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Beastie Boys Book

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  6,371 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews
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, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.

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,
Hardcover, 590 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Spiegel & Grau
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Holly I found a list of celebs involved, but not by chapter.
Steve Buscemi
Tim Meadows
Ada Calhoun
Bette Midler
Bobby Cannavale
Mix Master Mike
Exene Cervenka
I found a list of celebs involved, but not by chapter.
Steve Buscemi
Tim Meadows
Ada Calhoun
Bette Midler
Bobby Cannavale
Mix Master Mike
Exene Cervenka
Roy Choi
Yoshimi O
Jarvis Cocker
Rosie Perez
Elvis Costello
Amy Poehler
Chuck D
Kelly Reichardt
Nadia Dajani
John C. Reilly
Snoop Dogg
Ian Rogers
Will Ferrell
Maya Rudolph
Crosby Fitzgerald
Rev Run
Randy Gardner
Luc Sante
Kim Gordon
Kate Schellenbach
Josh Hamilton
MC Serch
LL Cool J
Chloë Sevigny
Spike Jonze
Jon Stewart
Pat Kiernan
Ben Stiller
Talib Kweli
Wanda Sykes
Dave Macklovitch
Jeff Tweedy
Rachel Maddow
Philippe Zdar
Michael Diamond
Adam Horovitz(less)

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Average rating 4.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,371 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews

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Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, music
I wish MCA could have contributed. The whole book is a tribute to him. It’s as perfect as it can be without him.
Oh man, I loved this Beastie Boys history lesson! The audiobook is sooo pleasing to the ear. In addition to Diamond and Horovitz, there’s a full cast of narrators that will blow your damned mind. The essays and anecdotes are well-written, thoughtful, and often humorous. There are a few guest essayists as well. This collection takes the music memoir to a whole new level. On top of that, it’s a beautiful homage to Adam Yauch. This is one of my top reads of 2018!
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
I'm sure you're scratching your head about right now thinking, "WTAF is even happening with you, Cupcake????!!!!"

What had happened was...

Audible sent me an email that essentially said: THIS IS THE BEST FUCKING AUDIOBOOK OF 2018!!! BUY THIS SHIT NOW!!!!!!! (paraphrasing since I'm quite certain Bezos wouldn't sanction such language, though evidently, dick pics are ok?)

My reaction was...

I mean, I'm not going to perpetrate and say I've been a Beasties fan since always cuz that's a damn lie. I
Joseph Richardson
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just want to preface this by saying a couple of things. First of all, I don't really write reviews on here, as writing about music is more my forte. Secondly, Beastie Boys have been my favorite band since I was five or six years old, and Ill Communication was the third CD I owned as a kid. While my peers were listening to whatever was topping the charts in '97, I was listening to burned copies of Licensed To Ill, Paul's Boutique, and Check Your Head (thanks, Auntie). I didn't know why I liked ...more
Chris Bushman
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it

The Beastie Boys Book by Mike Diamond is a coffee table book full of pictures but it also contains quite a lot of thoughtfully written essays covering the life of the band in detail. This is a chance for the surviving members and close associates to tell their stories and they take full advantage. It really is very well done.

The perfect Christmas gift for the hard to buy for BBoy doin' the freak freak on your shopping list.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to get this hefty (500+ pages) book, and it did not disappoint. I enjoyed it so much I devoured it in a weekend. Who would like this book? A Beastie Boys fan. Yes. A child of the '80s. Yes. A music aficionado. Yes. A New York resident. Yes. Someone who loves New York. Yes. A punk rock hip hop fan? Yes. Basically, you can love the Beastie Boys or not even care about the Beastie Boys and you'll enjoy this book. I happen to be a fan and grew up watching their escapades on MTV, ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beastie Boys Book is wonderful. Just like the group, it's chaotic, kaleidoscopic and packed with humour.

The hard back edition is a surprisingly heavy coffee table type book packed with photos, essays, cartoons, recipes, trivia, mixtapes etc. The overall effect is a mesmerising panorama of memories, history and nostalgia.

Beastie Boys started as a teenage punk hardcore band in 1981 and, remarkably, in a couple of years, had metamorphosised into global hip hop superstars. This was just the start of
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’re like me and Amy Poehler (see book), Beastie Boys—or as I often miscall them, THE Beastie Boys—were a central component of your teen and 20s DNA.

I was lucky enough to become musically aware well AFTER License To Ill. So the first Beastie Boys album that dropped FOR ME, was Check Your Head. It’s 1992. I’m going to be a junior in high school. I’m one of those kids whose musical identity isn’t just about music and whose identity isn’t about much else.

The bands I love teach me what to
Tomas Ramanauskas
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, gold
For a casual listener this book might be worthless, but for any organism, even remotely resembling a fan of BEASTIE BOYS— there can’t be anything better. Not even close. Rarely do you downheartedly utter “I wish there was more” after finishing almost-600-page tome.

My heroes, Adam Horovitz & Mike Diamond are fantastic storytellers, wild & outstanding creatives, original pranksters with a sense of humor of proper stand-up comedian. So you not only get the inside scoop, but recipes, fashion
Michael Legge
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books
It’s a shame he dies in the end.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I laughed, I cried, I mourned MCA. I read this and listened to the audio version at the same time, which was a perfect way to experience the story.
Simon Sweetman
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book of the year for me. An emotional read, too. I realised, reading this, I grew up with this band - watched them grow up; they represent a lot to me - they have talent but aren't extraordinary, so it's believable, it always seemed achievable - they were flawed too. We heard them mature, musically, philosophically and spiritually across the albums. And the story was never able to be (correctly) finished. So there's a sadness there. Obviously. And you feel it through these pages and in these ...more
Dr. Detroit
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can stomach a few Beastie Boys songs - mostly for shits and giggles and after five or six bottles of suds. There's something about the blatant thievery (er, I mean sampling) of Zep in "She's Crafty" and the kiloton cretin teenage bop of "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" that still punches all of the neurons.

But damned if these guys don't know how to throw a bunch of stories, anecdotes, lists, and photos together, shake well, and spray it all over the
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have the physical and listened to the audiobook for the Beastie Boys book. You need to see the photos and hear the stories read both by Mike D and Ad-Rock as well as by a cast of unexpected others (Bette Midler... what?). This book includes a Ate-O-Ate cookbook in the middler of it, photo essay by Spike Jonze (a highlight of the audiobook) and so many stories, memories and diverse music references (punk, reggae, ska, rap, funk, etc.) That I want to make so many mix-tapes right now. As Spike ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, audio
Absolutely Phenomenal. The cast of thousands reading the audio book completely enhanced the experience. They created such joy.

But most of all, I appreciated the love shown to Yauch. The loss of a close friend & collaborator, that really resonated with me. Feeling lost and bereft in the wake of a loss of that magnitude. The Beasties somehow remained celebratory, even after that devastation. Their lives are a tribute to their friendship. Something I hope that I can emulate.
Jason Weber
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! The whole complete history of the Beastie Boys. An absolute must read for any Beastie Boys fan, or music fan. It’s a shame that this did not come out prior to Yauch’s passing, because it would have been great to read his perspective. It’s big, it’s heavy, but you can NOT put this book down! I could read 500 more pages! RIP MCA.
J Beckett
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four stars may be a bit of a stretch, but I, like so many others (whether admitted or not), was a Beastie Boy fan back in the day. Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D were a novelty; a group of punk rock white guys, raised in Manhattan, who created some of the dopest beats and craziest rhymes I had ever heard. Admittedly, I had no idea what in the hell they were talking about, but when they said it, I ingested it. To this day, "Hold It Now, Hit It," still makes me swivel in my seat and takes me back to NYC ...more
Scott Semegran
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This massive book of essays, musings, comics, photos, recipes, and more tells the story of Beastie Boys, by band members ADROCK and Mike D (MCA passed away from cancer in 2012), with contributions from Amy Poehler, Spike Jonze, Kate Schellenbach, just to name a few. This book does chronicle the shenanigans most casual readers may expect from the Beastie Boys, but being that this book is a gargantuan 600-page Beastie tome, I don't believe it was intended for a casual reader. It is for beloved ...more
Kelda Giavaras
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
If I could give this book 6 stars I would! As a special shout out to myself, as I was listening to this book, I was reading War and Peace by Tolstoy at the same time....well not at the SAME time, but you know what I mean. Isn't that so punk rock of me? I can't say enough, about what intelligent, animated storytellers both Michael Diamond and Adam Horvitz are. I'm not even a Beastie Boys fan, but I was completely immersed in their tale. Reading about the music scene in the late 80's and 90's was ...more
J.M. Hushour
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This photo sums up how great, incredible, and fun this book is. This is a picture of the Beastie Boys, Slayer, and Run-DMC. Yes, you read that right.
The Beastie Book was written by Adrock and Mike D and covers the gamut of their career, with a very welcome, intense focus on their early days in NYC when they were in various hardcore punk-rock bands. The late MCA is at the forefront, which is nice since he couldn't contribute for the obvious reasons and there is ever-present a nice warmth of the
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is magnificent, the platonic ideal of the music oral history genre. It's a love letter to friendship, to music (all of it), to New York City, to beat-up musical gear, to mixtapes, to exploration. It is, most of all, a love letter from two fellow travelers to the companion no longer by their side. Every page explodes with joy and creativity and life. It perfectly captures the feeling of being 16 years old and finding music that's strange and foreign but also completely familiar, a ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

I highly recommend doing the audiobook for this one. They use over a hundred guest narrators in addition to the group including everybody from Ben Stiller, Wanda Sykes, Snoop Dogg, Chuck D.......all the way to Bette Midler.

Their influences are so vast and varied. They made me want to go out and listen to bands I haven't heard in years ranging from Sly and Family Stone, Black Flag, Bad Brains, The Jam, The Cure........crazy to think they started out as a punk band.

Being they're only 6-8
chantel nouseforaname
YOOOOO!!!! This book is a masterpiece.

I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you listen to the audiobook and read the book at the same time. I read another review stating that that's what someone did and followed their advice and I don't regret it at all. It's took me forever, but it was completely worth it to get wrapped up into the world of the legendary Beastie Boys.

It's a beautiful book filled with a million gorgeous images from their youth. The audiobook is read by everyone, my favourite standouts are
Amar Pai
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the end of the book where they invite André Leon Talley to critique their various looks over the years, and he just shits on them nonstop
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal audio book...would've given it 5 stars had there been a pdf provided w/the audio book of the photos described/discussed in chapter 69.
The cast of narrators is impressive & is what makes the audio version such an impressive listening experience.
A must read/listen to for any fan of the Beastie Boys.
Trevor May
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For this book I went all in: listened to the Audible audiobook (read by Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond, alongside an insane number of fantastic narrators) while following along with the hardcover. Best audiobook ever.
Anne Earney
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much fun to read. I was 14 when License to Ill was released and more or less grew up with the Beastie Boys, so reading about their past reminded me of my own.

After reading the book-book, I saw the list of readers for the audio version and had to check that out, too. It was just as awesome, but in different ways.

If I could only one or the other, if take the book, so I could see the pictures, but if you loved the book, consider the audio book too.
Sean Courtney
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music-books, memoirs
This was one of the most-fun I've ever had reading a book. I read a ton of books about rock/pop/country artists and this ranks among my favorite. I've been a fan of the band since I was in elementary school, and now as a man in his early 40s, I realize that we basically grew up together. The book mostly-written by Adam Horovitz (Ad Rock) and Michael Diamond (Mike D) with contributions from all kinds of people who have been in and around the Beastie Boys camp over the years. If there was an ...more
Jim Byrne
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so god-damn good. But, boy, does it make you miss Adam Yauch, the lead mad scientist of the group. Rest in Power, MCA. This is a strong recommend to any fan of the Beasties, music in general, or grimy 1980s NYC shit. What I loved most about this is reading about the Beasties progression as humans (and musicians), and how they shook the frat boy label put on them (which they embraced at the time as they sky-rocketed to fame) with License to Ill. They became so much more than that, but I ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember who said it - maybe someone on Dave Chappelle's Block Party? - that every musician wants to be a comedian and every comedian wants to be a musician. This book is hella funny and gorgeous and moving and generous.
A 500+ page collage mixtape love letter to Yauch. DIY forever.
It took me all year to read it. Oh ****, over a year! What have I been doing with my life??
As the great comedian Amy Poehler says: "Musicians are magicians and will forever be."
And yes, that is a quote from
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