Tag Archives: madonna

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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The Pyramid Club / A hardcore-fanatic’s guide – Part V.

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

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In the late 80s New York was still dangerous and not yet gentrified. East of Avenue A was still a wasteland. The Pyramid Club was (and still is) a nightclub in the East Village, located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan. The institution named for a pyramid motif in the building’s original tiling, opened in 1979. What made this club unique was that the inclusivity across all cultural lines, mixing disco and hardcore/punk, pop culture and high art, straight and gay. The Pyramid Club shows were organized by many members of the NYC hardcore scene. It was the first time in NYC during this era that the bands actually made up the bills. The shows ran on a semi regular basis from 1987-1989.

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Alex Brown, Sammy Siegler, Chris Burr, and Dylan Schreifels in front of the Pyramid Club

You can check out a video about what the place was like between 1983 and 1988 on youtube: “Drag Queens, Skinheads, Artists and Some Girls: the Pyramid Club of the 1980s.” In this video Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo attempted to describe what made the Pyramid special (5:51)!

– Pyramid matinees were some of the best hardcore shows, Absolution, Warzone, Side By Side, Youth of Today, Underdog, Collapse, Sick Of It All, Token Entry, Hogan’s Heroes, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Krakdown, Life’s Blood, Killing Time, American Standard, Project X, Under Pressure, Uppercut, Our Gang had a couple of very memorable gigs there.
– Security included Jimmy Gestapo, Raybeez and Richie Birkenhead, while doorman Bernard Crawford kept out the yuppies and junkies.

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Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo

– The Pyramid Club is the place where Ray Cappo and Raybeez were booking shows together, most of these shows were Saturday matinees. The first matinee gig was a benefit show for Some Records. “Starting April 11th at the Pyramid Club, 101 Avenue A we’re gonna have hardcore matinees between 2:00 and 5:30 every other Saturday, starting April 11 so you gotta check it out! The first show is with Sick Of It All and Token Entry and you know, we’re headlining, word up! Check out the Village Voice!” – Warzone interview on WNYU’s Crucial Chaos radio show.

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– The Pyramid Club is the place where Sean Penn and Madonna got into a heated public argument in 1986. A fight erupted into violence as an obviously inebriated Penn shoved his wife up against a wall, then carried their shouting match out into the street.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first New York City concerts.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Into Another performed their first show.

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– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone cameout with a fog machine, and they used so much dry ice that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face in the pit. Warzone was playing and the smoke machine went off while Ray Cappo was on stage about to do a stage dive, it burned his leg.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone played a show with a go-go dancer on stage, which was very likely an influence from the “Licensed To Ill” era Beastie Boys.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Djinji Brown (Absolution) broke Jules Masse’s (Side By Side, Alone In A Crowd) nose during a show.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where the really underrated Altercation played a gig with Death Before Dishonor on May 23, 1987. Shortly after that Jay and Paul left Altercation to join Warzone so the band broke up.