Bay Area Music, June 7, 1985
By Cary Darling:
The Beastie Boys (specifically chosen by the headliner to open the tour) may not have Madonna's bank account, but these three guys from New York possess something she seems to have forgotten: a sense of humour. The idea of three white guys doing authentic rap music might strike some as funny, and the Beasties don't fail to see the irony in the situation. Whoever thought of doing rap over an AC/DC track--as they do on "Rock Hard"--should be given a medal. And with all but the most inspired rap music, the constant repetition in the Beasties' 20 minute set grew wearying, but their whole anarchic style served as a refreshing antidote to the posturing of Madonna. One gripe: they should have been brave and really earned the boos they got by playing their vaguely off-color and wonderfully hilarious "Cookie Puss." And no, it's not about what you think it's about.
Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1985
By Terry Atkinson:
Whatever Madonna wants, Madonna gets. That includes any opening act her heart desires for her first concert tour, which tramps into town tonight through Sunday at the Universal Amphitheatre. When you're as hot as Madonna, no one's going to argue with your choice--even when it's a surprising one like the Beastie Boys. The four Beastie Boys are former punk rockers who have been worming their way through the Big Apple's rap scene. With their underground hit "Cookie Puss," they have become perhaps the first white rap group of note.
"Cookie Puss," the group's first rap song, was made as a lark at the end of a punk recording session in August, 1983. Inspired by a character in an ice-cream company's commercials, the group recorded prank calls to Information and the ice-cream place. England's New Musical Express called the scandalous novelty record "disgracefully funny" stuff from "sick white boys on the prowl." Billy Idol told a reporter that, with Elvis Presley, the Beastie Boys were among his favourites.
Another fan was Madonna, who called the Beasties' manager Russell Simmons and checked on their availability for her tour, even though she'd never met them. Beastie rapper MCA (Adam Yauch) was startled by the invitation: "I just started laughing."
"But we didn't know for sure until a couple of weeks before the tour started", adds Mike D (Michael Diamond). "We had to get our act together pretty suddenly, and add some new material".
The Beasties' opening spot on the tour got off to a rocky start in Seattle. The audience booed the Beasties' sassy attitude. The group "modified" it's approach after that, and crowd response has been better, if still mixed.
"Everybody's there to see Madonna", explains Mike D. "I don't know what to expect from her, but they definitely don't get it from us. They're baffled at first, but by the end of our set they usually get with it".
And what are the Beasties like on stage? "We have the same setup most rap groups do--a turntable, a deejay, and three rappers". (The third rapper is Adam Horovitz, son of playwright Israel Horovitz; Rick "Double R" Rubin is the deejay). "But we don't have perfect synchronized little dances like a lot of rappers, and we wear our normal clothes."
"It's sure not much like Madonna" adds Mike D. "She's pretty... um, Las Vegas. We take the most abrasive qualities of rap and combine them with the loudest elements of other music." The title song of the group's most recent EP is called "Rock Hard," which incorporates a riff from the heavy-metal band AC/DC.
The group had its first chance to hang out with Madonna last week, playing tennis and riding go-carts. "Sean Penn was there too", MCA noted. "And he said he might want to do a movie with us, called 'The Beastie Boys Meet Spicoli', referring to the character Madonna's boyfriend played in 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'".
More realistically, the group plans to start filming a movie with Run-D.M.C. at the end of the Madonna tour. These are the Beasties' own "Fast Times," and lucky ones.
"It's always been that way with us" says MCA. "Last year for instance, we were down in the dumps because we didn't have any money. Then we found out that Jeremiah Fantaysee (of the English band Haysi Fantaysee) had used part of 'Cookie Puss' in an airline commercial without getting permission. So we ended up suing British Airways and getting a $40,000 out-of-court settlement".
Money and Madonna. What more could the Beastie Boys hope for? Asked about goals, MCA answers "To have a good time. That really says it all".
Mike D is a little more specific. "To make our own movie -- something like the Monkees' 'Head'. And to get out of this tour alive."