Steve Martin on Working with the Beastie Boys

Topic: Steve Martin on working with the Beastie Boys

Steve Martin: It’s been a long and complicated relationship- - I first knew those guys sort of in passing from the hardcore scene, ‘cause they started out as a hardcore band. I think I saw, if not their first show- no, the first show was Adam Yauch’s birthday party- I didn’t know them back then- but some of their very first shows- Danceteria, at A-7, Adam Horovitz’s band before he was in the band, The Young and the Useless- I saw them when they played at CBGB- so I just knew them from around, and when I was writing, I sorta got back in touch with them when Check Your Head was first coming out, and did some articles on them and after that, they were asking me, you know, “oh, what are you doing lately?” Still playing music, whatever, and it just sort of went from there. It wasn’t like- their manager, who was a really good friend of mine now and we have like seven clients in common, didn’t really come into the mix until later. Mike just sort of called me and said, “Hey, is this still your number?” ‘Cause not that many people had cell phones back then- - it was like ’92, ’93- he was like, “yeah, we should talk because, you know, this company’s going out of business. We’re not gonna go in-house with Capital- we’re going to start our own label called Grand Royal, and do you remember Jill and Gaby and Kate, and Luscious Jackson- we’re gonna put out their record”- it was just sort of like all these people- again, just sort of knew each other. And I think that’s something that’s a little- that ties into the first question you had that’s sort of missing from the current kind of scene. Everybody nowadays seems more like crabs in a barrel, you know- I mean, I think the idea of like a “scene” is kind of a myth, because ultimately, every artist is in it for themselves, you know- they’re not gonna- to a limited extent, they might look out for somebody else- like, Beastie Boys would take Sonic Youth on tour, or something like that, you know. Or when I was in Agnostic Front, we would take other aspiring young bands that we liked on tour and stuff, but- yet, nowadays, I don’t know. There’s the fact that I don’t see that kind of camaraderie, really, and I also don’t think that- I also think a lot of it is manufactured. I think a lot of people sort of are less inspired by seeing like old Bob Gruen or Ross Halfin photos of like people in classic bands, hanging out together. And they’re more thinking about like being sort of like the Indie rock version of “The Hills” or something- like being famous for fifteen minutes, you know?

Steve Martin’s relationship with them goes back to Adam Horowitz’s first band.

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