Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Signing of Madonna, or Make Her an Offer She Can't Refuse

In an otherwise excellent article on the BBC News web site entitled, The Man Who Signed Madonna, about the career of Seymour Stein, the web site's music writer blows it by throwing in one of the oldest cliches from "The Godfather." It took him 28 paragraphs -- in a 38 paragraph story -- but he eventually got there.

Writing about Stein's career -- in which he signed such acts as Madonna, The Ramones and The Talking Heads and started Sire Records -- the writer just couldn't resist throwing this quote about Madonna from Stein:

"Being an Italian-American girl, she was made an offer she couldn't refuse," Stein says.
Sheesh. I'm surprised he didn't finish the quote and mention how Madonna had a choice -- either her signature would be on the contract, or her brains.

If you recall, this is what Michael says to Kay during his sister's wedding after she inquires about Luca Brasi talking to himself in the corner, waiting to see the Don:

"So the next day, my father went to see him; only this time with Luca Brasi. An' within an hour, he signed a release, for a certified check for $1000.
[Kay: "How'd he do that?"]
My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
[Kay: "What was that?"]
Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract. That's a true story. That's my family, Kay, it's not me."

He was, of course, explaining how singer Johnny Fontane (widely believed to be based on Frank Sinatra) got his first acting job, with a little help from Don Corleone.