Beastie Boys Book
#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, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.
The inspiration for the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ “live documentary” Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze
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.”
"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
"Horovitz and Diamond share sincere moments of reflection about their music, their friendship and the guy who taught them to fix radiators, to care about human rights, to own up to mistakes and to grow up."-NPR, Morning Edition
"Teeming with tour anecdotes, personal letters, playlists, comics and photographs-[Beastie Boys Book] unspools the crew's thirty-year run in the music industry and is appropriately massive."-Los Angeles Times
"Diamond and Horovitz alternate as narrators, and their prose is as infectious as their music. Other contributors chime in with their own idiosyncratic takes. Roy Choi offers a mini cookbook of Beastie-themed dishes. Amy Poehler delves into the videography of the group. Luc Sante takes the reader on a musical tour of New York City streets in the early 1980s. The result is a book Beastie Boys fans will clamor for and a must-read for music enthusiasts."-Booklist (starred review)
"This entertaining look at Beastie Boys history is as innovative and raucous as the band's music."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Beastie Boys fans will devour this book, as will anyone interested in the early days of hip-hop, the art/music/street life of New York City in the 1980s, and the alternative-nation zeitgeist of the '90s."-Kirkus Reviews
Beastie Boys is a trio consisting of Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "ADROCK" Horovitz, and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch (1964-2012), formed in 1981 as part of New York's hardcore punk underground. The group's first full-length album, Licensed to Ill, was the first rap album to reach #1. With seven multi-platinum albums from 1986 to 2011, including Licensed to Ill, Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty, To the 5 Boroughs, and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Beastie Boys are one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, received the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1998, and have won three Grammy Awards.