#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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s partly a chronicle of the Beasties’ long, wild ride and partly a love letter to the late Adam Yauch. But mostly, Beastie Boys Book is a forum for the surviving members, Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond, to tell their story in a hilarious, uncensored style that perfectly matches their in-your-face music. The book covers the trio’s early days as hardcore punks discovering rap on the Lower East Side in the 1980s, and details the inspiration behind alternative-radio classics like “Sabotage.” Mike D and Ad-Rock let pals, including Amy Poehler and National Book Award–winner Colson Whitehead, take the mic to offer their own takes on the group’s hip-hop legacy.
In this immensely enjoyable illustrated biography, Beastie Boys members Diamond and Horovitz share the band's history, from the release of its first album, Licensed to Ill,in 1986 to band member Adam Yauch's death from cancer in 2012. The book is a tribute to him and "the spirit that marked a lot of the adventures" he led the three of them on. Hilarious anecdotes include an episode, before the release of their first album, when record producer Russell Simmons encouraged them to rap onstage at the Danceteria night club in New York City (their performance was completely ignored) and an awkward conversation with Bob Dylan at a party for Dolly Parton in L.A. (he asked the band to join him in a "pro-smoking concert," then simply stared at them), as well as various details from the heady mayhem of their final world tours, when they were "together having fun, and it was all-consuming." Densely packed with photographs, set lists, and album track descriptions, the book also features such guest essayists as Amy Poehler (with a "Beastie Boys Video Review") and L.A. chef Roy Choi, who recalls first hearing the Beastie Boy's song "Paul Revere" as the moment when "part of my life changed." This entertaining look at Beastie Boys history is as innovative and raucous as the band's music.
Customer ReviewsSee All
B-Boys Makin' w/ the Book Book
its the best book that Adrock and Mike D ever wrote
i can't say enough good things about this book...so i won't. thank you, thank you, thank you.
Beast of a book
I just finished reading and feel like, what will I do now. This was my kind of adventure, having lived in those times and places and tracked a parallel life. The first person "voices" that this is written in are engaging, you sense the world, the smells, the music and their individual love of one another and respect that they have for music and random fashion. From young boys who found their voice to seasoned producers who never lost being young boys, it's a great piece of musicology. I suggest having you phone or computer close by as you read to listen to Adam and Mike's influence call out very specific artists and songs, which will blow your mind. It's a treasure trove and they did the work, miles and hours of record crate diving at your finger tips. Loved this book...