The Beastie Boys are back in the news and it's for a sad reason. Founding member Adam "MCA" Yauch died of cancer Friday. He was only 47.
Tonight, at 9 p.m., HBO is airing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. The boys were inducted into the Hall of Fame. It should be a nice show Yauch was not present, but I'm sure he'll be remembered.
It's difficult to say it's been about 25 years since the Beastie Boys came to Columbus.
It was one of those funny things. They had a hit called "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)," just about the time they came to the old Columbus Municipal Auditorium.
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I did a phone interview with Michael "Mike D" Diamond for the paper. He was funny and very polite. That's what I remember. How polite he was.
I think because they were white and the song was on constant rotation on local radio and the video was played on MTV (when MTV still showed videos), local parents thought they were OK for their little children to go to the concert.
I also think they forgot that their genre was hip hop/rap.
So a lot of the moms who accompanied their children were appalled when they saw a 20-foot inflatable penis on the stage.
They went to the City Council to protest and all of a sudden, we had a lewdness ordinance, which to this day, prohibits a lot of acts from coming to Columbus. Just because ...
I wrote a lot of stories about this back then and I still can't believe that ordinance is still on the books.
A couple of years later, we had an intern, Jill Savitt, from Miami, who was kind of dating a young actor who came to visit her. They had both attended a performing arts summer camp and remained friends. That young actor was Jon Cryer. Jon had recently finished filming "Superman IV" and his hair was growing out from being dyed. Cryer, now, of course, is on "Two and a Half Men."
We spent an afternoon together and off-handedly, he said something about the Beastie Boys. I told him about the local controversy and he started laughing.
He wasn't laughing about the ordinance. He just remembered something his mother had told him.
His mother, actress and playwright ("I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road") Gretchen Cryer, had recently called him and said, "Did you know little Adam is in a group?" Little Adam? You know, Little Adam Horovitz? She was friends with Adam's father, playwright Israel Horovitz.
Jon said he had no idea that Ad-Rock was his childhood playmate.
So that's what I remember of the Beastie Boys -- the reason for the lewdness ordinance and Jon Cryer's story of Little Adam.