Sun Sentinel, February 20, 1987
By Robyn Lisa Burn:
What is it about the Beastie Boys that make the group so irresistible? The trio raps about the same stock shlock every other band in the history of music does. Girls. Sex. Girls. Rock 'n' roll. Sex. Girls. Lyrics such as "Brass Monkey, that funky monkey, brass monkey junkie" make a band like Duran Duran look politically deep.
"Yes, it's true. We were banned from our own record company office in New York. They said we stole a camera and that we harassed secretaries," said Beastie Boy Mike D (born Michael Diamond). "There was also the time an executive started chasing us and his toupee fell off. But now that our album has gone platinum they keep calling us up and asking us to go to lunch."
It's the lyrics that are the big turn on. Kids think they're funny. It's like an inside joke that parents just don't get. The Beastie Boys will perform Thursday at Sunrise Musical Theatre, with special guests Fishbone and Murphy's Law.
"I read somewhere that people think we glorify drugs, but I don't think we glorify anything," MCA (Adam Yauch) has said. "I think we're making fun of things. Kids know we're joking. They know the difference between making fun and giving approval.
"They don't credit kids with the intelligence to listen to music and see what it is (a parody). Parents get too uptight and scared. Kids aren't stupid."
Of course the Beastie Boys' actions speak louder than any words one could press into hot wax. Their stage charm involves profane gestures and language, shouting and throwing beer. Today's acceptance of those antics is not far removed from the days when the band was booed off the stage countless times during a tour as Madonna's opening act.
Now headlining their tours, the band members have yet to change. Success doesn't make them act the way they do. These guys acted like jerks long before their album Licensed to Ill ever surfaced. When the band formed in 1981 as a punk-rap outfit, Mike D, MCA and King Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) wanted to be talked about regardless of being good, bad or ugly. Once, MCA relieved himself from a disc jockey booth onto a watching crowd in an LA club.
"I think they were baffled," he told Newsday. "It's not that it hurt anyone. It's just offensive."
As is their music. Such actions from middle-upper class Jewish kids just aren't expected. One would have to assume that Ad-Rock, whose father is famous playwright Israel Horovitz, was raised with more class than he displays.
If from no one else, the Beastie Boys can at least pull support from their parents, who think critical observations of the band are unfounded or misguided.
"I've always had faith that he knows the difference between good and bad," Frances Yauch has said of her son MCA. "If parents had a chance to sit down and speak to Adam, I think they would be very impressed. I may be prejudiced, but I think he's a person of great integrity."
Israel Horovitz holds similar views: "I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for what (Adam) has done. I'm extremely proud and not at all surprised. They're very anti-drug, and pro get-to-work, and that's on the side of the angels.
"He has a talent, and a seriousness, and he's having a lot of fun. He's a Beastie Boy and you're not."
The Beastie Boys will perform Thursday at Sunrise Musical Theatre, 5555 NW 95th Ave. Tickets are $16.25. Fishbone and Murphy's Law are the scheduled opening acts. Show time is 7:30 p.m. For information call BASS, 428-0917.