Breakfast Club – Madonna’s Old Band


The Breakfast Club were Madonna’s old band. I was recently reminiscing about the late ’80s (my early 20’s), and I listened to their last Album, “Breakfast Club” before they split up. At the time, my girlfriend and I played it all the time. “Right on Track” was on our song.

The band was hard to categorise. Some would call it pop, others soft rock or even New Wave, and others may label them blue-eyed soulsters.

I remember thinking their music videos were rather strange. Their video for “Right on track” shows three women dressed as birds singing backup.

They were an eclectic blend and a fun and energetic dance band. Dan and Ed Gilroy brothers who grew up in New York City and Queens, guitarist Gary Burke from Queens and drummer Steve Bray.

In the late 70s, Madonna first hung out with Bray; the two met while Bray was travelling around playing the drums. She was interesting, rather unusual and a dancer. She joined the band, not utilising that famous voice but beating the skins instead. Then Dan Gilroy made the mistake of giving her a song to sing, and from there on out, she lost interest in the drums, according to Dan. In 1979 she went to New York City, where she met up with the Gilroys, even crashing at Dan and Ed’s converted synagogue in Corona, Queens.

She let the group, and Bray arrived in New York City shortly after that. However, the four guys set up shop as the Breakfast Club; Bray and Burke had a stint as part of Madonna’s band, where she played the guitar and sang. The band, so says Bray was Band of Gypsies II. As history shows, this ended when Madonna went off to sign a record deal.

The Album “Breakfast Club” was released in 1988. The first single, “Right on Track,” is the highest-order dance tune. No techno-pop beat here, no sugar-coated, honey-dipped bounce, just a solid happy song. The Breakfast Club was signed to MCA.

The song has a complementary blend of singing guitars, thumping drums and electric keyboards, with the end product being dance music, not club music. These lyrics are fun-loving, and although they are devoid of any political statements, they make sense.

There is some variation on the Album; the band mellows out with its second single, “Kiss and Tell”; “Rico Mambo” is a fast-paced tune with a Latin flavour, and the Album features a cover of the old Boxtops classic, “Expressway To Your Heart, complete with the sounds of rush hour traffic.

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