Houston Chronicle, February 19, 1987:
Beasties: So where's the talent? THE CONCEPT takes the breath away: Three white guys who rap about Scarsdale, but can't sing and don't play instruments and are funny only on the crudest Three Stooges level.
Is it any wonder the paying public has made the Beastie Boys album the
fastest-selling debut in the history of CBS records? And can you
blame the critics who have responded with (in the words of one) "Three
Jerks Make a Masterpiece"? Love 'em or hate 'em, here they come to Houston for their first
headline appearance on their "Safe Sex" tour (Three Jerks Get
Moralistic?). Complete honesty requires that one note that the Beastie Boys opened for Madonna in her only Houston appearance. The single, "You've Got to Fight for Your Right to Party," tells you everything you need to know. But their album, Licensed to Ill, is
one of those rarities where every song gets radio request, and now
the record company is having to rush out "Paul Revere" as a single.
Let's just hope it's all over by summertime, but for now the Beastie
Boys are even too big for their own britches. Their show was originally booked for the 2,000-seat Arena Theater, but it has exploded into The Summit, where their show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Fishbone begins the show.
Tickets are $15.50 and are available at Rainbow Ticketmaster and Ticketron outlets. For ticket charges, call 526-1709.
Houston Chronicle, February 21, 1987
By Mary Racine:
I just wrote a little rap song. It starts like this:
Beastie Boys, Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys make a lot of noise
They think they cool,
They think they bad,
And they can fake a talent
That they never had.
I don't have an ending yet, because the jury's still out on how long rap, the rhythmic, rhyming street lingo of New York City, will last. For now, though, the Beastie Boys trio is riding it for all it's worth. The Beasts of the East, formerly a punk-rock group, are heavy on the charts with a debut LP, Licensed To Ill, and they cashed it in at The Summit Friday before a crowd of about 9,500. That's a great crowd, considering the show was originally scheduled for the 2,000-seat Arena Theater. An avalanche of ticket sales precipitated the switch.
If rap, which borrows elements of reggae, funk and more recently rock, is legit, then it's a rather bogus stage show. All instrumentation at The Summit was provided by pre-recorded tape loops, while the Beasties just mucked around the stage yelling their syncopated rhymes. But for pure avant-garde pop radicalism, check out Fishbone, the middle of the night's three acts. Touring on "In Your Face," this LA sextet combines dissonance, funky harmonizing and whip-crack beats to create some of the most progressive black pop since the days of George Clinton and his Parliament/Funkadelic projects.
But this is pop, after all, and just when Fishbone threatened to go "way out there" in the land of the hip, they grounded themselves with stupid sexual innuendos and listen-to-me egomania. And so another journey was cut short.
Then the Beastie Boys intro went down and a buxom, scantily clad woman appeared, gyrating inside a go-go cage. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want a woman undressing behind me when I tried to perform. But the Beastie Boys had little else, cussing and yelping and spitting and spraying Budweiser through "Fight For Your Right (To Party)," "Paul Revere" and other chants.
But if you can fake it, take it. For me, it's a lot of noise about nothing. This was bad, but not as they intended.