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Gig Info:

Date: 13 Jun 1987
Country: United States
City: Honolulu, HI
Venue: Blaisdell Arena

Other Bands/Artists at the Show:

  • Run-DMC
  • Davy D
Notes:

Together Forever Tour
Setlist:
Not Available
Reviews:
The New York Times, May 20, 1987
By Stephen Holden:

RUN-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys, the country's two most popular rap music acts, have announced a 40-city summerlong tour tentatively scheduled to begin in Honolulu on June 13 and to culminate at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 17. The "Together Forever" tour will be one of the few in pop music history to give top billing to black and white acts of equal stature. Both Run-D.M.C.'s latest album, "Raising Hell," and the Beastie Boys' debut, "Licensed to Ill," have surpassed the three million mark in sales.

Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1987:
...This was the first mainland stop on the colorful and controversial groups' U.S. tour after a weekend show in Honolulu. There were frequent reminders that police, promoters, parents and fans around the country were watching the events here to see how to react when the tour pulls into their towns.

USA Today (19 June 1987) - Edna Gundersen:
Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys are putting rap on the map. The trios that parents wish would disappear forever have boldly embarked on Together Forever, one of summer's highest-grossing, toughest-going tours and an expedition sure to draw fire and ire from the nation's Jerry Falwells and Tipper Gores.

"This is a thrilling, ground-breaking show," says Bill Adler, director of Rush Productions, which manages both groups. "You could compare it to James Brown touring with the Rolling Stones."

The Beastie Boys LP, Licensed to Ill - the fastest-selling debut in Columbia's history - has sold nearly 4 million copies and has held Billboard's No. 1 spot for six weeks. Run-D.M.C.'s third LP, Raising Hell, passed the 3 million mark - peaking at No. 3 during a 54-month chart run.

No doubt about it: both groups are hot, but they're taking more heat than they feel is deserved.

The tour began last Saturday in Honolulu amid a media blitz that braced the public for trouble. Says Beastie rapper Michael "Mike D" Diamond: "It was, 'Uh-oh, watch out! Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys are coming to town!' I guess they were expecting street gangs to kayak their way to Hawaii and destroy the place."

The Hawaii show was trouble-free, as were stops in Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Portland police, anticipating a repeat of a melee spawned by a Beastie Boys show there in January, assigned 90 officers (as opposed to the usual four) to the event and charged promoters $4,500.

Why the rap flap? Run-D.M.C.'s rowdy reputation sprang from 1986's calamitous Long Beach concert, the only show in 65 marred by violence. Gang fights injured 45.

Overnight, Run-D.M.C. became synonymous with street crime, thanks to guilt by geographic association: Muggings linked to a New York show occurred eight blocks from Madison Square Garden. And in Pittsburgh, brawls blamed on the group's concert took place a mile from the arena.

"We don't try to whitewash the fact that there have been problems," Adler says. "The purpose of rap is to excite the crowd. Difference is, Run-D.M.C. draws a predominately black crowd, and that's where racism steps in. This country is terrified of black youths."

The tour implements extraordinary security measures: an 80-foot stage barricade backed by a 60-foot padded version, metal detectors, extra security forces. The groups devised and paid for the system.

"We're spending an extra $600,000, maybe more, to keep the knuckleheads out and to keep our fans safe," says Darryl McDaniels, a.k.a. D.M.C. "When we had the concert in Long Beach, I was so mad that those gangs messed up our show. After all the bad publicity, we were scared. We said, 'Oh no, our careers are over.'

"There's a negative element through the world. We can't control that. We ain't no psychologists or sociologists."

Says Adler: "These groups have their enemies. Lots of people would be pleased to see the tour fail, to see shows disrupted by violence."

The USA tour comes on the heels of European dates bedeviled by bad press. In Liverpool, Beastie Boy Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz was arrested for throwing a can of beer into a girl's face after rival rugby clubs clashed at a concert. (The empty can "richocheted" off Horovitz, Adler said.) In Paris, audience members yelled racial slurs at Run-D.M.C. and spat on Joseph Simmons, a.k.a. Run. And in London, Fleet Street tabloids concocted a story that the Beasties had insulted disabled children.

"Complete fiction!" says Diamond. "We gave autographs to a kid with leukemia. We're not out there to hurt anybody."

Complains Simmons: "The press was frustrating. They made big hype about the Beastie Boys. They lied."

Rumors of racial friction and jealousies between the groups crop up frequently, despite their colorblind attitudes. Both have conquered black/ white boundaries in music. Run-D.M.C., the first rap act to earn gold and platinum albums, crossed over to white audiences with their version of Aerosmith's Walk This Way.

Before capturing white suburbia with the smash (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party), the Beasties built credibility by winning black fans. "Otherwise," Adler says, "they would have been a white-bread oddity."

Still, some resent the white Beasties' domination of rap, a black invention that sprouted from the Bronx-born hiphop subculture of street jargon, breakdancing and graffiti. At a black music convention in New York, some rappers complained the Beasties were grabbing glory they didn't earn.

"They think it's like Elvis getting credit for rock 'n' roll," Horovitz says. "Jam Master Jay (Run-D.M.C.'s DJ) stood up on a table and told them, 'Who do you people think you are? You're the racists. We should do this together.' I'm glad Jay stood up for us. It makes me mad that people don't see that we're trying to promote black rap groups. We're opening for Run-D.M.C."

Those who accuse the Beastie Boys of infringing on black turf are jealous, McDaniels says, emphasizing that the Together Forever tour embraces racial harmony: "It's not black or white. It's music."

Says Diamond: "Reporters keep asking, 'Don't you feel silly being white and Jewish?' It never occurred to us that because we're white we shouldn't do rap. Run-D.M.C. broke ground for us. We're breaking ground for the next rappers. We want to bring all these kids together in one place."

Adler, whose Tougher Than Leather (NAL, $2.95) biography of Run-D.M.C. will be out in July, says fans will recognize the show's positive message.

"The Beastie Boys are saying it's all right to have fun, even in the current conservative social and political climate. They like sex and they don't pretend not to.

"And Run-D.M.C. are heroes. They're Muhammad Ali times three. Unlike Prince or Michael Jackson, they're manly and accessible role models. They're not cross-dressers. They're like real kids."

Real kids with big dreams.

"We want to be like the Beatles," says McDaniels. "We want to be remembered. We're not doing this for the money. All I need is enough to buy a bag of potato chips, keep gas in my car and get new sneakers. I'm happy that I can pay my own dental bills and buy nice things for my mother."

Hardly the words of a renegade hooligan.

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