Beastie boys story
A very effective first teaser for Spike Jonze's documentary: Beastie boys Story. The director of Her accompanies the Beastie boys for years and has directed some of their music videos. The love story between Spike Jonze and the Beastie boys goes back several years.
The director of Her and In the Skin by John Malkovich met the Beastie Boys in the early 1990s. They then worked together several times, on music videos like "Ricky's Theme", "Root Down" or even " Sabotage". On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the release of the album Ill Communication, Spike Jonze produced an intimate documentary that traces the history of the group.
The director was able to accompany Mike D (Mike Diamond), Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) and the late MCA (the musician who died of cancer in 2012) in their daily lives for several years.
The first ultra-effective teaser for the documentary Beastie Boys Story has just been released. You can see the three Mcs of the Altar there in their early days, in improvised hip-hop sessions and in music videos. Mike D and Ad-Rock then appear older on a huge theater stage in front of an audience of fans.
" Hello everyone! What we're going to do here is we'll travel far, far back in time! “, We hear in the background. Something that makes your mouth water.
The film will be available in select IMAX theaters from April 3 and on Apple TV + from April 24 The Beastie Boys have developed an approach and style that spans fifteen years of punk rock lively to hip-hop, an open and particular style. Far from being dubious teenagers, they have redefined youth: a cool sect open to all and which is between 7 and 77 years old. The Beastie Boys discography is flawless.
The beginning of the Beastie boys
Winter 1981: An obscure New York punk band records a loud eight-track song for a hardcore record store in New York's East Village: the vinyl birth certificate of the beastie boys, Polly Woog Stew, A Breathtaking Birth. March 1982: The group, whose composition is still uncertain, swaps their hardcore singles for the maxi rap of Sugarhill.
Adam Horovitz then joined Mike D., Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach on drums (now with Luscious Jackson) to record the Single Cookie Puss, a schoolyard phone joke that openly eyed hip-hop. From there, “we gave up on our instruments and started making MCs,” says Mike D. Again, we prove that punk goes all out when you quit it.
License to ill (Def Jam, 1986)
“Fight for your right to party / Your father was caught smoking ¬ he said“ No way ”/ Now your mother threw” (fight for your rights). Focused in a particularly explosive way on the anger of young people, the first album of the Beastie Boys, preceded by the thunderous Maxi Rock Hard (1984), is the very first.
Insolent, provocative and sexist, rather strident loud lyrics, associated with a titanic sound collision between the heavy metal and hip hop rhythms. Rick Rubin, co-founder of the Def Jam label, which signed the Thug trio under contract, is no stranger to this brutal break-in of tartar riffs in the rap cauldron of Horovitz today.
Rick Rubin, the sound architect of Run DMC's memorable duet with Aerosmith on Walk, intends to use his musical vision expanded to serve a two-clan approach that's inconsistent from the start, but is similar in many ways: metallic hair and that B-Boys.
With this Licensed to Ill, the first rap album in the American charts, which will amaze again and again twelve years later, he will experience brilliant success.
With a paradox, the drums of John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) at the opening. On the recording level, Adam Horovitz wanted to pay homage to the Zeppelin on New Style ("If I were a guitarist, I would be Jimmy Page"), Page will not hear it that way when he discovers his riff of The Ocean on the disk. The case is finally settled out of court for around ten dollars.
If a good number of B-boys are immediately conquered by this contagious fire, part of the young hip-hop nation frowns at this white rapper of whites (Jews and also of good families) whose overwhelming success reminds them of the success, the opportunistic reappropriation of which jazz and rock were already victims.
Above all, unlike the political "message" that is beginning to emerge in hip-hop (the emergence of the most committed rap groups, Public Enemy, will not take place until the following year), these lustful, humorously crooks schoolchildren, who apparently have no other concern than to claim "the right to party".
It is the beginning of the adventure of one of the most important groups of the last thirty years.
the , Adam Yauch, 47, dies after a three-year battle with cancer. The group decides not to survive the loss of Adam. the , Mike D announces the final end of the group:
We haven't been able to tour anymore since MCA, Adam Yauch, died […] we can't do new songs..
Beastie Boys Members
Former members of the Beastie boys
John Berry - guitar (1981–1982)
Mike D - vocals, drums (1981–2012)
Kate Schellenbach - drums, percussion (1981–1984)
MCA - vocals, bass (1981–2012)
Ad-Rock - vocals, guitar (1982–2012)
DJ Double R - DJing (1984–1985)
Doctor Dré - DJing (1986)
DJ Hurricane - DJing (1986–1997)
Eric Bobo - percussion (1992–1996)
Money Mark (Mark Ramos-Nishita) - keyboard, vocals (1992–2012)
AWOL - drums (1994–1995)
Alfredo Ortiz - drums, percussion (1996–2012)
Mix Master Mike - DJing, turntables, backing vocals (1998–2012)
Beastie Boys Discography
1986: Licensed to Ill
1989: Paul's Boutique
1992: Check Your Head
1994: Ill Communication
1996: The In Sound From Way Out
1998: Hello Nasty
2004: To the 5 Boroughs
2007: The Mix-Up
2011: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.
Bonus: NY Times interview, The Beastie Boys put the mic down and pick up the pen
After the death of Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz worked to capture the aesthetic and legacy of the revolutionary group on the page. Here is how they did it.
Michael Diamond (Mike D) of the Beastie Boys (left) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) have attempted to define their own legacy in their “Beastie Boys Book.” Credit… Brad Ogbonna for the New York Times
The story begins - or maybe ends - with three guys in their early 50s hanging out on a beautiful late summer afternoon, drinking iced coffee and talking about how much they love the Clash, and to what point it's odd that the celebrity crowded hotel they sit in is right up the block from where CBGB was at the time. Daddy stuff.
Two of the dads, however, are the surviving members of the Beastie Boys: Adam Horovitz, with raised gray hair and a white T-shirt with a light graffito on the front; and Michael Diamond, wearing a bright red button up, his hair still dark, his face crumpled and tanned after years of living in Southern California. Ad-Rock and Mike D, in other words.
The third Beastie, Adam Yauch - MCA, consciousness, shaman, and intellectual backbone of the group - died in 2012 after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer. His absence, six years later, is a palpable fact in the room. His name comes up often in conversation, such as in the new book Horovitz and Diamond wrote.
Called "Beastie Boys Book" (although the cover page might make you believe the real title is "PIZZA"), it is a 571 page bumper and gravestone, a collection of anecdotes, recipes, playful riffs and shaggy dog stories and a heartfelt elegy to a much missed friend.
The volume, full of old photographs and comics, with a plethora of fonts and layouts, is a non-musical summa of the Beastie aesthetic.
Personal story, tour bus folklore, studio geek, and generational drama that summons an impressive roster of witnesses including writers Jonathan Lethem, Ada Calhoun and Colson Whitehead, comedian / actress Amy Poehler and various fellow musicians.
Some scores are settled, some beef is mashed, and no doubt some ugly things are airbrushed or skipped. Bad behavior is recognized; The good faith of the feminist allies is maintained. Since there will be no more new music from Beastie Boys, this album will help solidify a sprawling and complicated legacy.
Building monuments isn't something you necessarily expect from Beasties, who have built their careers through disrespect, deviousness, and low-key cool. At the start, in the early 1980s, the name was an acronym for Boys Entering Anarchistic States Toward Internal Excellence, writes Diamond, and the lineup included a girl, Kate Schellenbach.
The group moved from hardcore to hip-hop when rap felt more like a fad than a dominant force in pop culture. They were childish and secular and then somehow in the 90s serious musicians with something to say and surprising innovations to make. Yauch was an assertive Buddhist and feminist.
Their 1994 video “Sabotage”, directed by Spike Jonze, was a wacky retro throwaway that helped transform the genre.
Beastie boys practiced cross-platform branding before those horrible words became cultural currency. They were fashion conscious, food conscious, and graphic design conscious, they found art and weird old "physical media" just as the digital genre was starting to sweep them away.
“I listen to wax / I don't use the CD,” Mike D boasted in “Sure Shot” in 1994, anticipating the millennial re-conquest of vinyl supremacy by a decade or more.
Around the same time, they started a magazine called Grand Royal which was also kind of a record label and also kind of a lifestyle consumer store and also kind of a clubhouse where you could hang out. feel like both a noob and a scholar.
It was like a website, but on paper. Silly and do it yourself, he had the disarming, improvised, and what I found like sense of artistic integrity that is at the heart of Beastie's legacy.
This legacy between the hard covers doesn't look much like a standard rock star brief. Much like apt Gen X, it's funnier and more modest than the best-selling baby boomer musical heroes. The three of us talked about it and a lot of other things. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
So how did the book come about?
MICHAEL DIAMOND of the beastie boys: Better than giving us a Broadway musical, I think.
ADAM HOROVITZ Whoa.
DIAMOND des beastie boys: Yauch, when we were kids, he loved “The Kids Are Alright”, the documentary Who. It was like an obsession.
And so he was interested, when we were working on “Hot Sauce Committee” or even a little before that, in putting together archival material into a documentary type project. Then there was talk of someone doing a book about the band, so we were kind of like, we should come together and do it.
Then Yauch died and we were too sad and it was definitely not the time for us to touch it. And then we went back and it went through different manifestations. We started with the idea of getting the people who were around the group and our friends and people involved at different times to tell the story.
What did you want the most that it wasn't?
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: We sure didn't want this to be like a typical rock autobiography. “I got on the bus one day and there was a boy playing guitar and it turned out to be John Lennon.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Although that would be great - in a story about the Beastie Boys. We didn't want to do the thing where these autobiographies are like a bunch of stuff, and then some pictures, and more stuff, and more pictures.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: Here are 20 pages from us when we were growing up. Here are 20 pages when we become famous. Here's 20 pages when we're famous and here is 20 pages after we couldn't stand each other and now I've been writing all this slanderous stuff about the guys I was in the band with.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: In 2018, you can just Google it all and write your own book. We also didn't want to have stories about really personal things, or outrageous stuff or [swearing] that isn't nobody's business.
Are there places where you remember things differently?
HOROVITZ beastie boys: No. It was more like: Do any of us remember?
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: We were both amazed at how little we remember.
Well, it's been a long time.
DIAMOND of the beastie boys: Especially because it was important to live the crazy moment of our teenage years. Because it was so formative and because of the time it was in New York.
How do you remember that now - the music you listened to and what gave you the idea that this was something you could do?
HOROVITZ beastie boys: We were about 15 years old, and we were going to see bands, and a lot of bands were like hardcore punk bands. I had a guitar, and I knew a few chords, and you realized you could play that Ramones song, and it's like, Jesus, every Ramones song is just that? I could do that.
The only accessible music we could make would be hard-core. Even punk sounded sophisticated.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: The entry point was there. Before that, big rock bands were on stage and it was inaccessible. But if you were going to a club like A7, the whole club might have been the size of this hotel room, and there was literally a couch like this couch on the side of the stage.
The barrier between the audience and the group didn't really exist, and most of the audience was in groups. Another interesting thing that happened when we started going out to clubs as a teenager - be it Mudd Club, Danceteria, or whatever - was this culture of everyone doing something.
If they weren't in a band, they were trying to sell you their little poetry fanzine or become the next visual artist. Everyone had a little creativity.
DIAMOND of the beastie boys: At the beginning, we were a hard-core band like everyone else. Except maybe we had a sense of humor about it.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: And then we started rapping. We were like downtown rappers. There was no one else knocking downtown. Right? The bridge was that we met Rick Rubin. We all went to the same clubs but he was a little older and had a drum machine.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: And we've kind of hit a point of exhaustion with hardcore. 12 inch rap started to come out, and it seemed like a really exciting thing. “Sucker MC's” [from Run-DMC] was really the record that broke everything, it was that stripped down, minimal… that's what rap was going to be.
Beastie Boy HOROVITZ: This rap era was really punk for some reason. Something was connectable as far as we wanted to make rap records, besides loving rap records.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: Or maybe we were so naive and had no responsible adults around to say, "What are you guys thinking?"
Were you a little embarrassed to be white kids working on the rap idiom?
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Well, we were coming from downtown, so we were knocking at Danceteria, these white downtown clubs, really. No one in the city center was rapping. No one we knew raped. So we were like, we should be doing it. We didn't care, we loved it and wanted to be a part of it.
After a minute, we had matching Puma suits, and we were wearing rags, and we played at this club in Queens called Encore, and everybody's laughing at us. They turned on the fluorescent lights when we got to do our two opening songs for Kurtis Blow, and we were like, man, we look dumb.
DIAMOND of the beastie boys: We all felt like [expletive] after that gig. But we were still determined to rap because that's what we love to do. We kind of realized that we had to be our own version.
A lot of kids are now growing up in a world created by Beastie, where music, sneakers, clothes, food, much of what they consume is connected and cross-brand. And you pioneered this stuff. How did it come about in music?
DIAMOND des beastie boys: It was the great lesson of punk and hardcore. That you can post anything. To play concerts, you would steal access to a Xerox machine and make flyers.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Punks don't hire people to cover their record. The punks do everything themselves. This is real punk - doing it yourself and building a community where people share ideas and share their creativity.
I have the impression that we have always tried to come back to it. Grand Royal started because we were on the Lollapalooza tour and wanted to send this message to people that the Mosh Pit is cheesy.
Stop doing that. MTV has ruined it, and it's dangerous, and the girls are hurt. So Mike designed all of this and we took it to Lollapalooza and then we were like, let's just do a fanzine and put it out.
And then he just took it to the next level. We were lucky to have the money.
DIAMOND beastie boys: And that we had the audience. The fact that we had a larger audience for these things that we did is still a little miracle for me.
When I think of you guys I think of two times. The first, the early to mid 80s we were talking about.
But there's also the early and mid-90s, a decade later, when there's a creative bloom in hip-hop and the indie-rock moment. Either way, you were in both of these places. How do you think you got there?
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Well, that probably comes down to loving the Clash. They had punk rock songs, reggae songs, and melodic songs, and they just followed what they wanted to do, right?
DIAMOND beastie boys: It never occurred to us not to make music that included some influence.
Fortunately, we were able to make records over a good period of time, because you aren't going to discover everything at once. The reality that we could be played on “Yo! MTV Raps ”next to“ 120 Minutes ”- I guess that's where MTV was at the time.
Even though they presented rap music and alternative music, they presented them separately. We were trying to put it all together, and sort of we were the weird kid whose videos could play on both of them.
One thing that was certainly true of the early Beastie Boys was the playful and obnoxious personality. There was the inflatable penis on stage at your shows.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Hydraulic. It was a hydraulic penis.
And already, probably 20 years ago, you pulled away from some of the more offensive aspects of it. Right now, across the culture, there are a lot of accounts going on about misogyny and homophobia, past and present, and I wonder if that has come back again while working on the book?
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: We've all, growing up, either had the experience of behaving badly or doing a bad job of how we treat others in any type of relationship. For us, of course, a lot of that was in the public persona we created.
It was something inspiring in the book, it was a chance to open up and dive into it and be able to say, “We were [swear]. We really could have handled that better. But maybe we had to be [swear] to learn our lesson.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: I mean you can't help but talk about it. It's a big part of our history for us.
Because for a long time we didn't play “Fight for Your Right to Party”, we didn't play any of those songs. "Licensed to Ill" was like a cold, and we took so much vitamin C that we never would have had the cold again.
But then we realized that we can separate good from bad, that is not all, what is the expression, cut and dried?
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: It didn't seem binary anymore.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: Oh now we're using fancy words.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: What opened the door was Yauch's lyrics in the late '90s on “Sure Shot” about “Disrespecting Women Must Be Past”.
As we've evolved into having that voice, we might be comfortable going back and playing one of those songs, saying now that we're clearly enough established as something else that we can play. this music without becoming.
There is something bittersweet about this book, because of Yauch's death.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: It's [expletive] sad. There is no way around it. How are you supposed to finish this book? Me and Mike sitting here? Me and Mike going to the movies? There are so many Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movies that we haven't seen yet.
Beastie Boy DIAMOND: The nice thing about it was being able to go back and tap into those stories that he was beyond anything. It was a rewarding thing, something that we miss every day.
I don't know how we could do this with a degree of honesty without having this sadness and this loss.
HOROVITZ beastie boys: There's no getting around that. He's the group.