As we remember the life of Adam Yauch, let’s take a look at some of Beastie Boys’ early opposition, namely concerned ’80s parents who thought their music was gateway to the drug-addled world of dangerous housing and sex parties. The 1986 clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show—the inaugural season!—opens with a discussion of “Hold It Now, Hit It” (“Head poplin, body rockin, doin’ the do / Beer drinking’, breath stinking sniffin’ glue”). “I wonder if this is just a generational gap we’re going through?” Oprah posits to her panel of guests, specifically Tipper Gore, who is on the attack with a laundry lists of harrowing details from a Beastie live show: blow job invitations, a 20-foot inflatable penis, female cage dancers. Must we remind you of your own flirtation with inappropriate behavior, TG?
Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedy and Spin founder Bob Guccione, Jr. both come to the group’s defense (“The Beastie Boys are the most tasteless group in rock and roll, by their own admission! That is their act; that is what they sell,” Guccione says) but even their jokes have a hard time getting through to the enraged audience members who think they represent evil incarnate. “It’s almost impossible to raise Christian children in an X-rated society,” complains one mother while a teen of record-buying age encourages her to chill and reminds that it’s all about the music, (wo)man. He doesn’t necessarily want to get chicks naked and do with MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D. are detailing in their lyrics—he is his own person, after all. “If Lionel Richie puts out a song about necrophilia, I’m not going to go buy his record.” Watch below.