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 audience 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… read more and view the gallery >