|Orlando Sentinel (2 August 1987) - Thom Duffy:
"We don't really expect parents to jump for joy when they hear we're coming to town," admitted Mike D of the Beastie Boys. And no wonder. Performances by the street-rapping, hard-swearing, beer-guzzling Beastie Boys have been branded obnoxious and outrageous even by the band's supporters.
"We don't necessarily sit down and say, 'Okay, what are we going to do to shock people?' " said Mike D (Michael Diamond) of the raps he's recorded with fellow Beasties MCA (Adam Waunch) and King Ad- Rock (Adam Horovitz). He was speaking by phone from his home in New York during a break in the Beastie Boys' tour with Run-D.M.C. Both acts will perform at the Orange County Convention and Civic Center Saturday.
"We go up there and do stuff that appeals to us and is funny to us," Mike D said. "I think the kids understand it and see the humor in it. It's the type of things that our fans like -- and their parents shouldn't. Six months ago, when parents got upset, we really didn't care. That was part of it the act. It's important that it's rebellious."
But lately these rebels are on the defensive. They've toned down their stage show -- abandoning, for example, a 20-foot-long inflatable pink phallus that drew protests in several cities.
Their interviews are no longer wisecracking, profanity-ridden affairs. And most of all, the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. are battling the view that their shows have been plagued by violence.
The security measures taken for the rappers' shows, including those in Florida, are among the most stringent for any rock show in recent memory.
David O'Neal, director of the Orange County Convention and Civic Center, said he has surveyed the other halls that have hosted the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. and found no major problems occurred on the tour. In addition to the security precautions in Orlando, O'Neal said that for the first time a meeting room will be available for parents who want to wait at the civic center for young people attending the show.
Mike D noted: "It's gotten to the point where the parents are so concerned and the media is so hyped up that parents aren't giving kids money to buy concert tickets. So it's really affecting turnout."
These fears arose after a melee following a Run-D.M.C. show in Long Beach, Calif., last summer caused more than 40 injuries. But that was the sole trouble spot on a tour that included 65 shows. When this summer's Beasties-Run tour opened in Seattle, city officials and tour management arranged for squads of security at the hall. The following morning, a headline in the Seattle Times read: "Concert Wasn't Too Lively, But Boy, Was It Safe."
"We want to make our fans as safe as possible," said Mike D. "I just wonder how many cities Run-D.M.C. and us are going to play and still have to get up and say, 'Well, now we've played hundreds of cities and there's only one incident.'
"I think if anything our show is one of the safest shows of this summer because the security measures are so strong," he said. "We can't afford to have any kind of violent incident because there's so much attention already on this tour."
The most unfortunate fallout of the attention paid to safety measures on this tour is that the real significance of the Run- D.M.C./Beastie Boys tour has been overlooked.
The "Forever Together Tour," as it's been dubbed, marks the first time in years that a biracial bill has played to rock crowds in arenas in the United States. The black trio of Run-D.M.C. and the three white Beasties are drawing one of the most racially mixed audiences seen at rock concerts in years.
Radio formats that segregate musical styles have fostered a situation at concert arenas in which heavy metal bands draw overwhelming white crowds and funk bands bring in mostly black fans.
By mixing rap and rock, the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. have bridged racial barriers in a way early rock 'n' roll once did. For all the bad raps both of these groups have faced, that's reason to cheer their arrival in Florida.
Orlando Sentinel (4 August 1987) - Lauren Ritchie:
The Beastie Boys may be too beastly for Orange County kids.
County commissioners decided Monday to post signs on the doors of the Orange County Convention and Civic Center warning parents that the concert may be unsuitable for some children.
The Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. will appear Saturday at 8 p.m. at the convention center.
The rock 'n' roll group is noted for its street-rapping, hard-swearing and beer-guzzling performances. The Beastie Boys also attracted media attention for the 20-foot pink phallic symbol that used to appear on stage at their concerts.
However, attendance began to drop after complaints about the content of the show and a disturbance at one concert. Now, the Beastie Boys have toned down their act.
Convention center officials said a waiting room and refreshments will be provided for parents who don't want to leave their kids alone. Commissioner Vera Carter, who suggested the warnings, said she believes parents will be able to hear "anything objectionable" from the waiting room and can take their kids home if they want.