The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 5, 1987:
The Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C., the bad boys of rap music, have a July 16 date at Riverfront Coliseum. A publicist for Run-D.M.C. confirmed the date. Plans call for tickets to go on sale June 13 at all Ticketron outlets. Prices are not firm at this time. Violence has plagued several concerts by the groups. The Beastie Boys' Adam Horovitz was arrested in London on May 30 after the band suddenly left the stage after only doing a 10-minute show in Liverpool. After the band's unscheduled departure, the crowd threw a fit along with bottles and plenty of punches. Four concert go-ers were injured. Five were arrested. Disturbances before, during and/or after Run-D.M.C. concerts prevent these things from happening again." The bands released statements in May that they were spending $500,000 on bodyguards, metal detectors and other crowd control measures for their joint tour. Just in case those measures don't work, Morgan plans "to add extra security at the Coliseum that night just as precaution." The Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. are at the height of their popularity. Both groups have an album on the charts that has sold more than three million copies.
Detroit Free Press, July 26, 1987:
The black group Run-DMC and the white Beastie Boys see their combined tour as promoting racial harmony. In Cincinnati, there were white people who knew every song by Run-DMC, and there were black people who were singing every lyric with the Beastie Boys. "Look around you," said Patrick Todd. "This is great. There's black and white people having fun together. That's the way it should be, together forever."
Some people fear both the bands and the crowds they attract. There was talk of canceling the July 16 performance in Cincinnati after police chief Lawrence Whalen told a local newspaper, "We have information from 20 other cities indicating that this act [the Beastie Boys] is garbage." There was even talk of arresting the Beasties on stage if they used any sexual representations during their performance, but Mike D, King Ad Rock (Adam Horovitz) and MCA (Adam Yauch) stayed clean during the show. The concert went on as scheduled with Whalen in the audience. "I have no comment on the music," he said afterward. "As a result of taking the appropriate precautions, the kids got treated to just the music and nothing more."
"We don't encourage violence," said Darryl (DMC) McDaniels. "We don't encourage gang riots. And we don't like it when we hear people say those things about us." In fact, the Beastie Boys, who are white, and the Run-DMC, who are black, see their combined tour as promoting racial harmony by bringing white audiences and black audiences together. "Elvis Presley never toured with Chuck Berry," McDaniels said.
Despite what the performers say, some parents are leery of sending their kids to the Beastie Boys/Run-DMC show. "My son (almost 11 years old) likes the Beastie Boys, and has a couple of tapes. Of course he wanted to go to the concert, but I told him no," said Cincinnati Police Lt. Gary Glazier. "There's no way I felt it would benefit him to go to the concert. We had a very short conversation."
On the other hand, some parents attend shows with their children. "I told my (14-year-old) son he could go, but the only stipulation was that either me or his mother would come along with him. I can't wait to take him to a Hank Williams Jr. show," laughed Don Richardson, 41, of Irvine, Kentucky. "I wanted to see what this violence thing was all about. But to tell you the truth, it's pretty calm. I don't think there will be any incidents here tonight."
Richardson was right. Police officers monitored the event, and only three people were arrested or received citations inside the coliseum for minor infractions; another seven were arrested or received citations outside the show, Whalen said. One major reason the tour has been peaceful is a beefed-up security program that cost the bands $500,000. Thanks to metal detectors and extra security personnel, it is almost impossible to bring into the concert any kind of concealed weapon. "If they had that kind of security in the airports there would never be hijacking," said Patrick Todd, a 19-year-old Cincinnati native who is a sophomore at Hampton University in Virginia. The concert in Cincinnati was to begin at 7:30 p.m., but was delayed 30 minutes because of the time it takes to put each person through the metal detectors.
While the Beastie Boys are just having fun and don't mean to be taken seriously, Run-DMC is trying to get a message out to its fans. "There's a message in every one of our songs," McDaniels said. "We know we have an influence on kids and we accept that responsibility. We want to tell them positive things . . . everything, has to be positive." "Walk This Way," the band's biggest hit, is a clear example. "In the video for 'Walk This Way' you see a wall between both groups and in the end the walls come down," said Bill Adler, author of the Run-DMC biography Tougher Than Leather ($2.95 Signet), which will also be released as a movie later this year. "These guys just want to break down the barriers between black and whites altogether," he added. And at Run-DMC Beastie Boys' concerts there seems to be an equal mix, house lights go on, you think they're just joking, and the band will come back to play another song. But that's not the case. It's over. Go home. Throughout Run-DMC's set two well-built men flanked the stage. Whenever someone threw something on stage, one of the men walked over and picked it up. After a while the crowd got the hint and stopped.
The Beastie Boys, who opened the show for Run-DMC, were another story. They practically encouraged people to throw whatever they could get their hands on. The Beasties' Adam Yauch (MCA) had a collection of panties and bras that he proudly displayed on the bottom of DJ Hurricane's turntable. The Beasties spit beer, threw water all over the place, and started sliding on the stage because it was so wet. The Beastie Boys are simply the Beastie Boys: three white rappers walking around the stage as if they own the place. And oh yes, they play music, too.