Under Cover Gigs: Beastie Boys Take Los Angeles By Surprise

Two days before their tour was due to start in Santa Barbara on April

28, the Beastie Boys played an almost unannounced gig on Wednesday

(April 26) night at the Palace in Los Angeles. The show, which was

only announced the morning of April 26, on local rock station KROQ,

had fans scurrying for tickets. All seats for the 1500-seat venue were

sold in under ten minutes, according to the band's manager Steve

Martin. The occasion of this seemingly impromptu show was to pay off

Ad Rock's debt to society. To be more specific, he was involved in a

fracas with a photographer from Hard Copy at River Phoenix's

funeral last year. Someone else supposedly punched the shutterbug, and

Ad Rock relieved him of his camera and film. Because of the incident,

our guy was fined and made to do community service. This show, which

benefited three local charities­­The Volunteer Center of LA, Free

Arts For Abused Children, and The People Who Care Youth Center­­was

his way of working off some of those hours. According to fans, the show ran

for a full two hours, and was comprised primarily of material

from 1986's Licensed To Ill. This is the first Beastie Boys North

American tour since 1992's "Check Your Head" extravaganza, and their

first public appearance in America since last year's Lollapalooza. The

band is breaking land speed records for ticket sales. Approximately

half of the dates sold out in only a matter of minutes: New York's

Madison Square Garden (13,500 tickets in 34 minutes), Detroit's Cobo

Arena (11,000 tickets in 9 minutes), Massachusetts' Worcester Centrum

(10,000 tickets in 24 minutes), and Chicago's Rosemont Horizon (10,000

tickets in 30 minutes). In addition to their "regularly scheduled

show," the band is also debuting the Beastie Boy's Carpet Compound.

This Compound will feature several computer stations where

concert-goers can access the Beastie Boys' World Wide Web site, which

may contain snippets of the live footage of their Asian and European

tours, as well as behind-the scene glimpses of the boys with their

proverbial pants down. Also, fans will get a chance to preview the

Boys' CD-ROM, and have a chance to get free software giveaways from

Spry Inc., an Internet service provider.