Beastie Boys Share How Paul’s Boutique Might Have Gotten a Record Company Exec Fired (Video)
Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond recently sat down with New Zealand radio personality Zane Lowe for an intimate conversation about Beastie Boys history in celebration of the 26th anniversary of their album Paul’s Boutique, and even more poignantly, the conversation took place on August 5, which would have been the 51st birthday of Adam “MCA” Yauch, the third Beastie Boys member who passed away in 2012. Now, the video of that Beats 1 Radio interview is available, and it captures the energies of Horovitz and Diamond as they revisit some of their career’s most landmark achievements.
For 15 minutes, the three men chat about a host of topics including the Beastie Boys’ move to Los Angeles to their new home at Capitol Records, a transition that wasn’t always smooth. In discussing their move from Def Jam to Capitol, Mike D says “for us, like, we were lucky to have all the success of Licensed to Ill…we found ourselves in the position of being expected to be this one thing and being kinda strangled by it…we weren’t really about that, about repeating ourselves…and Def Jam wasn’t really feeling that.”
Beastie Boys fans are well aware that the release of Paul’s Boutique signaled a creative change in the formulation of the group’s sound, and as Ad-Rock explains, the album was initially met with tepid approval, at best. “When the record came out, it was crickets,” he says. “I went to Tower Records and they didn’t even have it.” He goes on to share some backstory, mentioning “the president of the label who had signed us got fired, like, for giving us a lot of money.” Mike D echoes that sentiment, somewhat; “people don’t really point their finger at us, but they do,” he argues.
The conversation also includes anecdotes about the Beastie Boys’ music videos, their infamous Paul’s Boutique flag atop the iconic Capitol Records building, and MCA’s creative genius, and even One Direction. Watch the entire interview here.