Note: These facts are from Wikipedia and my own words.

Back in the early 1980s, the Beastie Boys were a hardcore punk band consisting of Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch, John Berry, and Kate Schellenbach.  (Yes, even though they're called the Beastie Boys, there was a girl in the group.)  They have supported a lot of hardcore band at numerous venues in New York City.  In November of 1982, the band released their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, which became an early example of the genre, New York hardcore.

On November 13, 1982, the Beastie Boys played Philip Pucci's birthday for the purposes of his short concert film of the Beastie Boys, Philip Pucci's "Beastie"  Pucci held the concert in Bard College's Preston Drama Dance Department Theatre. This performance marked the Beastie Boys’ first on screen appearance in a published motion picture.

John Berry left the group and was replaced by close friend. Adam Horovitz, who was a guitarist of the band, The Young and the Useless.  With adding Horovitz to the group, Yauch and Diamond recorded their first single with him, which would also be their first hip hop track, Cooky Puss, based on a prank call by the group to Carvel Ice Cream in 1983.  Cooky Puss would become a big hit in New York underground dance and night clubs.

Beastie Boys

From left to right: Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, and Michael Diamond

Due to the success of "Cooky Puss" they began to incorporate rap into their sets. They decided to hire a DJ for their live shows and ended up getting an NYU student named Rick Rubin.  Soon thereafter, Rubin began producing records. He then formed Def Jam Recordings and approached the band about producing them for his new label. Around the same time, the band made a more complete switch over from a punk rock outfit to a three-man rap trio with drummer Kate Schellenbach leaving the group (later to join Luscious Jackson in 1991) and Diamond, Yauch and Horovitz each adopting their own hip hop monikers—Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) respectively.

The group recorded their second single, entitled Rock Hard, which contained a sample of AC/DC's "Back in Black", which was used without obtaining legal permission - thereby causing the record to be promptly withdrawn.  When the Beastie Boys planned to put the song in their 1999 complitation album, Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, AC/DC refused the sample to be put in the album.  Mike D personally spoke to the band's guitarist, Malcolm Young, on the phone when the band's lawyers refused to clear the sample, later saying that "AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, 'Nothing against you guys, but we just don't endorse sampling.'"  Ad-Rock then added "So we told them that we don't endorse people playing guitars."  I think Rock Hard a great song.  I'm listening to it as I am typing this.

In November of 1986, the band released their debut album, License to Ill, which released 7 singles, "Hold It Now, Hit It", "The New Style", "Paul Revere", "Brass Monkey", "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)", "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", and "Girls".  Kerry King of the band Slayer made an apperance on the album, playing the main riff and solo of "No Sleep Til Brooklyn", and appeared in the video, which is a parody of glam metal.  The name of the song was a spoof of Motorhead's album, No Sleep 'til Hammersmith'Licensed to Ill debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and #2 on US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums (Billboard).  The song "Fight for Your Right" is one of their best-known songs, and it debuted at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  The song, written by Adam Yauch and band friend Tom "Tommy Triphammer" Cushman (who appears in the video), was intended as a parody of party and attitude songs, such as Motley Crue's "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock".  However, the irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."

Their sixth single on Licensed to Ill was "No Sleep till Brooklyn".  The guitar riffs and the solo are played by Slayer guitarist, Kerry King.  The song interprets "T.N.T" by the rock band AC/DC (though tuned in a different way).  The video, directed by Ric Menello and Adam Dubin, is a parody of the music genre, glam metal.  When the band would perform the song live, they altered the lyrics to reflect their more mature attitude towards women.  The lyric, "M.C.A's in the back 'cause he's skeezin with a whore" would be changed to "M.C.A's in the back with the majong board", and "Autographed pictures and classy hos" is changed to "Autographed pictures to nobody knows".  The song features one of many homages to New York City's boroughs, and has been described as "joyful ranting". 

Kerry King

Slayer guitarist Kerry King in the "No Sleep till Brooklyn" music video.

B-Boys 80's

The Beasties in the mid-to-late 80's.


The Beastie Boys dressed as cops for the "Sabotage" music video.

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