“Some things you remember more than others,” says Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, who, along with Michael “Mike D” Diamond, are the surviving members of seminal hip-hop trio Beastie Boys. It helps explain why it took them so long to assemble Beastie Boys Book, a newly published 571-page memoir about the group’s rise that features photos, lists, diagrams, illustrations and contributions from famous friends like Amy Poehler and Wes Anderson. The tome is sprawling, discursive and bittersweet, following third Beastie Adam “MCA” Yauch’s death from cancer in 2012. Diamond and Horovitz, both 52, discuss how the book stands as an affectionate, moving tribute to both MCA and their legacy.
What was the early driving force behind the book?
Diamond: The inception happened when [Yauch] was still alive, and we were working on a record at the time. He was really inspired by and loved The Who’s The Kids Are Alright film. He started moving the puck along on that, saying, “We should start doing something like this.”
What was the emotional state going through it?
Horovitz: The whole thing is abstract. There were days when everything was fun, there were days when everything was sad and reflective -- “can’t talk about this right now” kind of thing.