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Beastie Boys is an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. For the majority of its career, the group has consisted of three MCs and musicians Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar).
Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band in 1981 by Michael Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Adam Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, before recording their first EP Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop 12-inch "Cooky Puss", the group transitioned to hip hop in 1984 and released a string of successful 12-inch singles. The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill. The group sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide, making them, according to Billboard, "the biggest-selling rap group" since 1991.
With seven platinum or better albums from 1986–2004, the Beastie Boys were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide, and they continued to enjoy commercial and critical success more than 25 years after Licensed to Ill. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in 2011, and received positive reviews. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, "just the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. (2009) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007)." The following month, MCA died of cancer of the parotid salivary gland, which led to the speculation that the other members may decide to disband the group.Prior to forming the Beastie Boys, Michael Diamond was part of a number of bands such as the Walden Jazz Band, BAN and The Young Aborigines. The Beastie Boys formed in July 1981 when the Young Aborigines bassist Jeremy Shatan left New York City for the summer and the remaining members Michael Diamond, John Berry and Kate Schellenbach formed a new hardcore punk band with Adam Yauch called Beastie Boys. The band supported Bad Brains, the Dead Kennedys, the Misfits and Reagan Youth at venues such as CBGB, A7, Trudy Hellers Place and Max's Kansas City, playing at the latter venue on its closing night. In November 1982 the Beastie Boys recorded the 7" EP Polly Wog Stew at 171A studios, an early recorded example of New York hardcore.
On November 13, 1982, the Beastie Boys played Philip Pucci's birthday for the purposes of his short concert film of the Beastie Boys, Philip Pucci's "Beastie". Pucci held the concert in Bard College's Preston Drama Dance Department Theatre. This performance marked the Beastie Boys’ first on screen appearance in a published motion picture. Pucci's concept for “Beastie” was to distribute a mixture of both a half dozen 16mm Bell and Howell Filmo cameras, and 16mm Bolex cameras to audience members and ask that they capture the Beastie Boys performance from the audience’s own point of view while a master sync sound camera filmed from the balcony of the abandoned theater where the performance was held. The opening band for that performance was The Young and the Useless, which featured Adam Horovitz as their lead singer. A one minute clip of "Beastie" was subsequently excerpted and licensed by the Beastie Boys for use in the "Egg Raid on Mojo" segment of the "Skills to Pay the Bills" long form home video released by Capitol Records.
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