Beastie Boys’ new memoir reveals embarrassing stories, including horrific original title of debut album
Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Mike “Mike D” Diamond are set to release their long-in-the-works memoir on October 30th. The behemoth Beastie Boys Book spans nearly 600 pages and seemingly leaves no stone unturned as it tells the history of one of hip-hop’s most influential outfits. Ahead of its release later this month, excerpts from the book have begun to trickle out.
To their credit, Ad-Rock and Mike D don’t shy away from even the most embarrassing lowlights of the band’s career. The New York Post has compiled some of those revelations, including the band’s decision to fire their first drummer Kate Schellenbach for being a girl; the truly awful original title to Licensed to Ill; and why they’re still spending money to store a giant hydraulic penis. “Unfortunately, when you’re a straight guy in your late teens/early twenties, you can easily fall into the stereotype’s own trappings,” Horovitz writes in the book. “[We] became what we hated.”
Beastie Boys fired their first drummer, Kate Schellenbach, for being a girl:
“We kicked Kate out of the band because she didn’t fit into our new tough-rapper-guy identity. Maybe Kate would’ve eventually quit the band because we were starting to act like a bunch of fuckin’ creeps, but it was just shitty the way it happened. And I am so sorry about it.”
Before settling on Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys’ first album had a truly awful working title:
“The original title to this record was ‘Don’t Be a Faggot.’ It was Rick Rubin’s idea. It was meant to be a joke about jock frat dudes but homophobia’s not funny and we are truly sorry.”
Beastie Boys are still paying to store a giant hydraulic penis from their early stage show:
“Seemed funny at the time … [But] you gotta really think before you say or do some dumb shit… Think about the people you care about most. Will they be embarrassed for you, and of you? Yes . . . And you’ll end up paying thirty years’ worth of storage locker fees in New Jersey for a 5-foot-by-5-foot dick in a box.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Ad-Rock and Mike D were asked whether there is a vault of unreleased material. “There is,” Horovitz answered. “Problem is, it’s not that good. We’ve got literally 50 hours of shitty stoner jams.”
In addition to the personal andecdotes from Ad-Rock and Mike D, Beastie Boys Book contains rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook from chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors including Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Amy Poehler, and more. You can grab your copy here.
To support its release, Ad-Rock and Mike D have announced a short book tour. “Beastie Boys Book: Live & Direct” will feature readings, as well as a Q&A session with Mike D, Ad-Rock, and a guest moderator, plus a live score by Mix Master Mike, a new Beastie Boys art exhibit, and a mixtape curated by Ad-Rock and Mike D. You can secure tickets here.