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Beastie Boys Book

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,041 ratings  ·  593 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, t
Hardcover, 590 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Spiegel & Grau
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4.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,041 ratings  ·  593 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 didn'
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.
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 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, atte ...more
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 wea
Michael Legge
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 voi ...more
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.
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 sa ...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 fan ...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
Lauri Ojanen
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Voin kuvitella, että ei-fanille kirja on melkoinen opus kahlattavaksi, koska rakenne ei luo narratiivia. Diamond ja Horowitz pikemminkin kertovat tarinoita uransa varrelta ja siellä sivussa on tehty levy jos toinenkin. Kuten aiemmin kirjoitin, niin heput ovat sen verran hyviä tarinankertojia, että rakenne toimii. Se myös antaa vapauden antaa puheenvuoron muillekin.
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.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just enormously entertaining. Ten stars!! The massive Beastie Boys Book is basically an oral history of the band--the music, the relationships, the dumb shit, the style, the creativity, the inspirations, the pother dumb shit, the processes, and the NYC streets and downtown clubs in the late '70s/early '80s from which it all emerged--by Adrock and Mike D. I mean, they write it, but in an extremely casual voice, and the whole thing is structured as stories and anecdotes and asides that serve to il ...more
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.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't need to finish this book to give it a 5 star rating. I've been waiting since 1991 for the epic 590 page Stromboli Pizza to land. Pixpixpixpixpixpixpixpixpixpix!!!!
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Super fun, sad, random and chock full of Beastie tales of yore. I loved every bit of this book, and devoured the paper book as well as the audio, which is read by a cast as varied as the Beasties themselves (Amy Poehler, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, John C. Reily, Maya Rudolph, Rosie Perez, etc.). If you have an interest in BBoys, run and get this!
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From start to finish, this book made me cry. This is something I wrote 12 years ago that has nothing to do with this book and how fucking great it is but has everything to do with how much a band can infect your entire life:This morning, I'm driving to work and the stunted horns that open "Brass Monkey" begin to play over the radio. I'm singing along when it hits me that this year is the 20-year anniversary of Licensed to Ill. 20 years...It was my 11th birthday party and I was having a huge, bac ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Now here's a little story I've got to tell/About three bad brothers you know so well." As my pal Andrew Horton put it here on Goodreads, "Beastie Boys Book" by Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, and a cast of collaborators, is "essentially one long, fat issue of 'Grand Royal,'" IE pretty much the best, most exuberant thing. I expected this to be a blast—funny, wry, madcap, loose—and it was all those, but also tender, thoughtful, open, curious, and genuinely epic. The Beastie Boys weren't just styl ...more
Jak Krumholtz
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach this book, do I get the massive hardcover full of pics, or listen to audio read by numerous famous folk?


After receiving the bound version for Christmas, (Thanks Frances & Zack!) I listened to bits followed by checking out the hardcover for context. Overall it’s a great love letter to NYC, having close friends and being curious. It also covered becoming the frat dudes they'd been making fun of and ditching Kate poorly. I also hadn’t realized how spe
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is only the 11th day of the new year and I’m pretty sure I’ve read my favorite book of 2019. Thanks to Michael Diamond/Mike D and Adam Horovitz/Ad-Rock (and some wonderful volunteers on Spotify) I have hours and hours of digital mixtapes of their favorite songs. Even though the book is almost 600 pages long I might have read it more quickly if I hadn’t played the music they referenced throughout. “Oh, they met Adam Yauch/MCA at a Bad Brains concert? I’ve gotta listen to some BB....” Or, “when ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, read-2018
Yo! That was a fun read. An impressive amount of work went into the makings of this book. Well done!
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 edito ...more
Nate Meadows
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Boys are surprisingly great writers (Adrock especially). Insanely entertaining and informative about a wide range of subjects besides the band itself. New York City, Punk Rock, Hip Hop, sampling...the list goes on and on. There is even a chapter about how to make a good mixtape and fix it if your player eats it.
Paddy Cole
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great biography and very entertaining in the audiobook form. Amazing narration from Steve Buschemi, John C Riley, Will Ferrell, Amy Pohler, LL Cool J and of course the beasties themselves.

It’s a very down to earth and engaging biography from their hardcore beginnings to their Hip Hop legacy.

Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readtop10, readlisten
One of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had reading a book. I knew it was going to be 5 stars within the first 5 pages of this journey. I was enthralled. Even casual fans of Beastie Boys (or music in general or even reading in general) will absolutely love it.
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“Things in life never come full circle. Maybe once or twice they’re hexagonal, but to me they’re almost always misshapen, as if drawn by a toddler in crayon.” 0 likes
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