In 1987, when the Beastie Boys first blew up off the strength of “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party),” a lot of things were considered funny that wouldn’t fly even a few short years later, let alone in 2018. It’s one of the reasons why Mike D and Ad-Rock refuse to perform their breakout hit to this day. Unfortunately, for them, according to their new memoir, Beastie Boys Book, they’ve saddled with an embarrassing reminder of those days ever since — and the bills to prove it.
While they dislike the frat-stoner, dumb-jock stereotype their first huge single represents, in ’87 they threw themselves into it with impressive aplomb, right down to the gigantic stage prop that towered over their tour: A 20-foot-tall, hydraulic penis that rose from the stage during their performance. Ad-Rock explains why they had such a prop constructed and the unexpected costs of keeping the thing on hand for decades after the tour wrapped:
“Seemed funny at the time … [But] you gotta really think before you say or do some dumb sh*t. Think about the people you care about most. Will they be embarrassed for you, and of you? Yes . . . And you’ll end up paying thirty years’ worth of storage locker fees in New Jersey for a 5-foot-by-5-foot dick in a box.”
Other anecdotes considered in the impressively in-depth memoir include hunting rats in Chinatown, firing their original drummer, and inspiring car theft with their music. Beastie Boys Book is out October 30 via Penguin Random House.