Music pioneers the Beastie Boys can now add New York Times Best Seller to the group’s long list of accomplishments. The 590-page memoir written by living members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz — simply titled Beastie Boys Book — has debuted in the highly-coveted No. 1 spots on both the Hardcover Nonfiction and Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction charts.
The hardcover tome, which was released on October 30, is described by publisher Spiegel & Grau as “a panoramic experience that tells the story” of the group’s “unlikely path to global hip-hop superstardom.” Not your typical autobiography, Beastie Boys Book contains rare photos; original illustrations; recipes; a graphic novel; mixtape playlists; contributions from the likes of Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Luc Sante; and other innovative concepts besides straight text.
“I could not stop reading the Beastie Boys Book,” said the Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Twitter.
“LOVED it. Love them. So many details, so many jokes, so well written.”
There is also an audio version of the book that is narrated by the two Beastie Boys and more than 40 celebrities, including Bette Midler, Steve Buscemi, Nas, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Tim Meadows, Bobby Cannavale, Rosie Perez, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Pat Kiernan, Wanda Sykes, and Rachel Maddow.
To hype it up, Horovitz and Diamond launched the Beastie Boys Book: Live & Direct event tour in late October, which features the two men reading passages from the book, conversing, and answering questions from the audience; special guests; a live score by Mix Master Mike; and a unique exhibit, reported Billboard. The tour already hit New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and will hit three different venues in London on November 29, November 30, and December 1.
The Beastie Boys — Diamond, Horovitz, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch — formed in New York City in 1981 and the trio’s debut album, 1986’s Licensed to Ill, became the very first hip-hop record to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The now-classic album contains hit singles such as “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!),” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Brass Monkey,” and “Girls.”
The group — also known for songs like “So What’cha Want,” “Sabotage,” and “Intergalactic” — was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, have won three Grammy Awards, and received MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1998.
In addition to releasing groundbreaking music over the last 30 years, the group also became well known for its social activism, including founding the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits.