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Media Agog, Rock Star Opens First British Tour Precede LONDON

August 16, 1987

LEEDS, England (AP) _ Rock star Madonna sang, pranced and gyrated before tens of thousands of fans in a northern England park Saturday night, her first British concert and the start of a four-show tour.

The slight, blond American, wearing a skimpy black costume, took the stage at Roundhay Park in the northern industrial city of Leeds and urged everyone to have a good time.

″I don’t want to see anyone get hurt,″ she told the crowd, estimated at 80,000. Many fans had waited 12 hours for the show to start and there was some rowdiness as impatience grew.

But West Yorkshire police Superintendent Trevor Jones praised the crowd’s behavior. Just ″the usual hooligans″ had been out to cause trouble, he said.

Police later reported 60 arrests, most for disturbing the peace and drunkenness. There was one for drugs possession, three for causing criminal damage and three for assaulting police officers.

No serious injuries were reported.

Madonna, who turns 29 on Sunday, jetted to Leeds from London, where she started the day with a morning jog, trailed by a pack of huffing, puffing news hounds.

Wearing a black track suit, black cap and sunglasses, the singer trotted from her hotel in the swank Mayfair district across busy Piccadilly Circus and into Green Park.

Madonna easily outran the journalists.

″I knew you guys couldn’t keep up with her,″ said her chief bodyguard, Clay Tave, a former Los Angeles policeman.

On Friday, Tave scuffled with two photographers who were trying to snap the star as she went on a similar morning run, but there was no trouble Saturday.

The British news media have been agog over Madonna since she flew into Heathrow Airport on Thursday and was mobbed by screaming fans.

The London tabloids have splashed Madonna pictures across their front pages and television and radio have joined in with heavy coverage of the tour.

The singer gives three concerts next week at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Update hourly