Ad-Rock Hated "Faggots" and Other Beastie Boys Revelations Gleaned From Our Archives
Since October of 1955, when Norman Mailer and co. founded The Village Voice as a weekly paper for bros of the leftist pinko persuasion, we've done our dutiful best to preserve every word ever printed in our pages, tucking them away in our vast archival editorial library (pictured above). This summer, we slogged deep into the back issues to find the most interesting articles about a few Big Shot Bands From Way Back When, which we then scanned and dumped into this here blog for a little #tbt feature we're calling "Deep Voice." (Get it?)
In this, our "Deep Voice" first installment, we find 1) a 1986 preview of the Beasties opening for RUN DMC at the famed Apollo Theater from a writer with no byline who calls them "lazy fucks" 2) a 1989 article by Robert Christgau that features the Dean calling out the group on the grounds of cultural appropriation (some things never change!) and grades the collective Beastie output at a 70, some 20 points below LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee and 3) "The Portable Lower East Side," a feature by former-Maxim and Rolling Stone editor-in-chief Joe Levy (now an editor at Billboard). And, oh yeah, 4) a 1987 article by Doug Simmons, "Yo Homo," which quotes Adam Horovitz saying "I hate faggots."
A note about that last bit: The transformation of the Beastie Boys over their long and storied career is well known--from immature beer-swilling party rockers to conscious, peace-seeking monk-like Tibet-loving freedom fighter feminists. Horovitz almost immediately regrets saying what he does, and offers a bit of (pretty woeful) clarification before Adam "MCA" Yauch steps in to save him, only to make things worse. Point is, the Ad-Rock we find in this '87 archive piece is far different from the Adam Horovitz we all know today. The band's history illustrates that. But the archives are the archives, and the words are real. Let's get on with them. And look for future "Deep Voice" dust-ups over the next few Thursdays--RUN DMC, The Ramones, and David Lee Roth are all on tap.
"The Number One Caucasians of Rap" is how WBLS DJ Mr. Magic recently tagged the Beastie Boys. But after the easy brags of last year's "She's On It," they fell off the seat and gave it up to, I dunno, Falco maybe? They rank again with "Hold it, Now Hit It" (Def Jam), which doesn't suck eggs. This cartoon leaps out of the set and wrecks your house. The Beasties honor the San Francisco treat, Ted Knight, and shiftlessness, and they got girls from here to White Castle. You might call this honoring trash; they call it life without working. Beastie Mike D's side project, the Hungry Scumbags, played at Speak Easy (the Esperanto House series late Friday), and they are not funky. Sorta loose, slide guitar rock. "I just decided I don't wanna pay my fucking dues," the singer shouted near set's end. Sometimes lazy fucks are just lazy fucks.
The Beastie Boys open for Run-D.M.C. at the Apollo April 19.