Musician Richard Marx claims Taiwan gangsters threatened him with machine guns in 1990

Good find.

So looks like May 5th 1990.

I actually first tried to look through old news paper database, thinking Richard Marx’s name would be translated like how it is written on wikipedia: 理查·马克斯 - 维基百科,自由的百科全书.

However, I’ve forgotten how soon that was after the martial law period, there was no way his name would be translated to 馬克斯…

That’s why the ticket says 李察瑪爾克斯…




1990 was a turbulent year in Taiwan. One of many.

"Incumbent president Lee Teng-hui served as vice president under [Chiang Ching-kuo] before he succeeded Chiang, who died in office in 1988.

After Chiang’s death, the struggle between different factions in the Kuomitang surfaced for Chiang’s successor."

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I’m pretty sure the US had diplomatic relations with Thailand in 1990.

It’s funny how mafia types think. What was wrong with just telling the punters that rain stopped play and giving them their money back? He still could have gone and threatened Marx to do a couple of free concerts, and he would have made out like a, well, bandit. Plus he would have retained the hearts-n-minds of the fans. Everybody wins, sort of.

Quite a few bands have had experiences of being ripped off in this manner in crappy countries (usually, just not being paid), so I’m not convinced the story is completely false, even if perhaps they embellished it a bit.

He did perform in Taiwan in 1990. I remember seeing the concert posters in 1990 and wondering who he was.

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I think its bunk. At that time there was a bunch of police raiding all sorts of entertainment areas. They were the special "anti gangster ’ Police and wore sneakers and could be mistaken for gangsters except the big words written on their bulletproof vests that said in english POLICE.

They raided all sorts of places gangsters were known to frequent. LIke KTVs for example. My brit friend and I were in such a place and he had to use the loo and I was in the room waiting for the food and the (ahem…ktv girls) and in busted about half a dozen policemen with UZI submachine guns pointed at me. They asked for my ID and I left mine at the hotel as was customary back then. I only had my AMEX card on me for ID.

The lead copper took a look at it and left.

When my friend came back in he thought it was kinda funny and said if he was the cop he would’ve charged my Amex for the service.

So i think Marx got mixed up…the police became gangsters with UZI. The only people with UZi in those days were POLICE< the gangsters only had pistols.

HOw would I know?? well.

OH and to add to the tough guy image those special anti gangster (at least in taipei ) police got Alfa 164 cars to drive around. The only bad thing was they had this siren that didnt sound very macho at all, in fact it was kinda puny sounding and once watching these guys leave an establishment and turn on their sirens a bunch of people (myself included) could not stop laughing !! Sounded like toy police cars.


Sounds like fun times :slight_smile:

oh yes taipei was a riot back then. lots of late night activities. underground bars, etc etc. The only thing you couldn’t do was Sleep… Pass Out Sure… Sleep nah.

I was under the impression that, back in the day, the gangsters and the police were basically the same people…?

they weren’t but they were called the black hand and the white hand and they helped each other.

The black hand would find the bad apples that did serious crimes on behalf of the white hand and the white hand would let the black hand know of any raids in advance.
It was all organized. Many of the politicians were black hand. TAiwan has an extensive mafia organization patterned after the yakuza of japan. And they controlled ALL the entertainment.

But there is a lot less petty crime because the mafia didnt like petty criminals. Those people feared the mafia more then they do the cops.

Lots of black hand activity in Taiwan under the surface.


How is the gang situation nowadays? Do foreigners have something to be worried of?

Now it’s only organized crime. You won’t see it or feel it or notice any gang activity at any level.

Unless you’re cheap or a behave inappropriately in an adult KTV or act completely stupid drunkish late nights at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Only if you’re Richard Marx. Although, to be fair, he should really be worried everywhere.

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Making local girl pregnant, and making 2 local pregnant will give you quadratic problems in life

Even machine guns can’t scare off Richard Marx.

29-30 September 2023 Taipei

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