HOW BEASTIE BOYS EVOLVED

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - INTERVIEW BEASTIEBOY­S -

As far as the band were con­cerned, their im­age circa Li­censed to Ill was a mas­sive joke about frat­boy boor­ish­ness, with stage shows fea­tur­ing girls danc­ing in cages and, in­fa­mously, a gi­ant hy­draulic pe­nis. But as Horovitz says in the book, “we got so caught up in mak­ing fun of that rock-star per­sona that we be­came that per­sona.”

Grad­u­ally, how­ever, they be­came deeply un­com­fort­able with that im­age, and started to speak out about sex­ism - in 1994’s Sure Shot, MCA rapped “I want to say a lit­tle some­thing that’s long over­due/The dis­re­spect of women has got to be through.” But per­haps their most pointed cri­tique of misog­yny took place at the MTV Awards in 1999, when, while ac­cept­ing an award, they spoke out about the sex­ual as­saults that had re­cently taken place at the Wood­stock ‘99 fes­ti­val.

“It had just hap­pened and we were live on MTV so we fig­ured we should say some­thing,” says Horovitz. “And all the bands who had played that thing were go­ing to be there and were watch­ing, so, I fig­ured I should say some­thing.”

“And I think also for us, at that point it was weird go­ing to these awards things,” says Di­a­mond. “We love mak­ing mu­sic and we love playing mu­sic but this is not re­ally what we’re do­ing it for. So we were like, ‘how do we ac­tu­ally make this use­ful in some way? How can we be of ser­vice?’

“[IT]did not play well in the room, I’ll tell you that much,” says Horovitz.

“It was like, ‘re­ally? Why are you do­ing that here?’” says Di­a­mond. “It wasn’t un­til af­ter­wards that peo­ple were say­ing ‘thank you so much, that meant some­thing to me.’”

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