Beastie Boys memoir in the works: No sleep till deadline?

The Beastie Boys in 2003, from left: Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Rumors that the Beastie Boys would soon be penning a memoir were confirmed on Monday by the book’s U.K. publisher, Faber & Faber: “Yes, it is true,” the imprint’s blog said. The book will be released in the U.S. by Spiegel & Grau, and is planned for fall 2015.

The book, by surviving Beasties Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) will rely on oral storytelling as its primary narrative technique. The third member of the group, Adam Yaunch (MCA), succumbed to cancer last year.


Interviews with and contributions from a wide variety of friends, writers, musicians and other cultural figures will explore the band’s beginnings as a high school hard-core group in New York in 1981, its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and its enduring legacy. The book will include a large number of images, many of which have never before been published. Hip-hop journalist Sacha Jenkins will edit.

According to the publisher, the design is inspired by the cult Beastie Boys fan magazine Grand Royal -- a short-lived guide to the things the Beasties thought were cool, like kung-fu, demolition derby and the Dalai Lama, among others.

With its collage of voices, irreverence and rejection of standard narrative, the Beastie Boys memoir sounds like an accurate reflection of the group’s musical aesthetic and ‘90s-era cool--the spirit of Generation X. It would seem also to be in the vein of arty hip-hop histories like Jay-Z’s recent “Decoded” (likewise published by Spiegel & Grau), and follows on the heels of several more straight-forward musician memoirs from the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend.



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