When the Beastie Boys first hit it huge in 1987, they have been seen as “Animal Home” frat dudes, due to the video for first single “(You Gotta) Combat for Your Proper (to Occasion),” which turned an MTV staple.
The clip depicted the blokes — Brooklyn native MCA (Adam Yauch) and Manhattanites Advert-Rock (Adam Horowitz) and Mike D (Mike Diamond) — as house-trashing, pie-throwing, oversexed pyromaniacs.
Folks took it at face worth regardless that, as Horowitz writes within the “Beastie Boys Guide” (Spiegel & Grau), out Oct. 30, the Beasties have been mocking the very factor they hated: “Sloppy drunk dude attempting to creep on younger ladies was repugnant to punks [like us].”
However the joke was on them.
“Sadly, if you’re a straight man in your late teenagers/early twenties, you’ll be able to simply fall into the stereotype’s personal trappings,” Horowitz writes. “[We] turned what we hated.”
Within the many years since, the band has apologized repeatedly for their lyrics and habits from these days, and a truthful quantity of the guide — which is additionally a love letter to MCA, who died from most cancers in 2012 — is dedicated to these regrets. Right here’s a roundup of a number of the Beastie Boys’ wildest, worst early historical past.
They fired their drummer — for being a woman
From 1981-84, the Beastie Boys featured a Beastie Lady: Kate Schellenbach performed drums for the group as they transitioned from punk to hip-hop. “We kicked Kate out of the band as a result of she didn’t match into our new tough-rapper-guy identification,” Horowitz laments within the guide. “Possibly Kate would’ve finally stop the band as a result of we have been beginning to act like a bunch of f–kin’ creeps, nevertheless it was simply s–ty the best way it occurred. And I’m so sorry about it.”
Within the guide, Schellenbach blames the break up on producer Rick Rubin, saying he gave the band an ultimatum of working with her or him. “A part of me was jealous of their success,” she admits, though she knew she wouldn’t have been comfortable if she had stayed. “What would I be doing once they have been rapping about f–king a woman with a Wiffle-ball bat?”
All was finally forgiven, and the Beasties’ personal document label, Grand Royal, launched music by Schellenbach’s band Luscious Jackson within the early 1990s.
They nearly known as their first album one thing terrible
Though Horowitz and Diamond by no means clarify how they landed on the title of their debut 1986 album, “Licensed to Unwell,” they’re grateful they modified it.
“The authentic title to this document was ‘Don’t Be a F–obtained.’ It was Rick Rubin’s concept,” Horowitz reveals within the guide. “It was meant to be a joke about jock frat dudes however homophobia’s not humorous and we’re actually sorry.”
They’re nonetheless spending cash on a giant penis
“(You Gotta) Combat for Your Proper (to Occasion)” was chosen as a single by the band’s label, Def Jam, in February 1987, regardless that the Beasties thought-about it a throwaway. It was instantly picked up by MTV and have become a hit, however the band shortly soured on the observe and the dumb-jock stereotype it represented — a lot so, they by no means performed it reside after their 1987 tour.
However one remnant lingers: A giant hydraulic penis that may pop up on stage when the trio performed the music. (In accordance with Rolling Stone, it stood 20 toes tall).
“Appeared humorous on the time … [But] you gotta actually assume earlier than you say or do some dumb s–t,” Horowitz writes of the choice to have the prop created. “Take into consideration the folks you care about most. Will they be embarrassed for you, and of you? Sure . . . And also you’ll find yourself paying thirty years’ value of storage locker charges in New Jersey for a 5-foot-by-5-foot dick in a field.”
They impressed automobile theft
Within the “(You Gotta) Combat for Your Proper (to Occasion)” video, Mike D sported a Volkswagen medallion on a thick gold chain. This allegedly led followers throughout the US and UK to steal the logos proper off the grills of VWs. Finally the carmaker discovered a approach to capitalize on the pattern, creating an advert with a picture of a Rabbit lacking its hood decoration and the road “Designer labels all the time get ripped off.”
The firm cheekily nodded to the band — “Many [owners] have been heard to out-swear a Beastie Boy (the outcomes of discovering their badges have gone lacking)” — and supplied a free medallion to anybody who requested.
They used to hunt rats in Chinatown
In the course of the mid-80s, Mike D and MCA shared an condominium at 59 Chrystie St. — which was rat-infested as a result of staff of sweatshops on the identical flooring would depart baggage of trash within the hallway.
The landlord instructed the blokes maintain the issue by killing one of many vermin and leaving it out to scare off the others.
Some folks may go to the ironmongery store and purchase a lure. The Beasties had different concepts.
“We … purchased these pellet weapons, some CO2 cartridges and a gang of pellets,” Diamond writes.
“Late that evening, we rolled in a bit buzzed. We grabbed our loaded pistols … and began kicking the large rubbish baggage. Positive sufficient, rats got here streaming out of them. By some means, we truly nailed a couple, then left them, useless, within the hallway for a few days.”
It labored. As Diamond writes, “Now we have been free to go about inviting ladies again to our place.”