought after tape in the auction. The winner will get four more tracks than Leonard has made available, plus the physical item itself.

Auction house Gotta Have Rock N Roll is clearly not too concerned about items in the auction already being available digitally. Digital representations of the letter from Shakur are available in various places – not least the Gotta Have Rock N Roll website – but the actual letter still carries an estimated price of $300,000. Currently there are no bids on that item though, so who knows?

But it is true that, when it comes to collectors, they do tend to like to collect actual things. Plus, is Leonard not aware that the cassette revival marches on?