Tag Archives: beastieboys

The Beastie Boys & Madonna – One of the most bizarre tour pairings

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Back in the spring of 1984, the Beastie Boys’ first manager, Russell “Rush” Simmons got a call from Madonna’s manager who asked if the Beastie Boys would be interested in opening for Madonna on her Like A Virgin tour. This was not necessarily a wise move because at the time Madonna’s auidience was filled with young girls and their moms and dads. The whole tour was crazy, because Madonna went from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing sporting arenas. She wasn’t a superstar that everyone now knows, it was the first time she was playing in huge arenas.
The relationship between the Beastie Boys and the audience was synergistic, one feeding off the other. It was like a love-hate relationship type of thing. The Beasties hated the crowd, the crowd hated them.

On April 10 1985, Madonna’s Virgin Tour started at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, the Beastie Boys were the opening act. Madonna had three shows in Seattle – April 10, 12 and 13 – and all three were sellouts by the time she took the stage that first night. The Beastie Boys opened for Madonna and they weren’t well received by the pro-Madonna crowd. “The girls had flap skirts on and the tights cut off below their knees and lace gloves and rosaries and bows in their hair and big hoop earrings.” After Seattle, all of the shows were moved to arenas. “Their 30-minute set got off to a bad start when one of the Beasties declared himself King of the Paramount, and generally made the pro-Madonna audience feel like a swarm of hillbillies.” Shortly before leaving the stage, Ad-Rock facetiously said, “Me and the boys are gonna go backstage and tell Madonna what a great audience you are”…
After the first few dates, Madonna’s management was ready to pull the plug on them, but Madonna stood up for them and kept them on the tour.

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“The reaction has been mostly good. Usually they love it or they hate it. There’s always been a reaction, I’ll say that.” Adam Yauch

– One particular show at Madison Square Garden was particularly memorable because more than 15 000 people with there and the crowd booed and jeered the Beastie Boys for their entire set.
– On May 23 1985, Madonna performed her Virgin Tour concert in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,000 fans at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The show generated $238,264 in ticket sales.

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Here’s a great photo of the Beasties chilling outside Maple Leaf Gardens before the show

 

– Rick Rubin was the Beastie Boys’ DJ (DJ Double R) but after the first week, he had to fly back to NYC and he never came back.

– The Beasties did the entire tour in a rented Lincoln Continental. They didn’t really bring luggage on this tour, they just wore the same clothes all summer.

– There’s been some backstage talk that actor Sean Penn may front a group in New York in the fall with several Beastie Boys picking up their instruments again.

– Their between rap interplay with the audience went something like this:
“You don’t look like you’re having fun.”
“Boooooooooo!”
“How many of you want to learn a new dance?”
“Boooooooooo!”
“If you’ve got anything to say, c’mon up here.”
“Boooooooooo!”

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Water gun fight with Madonna on the last night of the tour. It was shot by Ron Galella.

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“I don’t know what’s next. We’ll see what happens. We’ll record an album this summer. And we might be doing a movie called “Rap Attack” with Run-D.M.C. and possibly Sean Penn.” Ad-Rock

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With Rob Lowe (American actor, producer, and director) at Madonna’s Like A Virgin show, pic by Glen E. Friedman.

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“Hey New York, make some mother fucking noise!!!”

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With David Lee Rooth (Van Halen) and Sean Penn at Madonna’s Like A Virgin Gold Record party, pic by Glen E. Friedman.

“Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D were your quintessential buzz band in 1986. After terrorizing audiences as the support act for Madonna’s Virgin Tour, they came up to Toronto just before they released the classic Licensed To Ill. Hanging with former RapCity host Michael Williams, the trio introduced themselves.”

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171A, Rat Cage Records Store / A hardcore-fanatic’s guide – Part IV.

Originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 5. (Click the picture for bigger size.)

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This innocuous construction was built in 1900, in 117 years this building tells some great history. In 1976, Hyman Lieberman was arrested for possessing 2400 pounds of mannite worth $500,000 which he was distributing to drug dealers for use in cutting heroin. Lieberman owned a store at 171 Avenue A, which he had previously owned and sold in 1966. The burnt-out abandoned building at 171 Avenue A became the epicenter of the New York City hardcore movement, it was down the block from A7.

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MDC with Jerry Williams, 1982.

It was pretty much a community center ran by a guy named Jerry Williams, perfect for hanging out, and a great meeting place too. Jerry was a key figure in the burgeoning early 80s NYHC scene, recording bands at his 171A studio and doing sound at CBGB, as well as playing guitar in Bloodclot and later on with Irate (NYC). He produced records for the Bad Brains, Token Entry, Antidote, Reagan Youth, Warzone, Cro-Mags, Murphy’s Law, and a ton more. In September 1980, Williams began renovating the interior of 171 Avenue A, which had formerly been a glass shop. By November, 171A housed after-hour parties where downtown bands like the Cooties performed. Kids used the space for everything: they put on shows, recorded bands, screened movies. Williams successfully pulled off gigs at 171A every Friday and Saturday night for a few weeks until a rival club tipped the New York Fire Department that it was selling liquor without a license. The NYFD closed it down before a New Year’s party, so it was converted to a rehearsal space. They charged $6 to $8 per hour for bands to rehearse and had a gigantic PA system.

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Dave Parsons

A year later, Jerry’s friend Dave Parsons opened his Rat Cage Records store in 171A’s cellar. There he started the label Rat Cage Records, and put out these awesome records by Beastie Boys (Polly Wog Stew EP), Agnostic Front (Victim In Pain LP) and The Young And The Useless (Real Men Don’t Floss 7″).
Rat Cage was actually the first advertiser in The Big Takeover, way back in issue #8 from December 1981. Their ad described some of their services: “T-Shirts, import records, sold & traded clothes, fanzines, badges and local shit.”

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– 171A is the place where I wrote and recorded the first Cro-Mags songs. Don’t get me wrong, Harley and John wrote many great lyrics to songs but the brutal truth is that I am the Cro-Mags’ founding member. I know who wrote what, what happened and when it happened, who did or didn’t do this and that!* (* Yes, it was irony.)
– 171A is the place where the Bad Brains recorded one of the most influential hardcore releases of all time, the legendary ROIR cassette. The Bad Brains played a gig at 171A in May 1981, Jerry Williams recorded it on reel-to-reel tape. The band really liked the sound and returned to 171A, the Bad Brains spent the rest of 1981 in the East Village, recording with Jerry. 12 of the 15 tracks on the album came from these sessions, while “Jah Calling”, “Pay to Cum” and “I Luv I Jah”, were from Williams’ live recording in May.

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– 171A is the place where Jerry Williams screened music documentaries (“Shellshock Rock” / “Self Conscious Over You” documentary movies about the evolution of the punk scene in Belfast) in the evenings, and between the two flicks the Stimulators performed. Harley Flanagan was 14 old at the time, he was playing drums for the Stimulators.
– 171A is the place where Harley Flanagan used to practice when he was trying to get the Cro-Mags together. He jammed there with the Bad Brains, who lived there at the time. When Harley was putting together the Cro-Mags, with the original lineup was him on bass, ex-Mad drummer Dave Hann, and a pre-Even Worse Dave Stein on guitar, and Louie Rivera (Antidote) was singing with them until Eric Casanova stepped into the picture.
– 171A is the place where Circle Jerks, Angry Samoans, The Subhumans all jammed and recorded.
– 171A is the place where Beastie Boys played their first gig, they opened up for the Bad Brains.
– There was an infamous night when DOA were playing at A7 and then they went over to 171A and did their set and then they went back over to A7 and did another set and the crowd just followed them back and forth.
– 171A is the place where Williams formed a band comprised of Bad Brains roadies who called themselves Bloodclot. They did perform many live gigs opening for the Bad Brains. Although Bloodclot never released an album, they only recorded a demo at 171A.
– 171A is the place where the Beastie Boys recorded the “Polly Wog Stew” EP with producer Scott Jarvis. Utilizing a four-track and an Echo-plex, they were kicked out of the studio after two days so they mixed it in Jarvis’s apartment.