November 16, 2018 Beastie Boys Book (Book Review)
Fans of the Beastie Boys have been clamoring for anything new on the iconic Hip Hop pioneer’s front for some time now. Six years removed from the untimely passing of Adam Yauch (MCA), it has been relatively quiet for the boys out of NYC.
That all said, just in time for the 2018 holiday season, fans were treated to a wonderful, personal autobiography that surviving Beastie Boys Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) released on Tuesday, October 30th through Penguin Random House. Since release, becoming a #1 New York Times Bestseller, Beastie Boys Book, which took almost 5 years to put together, is everything a Beastie Boys fan would hope for and expect, falling short of nothing that anyone has become accustomed to in regards to this unique and legendary group.
A total of 590 pages with exciting new images included, the book spans time from the original inception of the band. Through learning, many now know the Beastie Boys were in fact a Punk Rock band. That said, the book starts way back in the late 1970s when all three members were involved in the Punk Rock scene, although, not together, but individually. With thorough chapters on each member, and descriptive chapters on what life was like in NYC at that time, the book vividly captures the vibe as well as energy of a city that would be, in only a few short years, under the complete control of a Hip Hop movement.
As Beastie Boys Book reads on, we see the evolution of the band from Punk rockers to becoming three of the most legendary MCs to ever pick up their microphones. No stone is left unturned fingering through chapter after chapter which involves information from their introductory meeting with Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons of Def Jam to the release of their 1986 multi-platinum debut album, Licensed to Ill, and beyond. Interesting throughout, it shows the tremendous change the band went through with future releases such as the now widely known Hip Hop masterpiece that is 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, the amazing sister albums, 1992’s Check Your Head, and 1994’s Ill Communication, all the way up to 1998’s Hello Nasty, to 2004’s To The 5 Boroughs and 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
In enough words, Beastie Boys Book covers a lot of ground. With special guest chapters from original member Kate Schellenbach and a chapter from Saturday Night Live alumni Amy Poehler, and many others, it is filled with funny anecdotes, a funny part from their most recent DJ Mix Master Mike, wonderful imagery, and yes, even a cookbook! After completing the book, which to true fans will take only a few days, one thing that becomes apparent is just how much the remaining members truly miss their partner in crime, Adam Yauch. Yauch, a founding member, and repeatedly stated as the driving force of the band, unfortunately passed away at age 47 from Parotid Salivary Gland cancer in 2012, sadly ending the band’s timeline. With some very personal insight and some touching stories about their friend and bandmate, the remaining Beastie Boys have written an amazing and touching book about their life and careers.
When it is all said and done, Beastie Boys Book is a must have for fans of the band or just those of music in general. A wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah gift, it captures the evolution of a group of guys, who went from just being friends hanging out, to becoming the one and only Beastie Boys! For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Beastie Boys Book 5 out of 5 stars.