Beastie Boys Book (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


When the Beastie Boys first broke, a lot of people thought they were just another gang of NYC white boys usurping the latest trend out of Harlem or the Bronx and calling it their own. "Fight For Your Right to Party" seemed to sum up everything wrong with youth who had abandoned the idealism of the Sixties for the narcissism of the late-Seventies and Eighties. In the early Eighties, Sugar Hill Gang's “Rappers Delight” or Blondie's “Rapture” was the only exposure most white listeners had to rap/hip hop, and even they knew Blondie wasn't exactly the real thing. Most were too indifferent to care. Then, along came Run DMC playing with, of all things, Aerosmith, and suddenly rap was everywhere. Many people were still huffing and puffing about beat boxes as cheating and sampling as really cheating and bemoaning the fate of real musicians at the hands of these musically illiterate thieves. Around this time the Beastie Boys morphed from a fledgling hardcore-punk band into the first white rappers of note. This doorstop of a book tells their story, mostly in their own words (or those of the two surviving members: Adam Yauch died in 2012). The Beasties speak in voices that evolve as their story unfolds: they sound like high school kids when writing about themselves as teens, and grow more eloquent as their story advances, (sorta Joycean, kinda), which is actually a good thing. This also mirrors the evolution of their lyrics from the predictably misogynistic drivel of their first efforts, to a total renunciation of such later on. Throughout, we are delighted by their self-deprecation, their brutally honest, snarkily irreverent takes on the scene around them, and always their always entertaining banter. You would expect no less from people who have made a living turning a phrase.

— Conrad Silverberg

Description


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself—by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Rolling Stone The Guardian Paste  

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill—and the album’s messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam “MCA” Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.
 
With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

Praise for Beastie Boys Book


“A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color . . . As with [the band’s] records, the book’s structure is a lyrical three-man weave. . . . Diamond’s voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable. . . . Friendship is the book’s subject as much as music, fame and New York.”The New York Times Book Review

“Wild, moving . . . resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles.”Rolling Stone 

“As nutty, irreverent, and fun as you think it would be.”Vogue

“As freewheeling and funny as their albums . . . a beautifully messy (and large) talisman containing within it many of the great joys and surprises that come with listening to the Beastie Boys”The AV Club

About the Author


Beastie Boys is a trio consisting of Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch (1964–2012), formed in 1981 as part of New York’s hardcore punk underground. The group’s first full-length album, Licensed to Ill, was the first rap album to reach #1. With seven multi-platinum albums from 1986 to 2011, including Licensed to Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty, To the 5 Boroughs, and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Beastie Boys are one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, received the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1998, and have won three Grammy Awards.

Praise For…


“A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color . . . As with [the band’s] records, the book’s structure is a lyrical three-man weave. . . . Diamond’s voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable. . . . Friendship is the book’s subject as much as music, fame and New York.”The New York Times Book Review

“Wild, moving . . . resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles.”Rolling Stone 

“As nutty, irreverent, and fun as you think it would be.”Vogue

“As freewheeling and funny as their albums . . . a beautifully messy (and large) talisman containing within it many of the great joys and surprises that come with listening to the Beastie Boys”The AV Club

“Horovitz and Diamond share sincere moments of reflection about their music, their friendship and the guy who taught them to fix radiators, to care about human rights, to own up to mistakes and to grow up.”—NPR, Morning Edition

“Teeming with tour anecdotes, personal letters, playlists, comics and photographs—[Beastie Boys Book] unspools the crew’s thirty-year run in the music industry and is appropriately massive.”Los Angeles Times

“Diamond and Horovitz alternate as narrators, and their prose is as infectious as their music. Other contributors chime in with their own idiosyncratic takes. Roy Choi offers a mini cookbook of Beastie-themed dishes. Amy Poehler delves into the videography of the group. Luc Sante takes the reader on a musical tour of New York City streets in the early 1980s. The result is a book Beastie Boys fans will clamor for and a must-read for music enthusiasts.”Booklist (starred review)

“This entertaining look at Beastie Boys history is as innovative and raucous as the band’s music.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Beastie Boys fans will devour this book, as will anyone interested in the early days of hip-hop, the art/music/street life of New York City in the 1980s, and the alternative-nation zeitgeist of the ’90s.”Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812995541
ISBN-10: 0812995546
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: October 30th, 2018
Pages: 590
Language: English