10 Reasons Why the ‘Beastie Boys Book’ is ‘Ill Communication’
Photo: Frank Micelotta (Getty Images)
The Beastie Boys wrote a book. That’s one sentence we never thought we would type but a lot has happened over the past 30-plus years. The New York City rap trio of Adam Mike Diamond (Mike D), Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late, great Adam “MCA” Yauch was the “black sheep” of the 1980s hip-hop scene but evolved into one of the most enduring and endearing rap groups of all-time.
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The Beastie Boys Book is a 500-page memoir of the trio’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. Filled with hilarious drawings, behind-the-scenes photos, and LOL stories about their countless exploits, it perfectly captures the free-flowing, off-the-dome synchronicity of their rhymes as Mike D and Ad-Rock “Pass the Mic” with the narration. It’s a must-read for any fan. Here are some of the highlights.
Bad Brains Concert
Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch met at a Bad Brains concert in late 1980. Mike D reminisces about meeting the future MCA: “The only other kid our age was wearing a black trench coat, a couple of small homemade band buttons, and black combat boots.”
Photo: David Corio/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images
The Beastie Boys Are Born
"Cooky Puss" was the Beastie Boys first hip-hop release. British Airways used a portion of it in a television ad. The Beastie Boys sued and won. They used the money to buy a Roland TR-808 drum machine that would make the beats for ‘Brass Monkey" and countless other hits.
Touring with Madonna
The Beastie Boys first major tour was as an opening act for the "Material Girl" in 1985. While the odd coupling is mind-blowing, the breakout artists actually ran in the same circles in New York. "We kind of came from a similar sort of scene that she came from. So to us, it wasn't that weird of a combo," says Ad-Rock.
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Beastie Boys and Girls
The Beastie Boys started as a foursome that included drummer Kate Schellenbach (pictured second from left). She left as they went from a hardcore punk band to a hip-hop trio, but went onto form Luscious Jackson and won an Emmy as a producer for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Photo: Martyn Goodacre (Getty Images)
'Sabotage' Video Cost Only $50K
Director Spike Jonze reminisces about the concept behind the iconic "Sabotage" video. "We are making the opening credits for that '70s cop show Sabotage. We need lots of wigs, mustaches, and a cop car."
Photo: Ernesto Ruscio (Getty Images)
The Beastie Boys became men when they organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts. Led by Adam Yauch, the concerts raised money to support Tibetan independence. "What he did was historic," recalls Ad-Rock of the biggest charity concerts since Live Aid. "Hundreds of thousands of people had ‘Free Tibet’ on their tongues and heard the call for nonviolence because of that guy in Beastie Boys."
Photo: Frank Micelotta Archive (Getty Images)
The Best Beastie Boys Album
What's the best Beastie Boys album? That's up for debate, but according to Ad-Rock it's Hello Nasty. "It’s our best record/cover artwork… Hello Nasty was where we were headed. Interplanetary and outer space. It has the song ‘Intergalactic,’ and that song is the fuckin’ jam, right?!”
The Foodie Boys
The Beastie Boys were notorious for sprinkling edible name drops (“Carvel," “Egg Man”) into their rhymes. Their foodie sensibilities are captured in a 16-page cookbook within the book that is curated by food truck impresario Roy Choi and includes such stoner-friendly fare as "Butthole Bites" and BBQ grilled cheese.
Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Frito-Lay North America
If You Don't Read
The Beastie Boys were the rap group of a generation, so it's only fitting that A-list stars would lend their voices to the audiobook because who reads anymore? Among the names on the audiobook are Will Ferrell, NAS, Snoop Dogg, Jon Stewart, Maya Rudolph, and John C. Reilly.
Photo: Alberto Rodriguez/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank (Getty Images)
No Beastie Boys Without MCA
Shortly after MCA's passing, Both Mike D and Ad-Rock said that the Beastie Boys are "officially done" and from the sound of it, that is still true. “One of the reasons me+ Mike were lucky is that we didn’t have to figure out a lot of shit because Yauch already knew it,” reminisces Ad-Rock.
Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images
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You can buy the New York Times best-selling Beastie Boys Book here.