Yesterday a photograph made the rounds on the internet purporting to show Bad Brains frontman H.R. and Brooke Shields sitting together on a couch, with Shields leaning over and lighting what appeared to be a marijuana pipe. Which would be amazing. A spokesperson for Shields quickly denied that it's her. But Bad Brains' management has issued a statement to Gawker claiming that the photo indeed shows H.R. and Shields getting high together in 1983.
"It's her," the band's manager told Gawker through a publicist. "This would be from 1983. Hair length, and H.R. missing that tooth he knocked out hitting a huge stage divider pole at the Reggae Lounge. Brooke would have been around 18, maybe still a Ford model."
Is it true? Would Bad Brains' current management really have personal knowledge of whether H.R. and Shields met almost 30 years ago? Would they really simply confirm it without supplying any more details about the meeting, like where the photograph was taken? Especially when one considers that Bad Brains—the original lineup!—happens to be gearing up to promote a new record (hey by the way here's the first single from Into the Future, due out November 20 from Megaforce Records)?
The answer is: Yes. You should believe Bad Brains when they tell you that you are looking at a photograph of teen supermodel Brooke Shields smoking pot with deeply unstable and brilliant and CONSTANTLY HIGH hardcore cipher H.R. You should always believe Bad Brains. (For comparison purposes, here's a 1984 photo of Shields and some other music guy.)
Update: Two things. First, Bad Brains' publicist got back to us with some more information. Manager Anthony Countey actually was managing Bad Brains 29 years ago. And he actually does have a specific recollection of the meeting—"a solid memory," according to the band's publicist. Secondly, while we described H.R. as "constantly high," he claims to no longer touch the stuff these days.
The photo got a lot of attention yesterday after Dave Hill posted it on Twitter, but it's been floating around on Tumblr for a few months. The earliest posting of the image we could find was from a Tumblr user called Frito Pie three months ago. We reached out to him via e-mail to ask its provenance but haven't heard back. Update: Actually, a reader pointed us to this Tumblr, which posted it more than a year ago.
I know what you're asking: If it is Brooke Shields, why would she lie about it now? Racism, most likely. Either that or she's always told Ian McKaye that she's been straight-edge since '81 and doesn't want him to be mad.
[Image via Getty]