I was in college when the Beastie Boys released Licensed to Ill, and I can say with great confidence that I absolutely hated “Fight for Your Right.” As a result, I hated the Beastie Boys—and I wanted them to disappear.
I was still in college not quite three years later when follow-up album Paul’s Boutique was released. I realized that “Fight for Your Right” was a joke I hadn’t previously gotten—and that these nuts were actually supremely talented. Every release from Paul’s Boutique on floored me.
Losing Adam Yauch (MCA) in 2012 was a blow as brutal as losing Cobain or Lennon. This guy wasn’t just a talented musician; he was a great man.
Spike Jonze’s new documentary took me by surprise in that it is a taped show performed by remaining Beasties Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Michael Diamond (Mike D), with much love going out to Yauch. It was beyond admirable that Horovitz and Mike D chose not to go on after Yauch passed away, and it’s beyond great to see these guys on stage reminiscing about their glory days and their awesome friend.
Yauch is a big presence in the film, which features Horovitz and Mike D running around a stage, reading cue cards (sometimes clumsily) and goofing with Jonze. If you miss the Beasties, this is a nice salve on that wound.
Beastie Boys Story is now streaming on Apple TV+.