Skip to main content
Beastie Boys wearing green boiler suits in 2004
On this day:

Beastie Boys show turns in to riot

Image: DFree /

Was It Sabotage?It’s hard to imagine now, but back in the mid-1980’s the world was infected with a disgusting, debased destroyer of young morals and society in general. And the name of this disease was: The Beastie Boys. After the release of their first album, Licensed To Ill, the Beasties became tabloid fodder, who were equally outraged and titillated by these rapping bad boys who were constantly fighting for their right to party. So when the group arrived for its first UK tour, they made sure all hell broke loose.

The live shows featured go-go girls in cages, beer throwing and large inflatable phalluses, plus stories of tour excesses and general bad behaviour. It all culminated on this day, the date of the final show in Liverpool. It lasted a scant 12 minutes before some banter with the audience turned into widespread bottle throwing and finally a full scale riot. The authorities were called, tear gas was deployed and Ad Rock was arrested for allegedly throwing a beer can which injured a fan. He was eventually found not guilty, but MPs still called for this troublesome bunch to be deported.