Seattle Times, June 11, 1987
By Kit Boss:
Seattle Center officials said today they are canceling next Wednesday's concert by Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys at the Arena because of "ample predictions of real physical trouble" after the concert. The concert has been rescheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the Paramount Theater. No details were available.
Center director Ewen Dingwall said that in the past few weeks the
concert had become "an event developing a life of its own." He said through police and other community contacts he had heard of potential
"rumbles" after the concert involving teenagers from different
"There is a lot of tension here about the nature of the messages to
come out of these concerts," he said. Though Dingwall said he was not
familiar first-hand with the music of the groups, he called Run-D.M.C.
"a black group" who "speak as proud blacks." He termed the Beastie
Boys as "a very outspoken white group."
"We can handle security for the concert," Dingwall said. "We are not
in a position to handle security for the neighborhood."
Earlier this week, about 3,500 tickets had been sold for the show.
The two biggest groups in rap music, Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys
are fresh from a controversial, sold-out jaunt through Europe. Controversy has followed the tour wherever it goes because both bands
have been accused of stirring up trouble. Last summer, Run-D.M.C.'s
tour was marred by violence in at least five cities. The Beastie Boys'
boisterous show nearly got them arrested earlier this year in a swing
through Alabama and Georgia.
Seattle Times, June 16, 1987
By Kit Boss:
Paramount Theater officials say they don't expect violence at
tonight's concert featuring a pair of popular rap groups. But the
officials are ready just in case. This afternoon, Seattle Police units will block some streets adjacent
to the theater to prepare for the Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys show. An
undisclosed "significant number" of police officers will wander the
neighborhood. And 49 civilian security personnel will patrol the
theater and surrounding sidewalks.
"This is like three, four times what we normally do for any concert,
even other rap concerts," said the Paramount's leasing director,
Christy Richardson. "We're going to allow (concert-goers) to breathe
and perform all the vital life functions. But not much more."
Security has been beefed up in the wake of statements by Seattle
Police that 50 to 100 youths allied in "loosely organized . . . factions" for weeks have been planning violence following the local
performance by the two rap groups.
Last Wednesday, Seattle Center director Ewen Dingwall took the advice
of Seattle Police and canceled the concert at the Arena, fearing
post-concert problems might spill into the surrounding neighborhood. Later that same day, the Paramount picked up the show. At the time,
about 3,500 advance tickets had been sold; by yesterday afternoon,
Ticketmaster had paid refunds to about 400 people.
Yesterday, the Paramount's director and its security head attended the
Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys concert in Portland "to see firsthand if
they have any trouble," Richardson said. A reportedly mild-mannered crowd of about 5,300 attended last night's
concert, which went without incident.
The Portland show was the second stop on the groups' "Together
Forever" U.S. tour. At the first stop Saturday night in Honolulu, the
bands played to an estimated 6,000 fans gathered in a city arena.
Police there reported no violence during or after the show.
Starting at 5 p.m. today, Seattle Police will bar traffic on Pine
Street from Eighth Avenue to Boren Avenue, and Ninth Avenue between
Pike Street and Olive Way. The concert is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
and end at 10; Capt. Jim Deschane, precinct commander for the area
that includes the Paramount, said the blockades would come down about
45 minutes later, after the crowd disperses. The same procedure is planned for tomorrow night when the two groups perform a second show.
Deschane said "a significant number" of city police "would be
deployed in a variety of ways" around the theater. And the
Paramount's Richardson said private security officers would also
station themselves at some storefronts in the vicinity.
After a May rap concert at the Paramount, hundreds of youths ran
through the streets; some broke into a nearby jeweler's; others broke
into a Jay Jacobs store and tried on clothing.
However, Run-D.M.C. played New Year's Eve at the Tacoma Dome without
incident; the Beastie Boys played the Paramount twice in January. Said
Richardson: "We didn't have any problems, other than normal damage
inside the facility."
Seattle Times, June 17, 1987
By Patrick MacDonald:
Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys last night and at 7 p.m. tonight at
the Paramount Theater ($17.50; 628-0888).
What is all the fuss about?
The hysteria that preceded last night's rap concert at the Paramount
was a lot more bizarre than anything that happened on stage. In fact,
the show was one of the tamest rock events of the year, with a
well-behaved crowd of All-American kids that would make any parent
Blocking off the streets, bringing out the mounted police and
deploying half the force -- not to mention all the media excess, with
TV news choppers overhead - looked mighty silly because it was all
over a bunch of children, for the most part, average age about 14. It
was the fuzz vs. the peach fuzz.
How much did that ridiculous security overkill cost? Whatever, if the
taxpayers get stuck with it, they oughta scream. It was completely
unnecessary. The so-called threat of violence that caused all the
uproar could have been handled with a little common sense and some
respect and understanding of young rock fans, rather than an obscene
public display of fear and prejudice.
The flap may have caused the show to go flat. Although Run-D.M.C. and
the Beastie Boys tried hard to get the half-capacity audience excited,
the response was tepid at best. The young audience did stand through
most of the show, moving in place and waving its arms in the air, and
sometimes even rapped along with the bands, but the evening never
really caught fire.
The presence of so many security people in the hall certainly dampened
spirits, and the security rigmarole at the door (including metal
detectors) probably did, too, but it was more than that. Both the
bands and the crowd were on their best behavior, and things never
really got loose. Without the glare of publicity, it would have been a
much better show.
The fact that rap groups don't have live musicians - all the music is
on tape or records - puts an added burden on the rappers to entertain.
After a while, watching three guys walk around the stage rapping into
mikes gets pretty boring. Even with lots of effects -- laser projections, stage smoke, bright lights -- there was not much to watch.
It was especially tough for the Beastie Boys, who opened the show,
because they didn't have all the fancy stage gear that Run-D.M.C. had.
The Beasties had to do with three plain risers, two on either side of
the stage and one in the middle for their disc jockey (who played all
the music), named Hurricane.
The three Beasties jumped from riser to riser, popped open beer cans,
grabbed their crotches and had choice words for the press and police,
but you could tell they were frustrated by the undemonstrative crowd.
The few times the set did come to life was when the fans spontaneously
joined in the rapping, chanting "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" during
the song "Rhymin & Stealin" and screaming the anthem "You gotta fight
for your right to party" from the song "Fight fFor Your Right."
After an interminable wait between sets -- with DJ Davy D "scratching''
(manually manipulating records to make patchy musical sounds) some of
the time at a console on stage -- Run-D.M.C. finally came on in a burst
of laser light and chest-rattling percussion. The staging was pretty elaborate, with Jam Master Jay rising from the stage, followed by his DJ console, and Run and D.M.C. emerging from a
sliding door, amid laser lights and clouds of smoke.
Much tighter than the Beasties, the three black-clad rappers, wearing
identical porkpie hats, reproduced songs from their three platinum
albums, including their No. 1 hit, "Walk This Way," with the
Aerosmith guitar parts on tape, and "My Adidas," a blatant promotion
for the shoe company, which will have a Run-D.M.C. line of clothes
this fall (the band spent part of yesterday afternoon filming a TV
commercial for the line.) The whole thing will be repeated tonight at 7. Maybe, just to be safe, they should call out the Army.
Seattle Times, June 17, 1987
By Kit Boss:
You want tales of tumult at the Run-D.M.C./Beastie Boys concert? Serious mayhem? Check this out.
Fact: While the Beastie Boys rapped on stage, a girl in the front row
continually shook her right fist in the air and screamed so loud it
Fact: At one point, band member Adam "MCA" Yauch shook a can of
Budweiser, then opened it toward the audience. The spray flew as far
back as the third row.
Fact: When Run-D.M.C. took the spotlight, Joe "Run" Simmons grabbed a microphone stand and hurled it across the stage to the right wing.
Then he grabbed a second mike stand and did the same.
Outside after the show, when police worried most that trouble might
brew, things got even nastier.
Fact: Countless members of the audience pouring out onto the street
jostled each other without saying "excuse me."
Fact: A boy wearing the same sort of sweat jacket favored by
Run-D.M.C. spit on the pavement. And that was about it.
Police Capt. Jim Deschane wouldn't reveal how many officers were
deployed last night to quell what never happened. "I don't want to
encourage people who'd think the number is too high," he said, "or
those who'd think it's too low."
But on the streets adjacent to the Paramount Theater a half-hour
before the 7 p.m. show time, there appeared to be more police officers
than concert goers. Some police rode on horseback, others in patrol
cars and unmarked sedans. Some were on foot.
Rounding out the security presence, 49 civilian security personnel
roved the theater and surrounding sidewalks.
Maybe the high profile struck by security forces discouraged what
police last week said were 50 to 100 youths plotting some sort of
violence to follow the concert.
Then again, maybe things went smoothly last night because the ruffians
are planning to go to tonight's performance at the Paramount by the
Or maybe the ruffians, if they exist, won't show at all.
"I hope it proves we should give the kids a chance," said Ulysses
Lewis, president and part owner of the Paramount.
Box-office personnel said about 1,700 of the theater's 3,000 seats
were filled for last night's show. Those attendance numbers annoyed
Russell Simmons, brother of Run-D.M.C.'s Joe Simmons and owner of Rush
Productions and Def Jam Records - the management company and record
label for the two bands that have lately ruled the rap heap.
Simmons said he planned to take legal action against the city to
recoup lost ticket revenues and damage to the bands' image stemming
from rumors of violence.
"Everybody's getting sued. I'll say that," said Simmons before the
show. He promised more specifics by the end of the week.
A cloud of rumors hung over the two rap groups at the first two stops
of their U.S. tour - in Honolulu and Portland. In both cities, concert
crowds behaved. Still, the mere talk of possible trouble brewing in
Seattle discouraged some fans here from attending the concert.