The Beastie Boys Put Down the Mic and Pick Up the Pen

The New York Times:

The story begins — or maybe ends — with three guys in their early 50s hanging out on a beautiful late summer afternoon, drinking iced coffee and talking about how much they love the Clash, and how weird it is that the celebrity-clogged hotel where they’re sitting is just up the block from where CBGB was way back when. Dad stuff. Two of the dads, though, are the surviving members of the Beastie Boys: Adam Horovitz, with upswept gray hair and a white T-shirt with a faint graffito on the front; and Michael Diamond, wearing a bright red button-up, his hair still dark, his face creased and tan from years living in Southern California. Ad-Rock and Mike D, in other words.

The third Beastie, Adam Yauch — MCA, the conscience, shaman and intellectual backbone of the group — died in 2012 after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer. His absence, six years later, is a palpable fact in the room. His name comes up a lot in the conversation, as it does in the new book Horovitz and Diamond have written. Called “Beastie Boys Book” (though the front cover might lead you to believe that the actual title is “PIZZA”), it’s a 571-page doorstop and a tombstone, a compendium of anecdotes, recipes, impish riffs and shaggy-dog stories and a heartfelt elegy to a much-missed friend.

HOROVITZ Well, it probably just goes back to loving the Clash. They had punk-rock songs, and reggae songs, and melodic songs, and they just followed what they wanted to make, right?

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Amen. I still listen to Paul’s Boutique and Ill Communication often…Check Your Head too. And all of The Clash LPs still get regular play, even after hundreds of thousands of spins, still sounds good.