St. Petersburg Times, August 5, 1987
By Dave Scheiber:
In Jacksonville, the city council has declared war on the band that
bounces to the beat of juvenile debauchery and parental discretion:
All tickets and advertising for the Beastie Boys' North Florida
concert on Sunday must bear the warning - "For Mature Audiences; adult subject matter." The ordinance has brought out the animal in the Beasties.
"We just found out about it, and we absolutely oppose this," said band
publicist Bill Adler from New York-based Rush Productions. "We're in
contact right now with the city's attorneys, and we're attempting to
give them a chance to rescind this ordinance, before they get into a
terrible and embarrassing fight they are sure to lose. We find it
Will the Beastie Boys vent their moral outrage and find justice in a
Jacksonville courtroom? Will they fight for their right to party
without interference from local lawmakers?
"Hey, we're not exactly angels; I mean we've done some hectic s--- in
our day, but it's not like we're something to be scared of," said Adam
Yauch, alias "MCA" in the three-member group. "It's not like we're
some kind of satanic mission or something. We're just havin' a good
And for better or worse, the Boys are back in the Tampa Bay area this
week, just two months after it appeared that no concert halls in
Pinellas or Hillsborough counties would give them the time of day. Several weeks ago, however, the Florida State Fairgrounds gave them
both a time (8 p.m.) and a day (Thursday) to stage their raucous blend of rap, R-rated language and off-color antics, along with
co-headlining band Run-DMC.
That musical mix proved rather combustible during the Beastie Boys'
last national tour, "License to Ill." Outbreaks of post-concert
violence marred several performances--including a Feb. 25 show at St.
Petersburg's Bayfront Center. But it was the stuff happening during
the concerts that really rattled parents and community leaders.
In addition to all the swearing and generally lewd behavior, the
Beasties featured several novelty acts: a bikini-clad go-go dancer and
a 21-foot hydraulic phallus, which would rise suggestively from center
The coupling of sex-oriented shows and parking-lot muggings did not
bode well for Beastland. The Pinellas County Council of PTAs mobilized, warning parents to
investigate rock bands before allowing their children to see them. The Bayfront Center went on record: No more Beastie bookings. The USF Sun
Dome closed its doors, primarily due to a bad experience with Run-DMC
"The last time Run-DMC was here, we had some significant problems
outside; multiple arrests and substantial trouble," said Sun Dome
coordinator Dan Walbolt. "It was such that we knew we had to watch the
situation very carefully. When the tour began out in Los Angeles,
there were all kinds of headlines saying that this tour would cause
even more trouble than the last one. We just decided it was just not
worth it at this place and at this time. So we declined the booking."
Tampa Stadium, meanwhile, had no suitable dates, and might have turned
the band away in any case. "It would have been a tough call," said
stadium manager Rick Nafe. But amid all the controversy spurred by the Bayfront show, something
has gotten lost in the shuffle: The Beastie Boys have been tamer
during their current "Together Forever" tour with Run-DMC. The 21-foot prop has been eliminated from the show, and on-stage behavior has
reportedly been toned down from the previous tour. On top of that, there have been no reports of violence this time around. Now, Yauch says he just wants the press and parents to give the band a break, and stop dwelling on past trouble.
"We're just up there to play some music," he said. "We're not up there
to be the most outrageous group in the world. We're not the Sex
Pistols. I think parents are just being too overprotective of their kids. But that's the worst thing they could do. They should just say, 'Go ahead and see the Beastie Boys, they're a bunch of idiots.' I mean, we are a bunch of idiots. We're not preachin' anything. But for parents to hide their kids from us and the world is wrong. It's sad."
To Fantasma president John Stoll, whose production company is staging
the show, all the bad publicity is unwarranted.
"It's just a regular show now," Stoll said. "But people keep talking
about the violence and the obscenity. It's so overdone at this point
that it's ridiculous."
Fairgrounds officials did some checking of their own after Stoll
contacted them last month. They saw enough positive evidence to book
the show. According to event coordinator Tony Delgado, a number of precautions
were taken right from the start: organizing security with the
Hillsborough County sheriff's department, the Fairgrounds' in-house
security crew and the Los Angeles security force that accompanies the
Beastie Boys. That firm will install portable metal detectors at the
Fairgrounds to make sure no dangerous objects are carried inside. In addition, Delgado says that the layout of the Fairgrounds, located
on the outskirts of town along I-4, insures further security.
"Unlike the other facilities in the area, we have a fenced-off parking
lot and are totally enclosed here," he said. "And we've made
provisions with the sheriff, that once the concert starts, anybody in
the parking lot without tickets will be escorted out. That had been
one of the big problems before in some of the more urban sites. People
could just walk into the lots, hang out and cause trouble. That won't
happen out here."
Judging from the ticket count, things might be quieter than usual for
a Beastie Boys/Run-DMC show. Only 1,120 tickets had been sold as of
Wednesday morning for the 11,700 Expo Hall, according to a Fairgrounds
official. Still, the Beastie Boys are ready with their usual
body-slamming, boisterous revelry.
"People like to make us look like freaks, but we'll stand up next to
any rock 'n' roll act there is," said publicity director Adler. "Put
us on stage next to Bruce Springsteen. Let him do a set; then us. In terms of excitement, nobody delivers more than the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC. It's a superb show."
The PTA will be watching.
St. Petersburg Times, August 7, 1987
By Bob Andelman:
Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys, Thursday night at the Florida State
Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tampa
TAMPA - The good news is that the Beastie Boys left their inflatable
phallus at home. The bad news is that they showed up at all. Throughout 50 minutes of a largely inaudible performance Thursday
night before 4,100 people at the Expo Hall at the Florida State
Fairgrounds, the trio of renowned delinquents screeched every
four-letter word not in the dictionary, waddled about the stage
slinging microphones between their legs and swigged beer after beer. But the Beasties were the worst. They make Motley Crue seem
sophisticated and Pee-wee Herman mature.
Behind them were three young women in metal cages, two chosen from the
audience, and one who travels with the band. At the start of the show,
one of the Beasties offered beer to the amateurs. Later, another
Beastie took snapshots of the professional dancer--between her legs. That's their whole show--obscenities, lewd behavior and loud noise. The closest these ding dongs came to music was the backing track to
their hit "Fight for Your Right (To Party)." It is, coincidentally,
their only tune with the standard guitar and drum track.
It's a shame the notoriety of the B-Boys overshadowed the headliners
and only legitimate musical attraction on this ticket, Run-DMC.
Despite their overly long chit-raps between songs, Run-DMC continued
to offer a glimmer of hope for rap as a lasting musical form during
their hour-long set. It would be hard to find more invigorating
beat-bashers than "It's Tricky" and "You Be Illin'."
As concerts go, it would have been more fun to stay home and wait for
Jim and Tammy to return to the PTL Club.
Special note to kids whose parents kept them home from this concert:
They did you a favor. Really. If you like rap, buy a couple of Run-DMC
albums with the $16.50 you just saved. And if you still crave the
Beastie Boys, throw a tantrum. That's what they would do. Then grow