If you are any type of Beastie Head then “Pizza the Beastie Boys Book” by Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond (with a cast of thousands) has been on your radar for a while.
The book was released recently and features 500+ pages of stories, photos, illustrations, a comic and even a cook book. Like the Beastie’s music this book is a grab bag of all their influences and experiences mixed with their own reminisces and the memories of their famous and not so famous friends.
AdRock does the majority of the heavy lifting while Mike D. chimes in here or there with an anecdote or a comment. The format is all over the place just like the best of the Boys musical catalog but there are far more pages devoted to the early years and Def Jam tenure of the group than any other era. Being a Paul’s Boutique fanatic myself I have to admit to being a tad disappointed that there was not more material devoted to the making of that legendary album.
As would be expected the memory of Adam “MCA” Yauch looms large over the whole affair. Numerous tales are told that showcase how MCA was the true lifeblood of the band. The Beastie with the most restless soul, constantly challenging and shaping the group from its earlier incarnation as a hardcore band to its last gasps as Yauch battled the cancer that sadly took his life.
Do you have to be a Beastie obsessive to enjoy this book? It certainly helps but it’s definitely not required. At its core the Beastie Boys Book is a love letter to music and New York and the eclectic 80’s art and culture scene that inspired and shaped the group.
Bonus Hi-Top Top 10 Beastie Boys Videos
10. Sure Shot
It’s all about the swinging camera on this one.
This song and video were MASSIVE. The Beasties had stepped away for a bit after Ill Communication and this was their “We Are Back!” Statement. Intergalactic really set the tone for the second half of the Beasties career. There’s a clear delineation between “Young” and “Older” Beasties and Hello Nasty really makes the “adult” chapter.
A little seen gem of a video. The atmosphere is spectacular. The Pink Floyd sound system. The effortlessly cool clothes. This is the essence of the Check Your Head era Beasties.
is there really anything that hasn’t been said about this video. It’s great.
6. Body Movin’
The Nathaniel Hornblower pis-de-resistance.
5. Shake Your Rump
The genius of the Beastie Boys was seeing the world just a tad bit askew, just a little different from the normal person. Three cameras. All running simultaneously. Intercutting. Genius.
4. Root Down
A love letter to late 70s/early 80s New York.
The precursor (and better video) to So What Cha Want. Yes What Cha Want is iconic but it’s really just the Beasties in the woods. Shadrach on the other hand is truly inspired.
2. Hold It Now, Hit It
The only License to Ill era vid that shows the true Beasties. The other videos are all Rick Rubin productions. But Hit It is just pure Beastie tomfoolery.
1. Looking Down a Barrel of a Gun
You’ve probably never seen this video and that’s a damn shame. This is a master class in cool. Late 80s LA. There’s not one thing that happens in this video that doesn’t look like the greatest thing ever. The 3 man vocal booth is epic. Extreme sports back when they were badass and underground and not sponsored by Mountain Dew and called “extreme sports”. Mike D ripping bong hits in a fur hat. Ad Rock shredding on the guitar. MCA shredding on the mountain. What could be better? Nothing.