The Day The Beastie Boys Made History
Back in 1979, future Beastie Boys Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond, along with friends John Berry and Kate Schellenbach, decided to start a band in their hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It was Berry, the band's original guitarist, who suggested the name "Beastie Boys," which was inspired by a phrase he'd read in the book, The Fog, which was the novelization of John Carpenter's famous 1980 film of the same name. With Yauch on bass, Schellenbach on drums, Berry on guitar and Diamond handling the vocals, the Beastie Boys made their live debut at Berry's house during a party celebrating Yauch's 17th birthday.
In 1982, the Beastie Boys were filmed by Philip Pucci playing a gig at the Preston Drama Dance Department Theater at Bard College. That night's opening act was a band called The Young and the Useless, featuring future Beastie, guitarist Adam Horovitz. A one-minute clip from the resulting short concert film, titled Beastie, was included on the Capitol Records home video Skills to Pay the Bills, which eventually sold more than 500,000 units and earned a gold sales award from the Recording Industry Association of America.
This exposure helped the Beasties land opening slots for more established bands, including Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys and Reagan Youth, at happening venues around New York City, including CBGBs and Max's Kansas City. Later in '82, the Beasties went into the 171A studios to record their 7" EP titled Pollywog Stew, followed by Berry leaving the band and being replaced by Horovitz (Berry went on to form the bands Thwig, Big Fat Love and Bourbon Deluxe.) more on this story
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