Not My Job: We Quiz The Beastie Boys On Yeast
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
And now the game where we invite interesting people on to ask them questions about things they're just not interested in. If you talk to anybody who was growing up in the late '80s and early '90s and ask them what records they had to hide from their parents - because it was such a bad influence - chances are one of them would be by the Beastie Boys, three kids out of New York who became one of the first hip-hop supergroups. Please welcome Beastie Boys' Mike D and Ad-Rock. Mike and Adam, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ADAM HOROVITZ: Hi.
SAGAL: So you've got a book out, "The Beastie Boys (ph)," which is sort of a group autobiography, right?
HOROVITZ: It's called "Beastie Boys Book."
SAGAL: Oh, yes.
MICHAEL DIAMOND: Yeah, very inventively titled. Yeah.
SAGAL: One of - the book is amazing. I've been enjoying it all week. One of the things is it's not just a book. It's got photographs. It's got essays from people who are fans of yours, some of whom are amazing people. Did you - were you guys holding onto all the material, those photographs from the late '70s and early '80s? Did you know you'd need them someday?
DIAMOND: No. There are a couple nuggets that, somehow, surprisingly, we held onto. But we're not very good - I think archivist might be the word.
ADAM FELBER: Yeah.
HOROVITZ: That is the word.
SAGAL: That is...
SAGAL: One of the most amazing things to me about the early part of the book is, in fact, your parents because you all grew up in New York. And it seemed like your parents - and this was back in the '70s - would basically let you guys do whatever you wanted to do. Well, like, when you were like 14 or 15, your parents were like, yeah, go see this Black Flag concert. Go ahead, whatever you want. Just be back by morning.
HOROVITZ: There wasn't that much of a discussion.
SAGAL: Oh, really?
SAGAL: It was just - you just left?
HOROVITZ: Yeah, pretty much.
HOROVITZ: It's just a different type of parenting, you know?
HOROVITZ: Different parenting decisions, techniques...
DIAMOND: Yeah. I do not - my mom wanted to know the details. Like, there was a Black Flag show versus, like, a Bad Brains show versus a Treacherous Three. I don't think she wanted that kind of fine print.
SAGAL: Oh, really? She didn't know. And one of the other things that - I don't know how to put this. It seemed like you guys constantly had great strokes of luck. For example, you formed a punk band. The Beastie Boys were, originally, a hardcore band. And you did a song called "Cookie Puss," which people - they were like, oh, Cookie Puss. And British Airways stole it for a commercial and gave you lots of money, which is great for...
HOROVITZ: I - that had happened, yeah.
BILL KURTIS: And I'm like - does that strike you, like an amazing stroke of luck because, then, you had money to, like, you know, pay rent and buy that first drum machine?
HOROVITZ: Yeah, it was pretty awesome to go from zero to we got a bunch of money. It was pretty nice.
HOROVITZ: I've never had cash like that. I was at a friend's house. And I heard our song playing from the TV set and was like - it was one of those things that make you go hmm.
SAGAL: And then, like, I don't know how long after your first hip-hop track, you were opening for Madonna.
HOROVITZ: Crazy, right?
SAGAL: So you guys were like 19. You didn't even have your first album out, and you were opening for Madonna on her first national tour.
DIAMOND: Well, it was Madonna. And, also, she went from - all of a sudden, she's blowing up on MTV. And then, she becomes the Madonna that is, in terms of just public consciousness, like, the biggest pop star on the planet. She, like, shot up to the Prince-Michael Jackson level.
SAGAL: And you were, like, her opening act when this happened.
DIAMOND: Well, I don't even know opening act - like, act is the right word.
SAGAL: Well, what was it then?
DIAMOND: It was kind of like this assault on poor unsuspecting 12-year-old girls.
SAGAL: Well, that's - one of the things I read about is, like, you guys are on the way up. And you keep writing about in your book how you'd show up at this point, before "Licensed To Ill" came out, and people would hate you, which is kind of fun for you to write about. Was it fun to live?
HOROVITZ: Kind of. I mean, the Madonna tour thing was definitely funny that - you know, children were crying watching us...
HOROVITZ: ...And it was interesting seeing how angry their parents were...
HOROVITZ: Just so...
SAGAL: I mean, this...
HOROVITZ: ...So angry.
SAGAL: Because this is like Madonna "Like A Virgin," and that's the whole scene that's happening. People came in to see that. And you three skinny kids come out and start rapping...
MAEVE HIGGINS: Three actual virgins.
SAGAL: I know.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: But why were the parents angry? I could...
HOROVITZ: Well, because we were [expletive].
SAGAL: One last question about the book. The book has got some amazing stories in it about things you did and things that you saw. Was there anything that was, like, too crazy for you to put in the book? You're like no, we can't tell people that story?
SAGAL: And would you be willing to share it with us? Because...
HOROVITZ: Probably not.
SAGAL: Well, Adam and Mike, we are delighted to talk to you. And we have invited you here, today, to play a game we're calling...
KURTIS: Beastie Boys, meet the Yeastie Boys.
SAGAL: You make beats, but what about people who make bread? That's what we were thinking. We're going to ask you three questions about the Yeastie Boys, bakers...
SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions, correctly - I know.
HIGGINS: The audience are leaving (laughter).
SAGAL: It's both dumb and on-brand. OK?
SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions, you will win a prize for one of our listeners. Who are Adam and Mike of The Beastie Boys playing for?
KURTIS: Rudi Riet of Washington, D.C.
SAGAL: All right. Here's your first question. And feel free to collaborate, argue, whatever you like. Bread is really important to the French, as I'm sure you know, so much so that the French government once did what - A, created an award called La Croix du Pate, or The Cross of Dough; B, passed a law preventing bakers from taking vacations; or C, they sentence certain violent criminals to eating only American bread?
DIAMOND: Well, Adam, I don't know what you're going to say. I'm going to say...
HOROVITZ: Could you please say the name of the medal please? La Croix du what?
SAGAL: La Croix du...
HOROVITZ: La Croix du Perr (ph)?
SAGAL: La Croix du Pate...
DIAMOND: Yeah, I'm going to say definitely A because I know...
SAGAL: You're going to go A?
HOROVITZ: Yeah. La Croix du Pate.
DIAMOND: Yeah. First off, it's definitely not B because vacations are essential to French people.
SAGAL: So you're going to go for the award, La Croix du Pate, The Cross of Dough?
SAGAL: It was actually B, the one about taking vacations...
SAGAL: Because the problem is French do love taking vacations. But, when the bakers take vacations, nobody else has any bread. So the...
DIAMOND: Oh, mon Dieu.
SAGAL: I know.
SAGAL: So the bakers were not allowed to take vacations. But, then, they modified the rules. So, now, the bakers of France can either take vacations in July or August. But, that way, there will always be some bakers around. They've...
HOROVITZ: Yeah. I really need a croissant.
SAGAL: You do. All right. Two more questions. Here we go. These days, most people are more excited about baking cakes than bread, making celebrities out of people like Buddy "the Cake Boss" Valastro. He once tried to get out of a DUI arrest by telling the arresting officer what? A, quote, "you see your way to letting me go, there's a sachertorte in it for you, sir. B, quote...
HOROVITZ: There's a what?
SAGAL: A sachertorte.
DIAMOND: The Viennese cake, Adam.
SAGAL: Yes. Thank you.
ROBERTS: That's why they're a good team.
SAGAL: That's why they're a good team.
FELBER: That's expecting a lot from an arresting officer.
SAGAL: I know.
SAGAL: B, quote, "he said, I'm sorry, officer, but do you know what happens if you let fondant overcook?" Or C, he said, quote, "you can't arrest me. I'm the Cake Boss."
HOROVITZ: Yeah, I'm going with C. Mike, how do you feel about that?
DIAMOND: Yeah. I'm with C. And, you know, I know I'm going a little lowest common denom (ph). But, sometimes, you've just got to go with it.
SAGAL: You're right. It was in fact C. Yeah, I'm the Cake Boss...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
DIAMOND: All right.
SAGAL: One last question about baking. Nothing is worse than when you're baking cookies at home, and you realize you don't have enough eggs. But not to worry. According to something called the Organic Authority, what makes a great egg substitute? Is it A, blood, B, sugar or C, sex magic?
FELBER: That's a good question.
HOROVITZ: I mean, I'm going to have to go with the sanitary B.
DIAMOND: Yeah, B. I mean, I'd like to say - yeah, B is...
SAGAL: Hold on. Mike, you're clearly a culinary expert. Do you really think that the protein of eggs would be sufficiently substituted for by the pure carbohydrates of table sugar?
DIAMOND: I do not.
SAGAL: All right.
DIAMOND: The idea of putting blood...
SAGAL: Well, remember, we're not saying you should do this. We're saying you can do this.
HOROVITZ: I feel like the blood would be thick enough to replace it.
SAGAL: Yeah, the audience likes blood.
HIGGINS: They're clapping.
DIAMOND: All signs are pointing to blood here.
FELBER: We're all but telling you it's blood.
HOROVITZ: That answer, so the dude from D.C. should be happy.
SAGAL: You're choosing A, blood?
SAGAL: Yes. You're right, of course.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Bill, how did Adam and Mike do on our quiz?
KURTIS: I'd call you a fan of the Beastie Boys, but you're a winner in our book. Two out of three.
SAGAL: Mike D and Ad-Rock are the Beastie Boys. Their new book, the "Beastie Boys Book" is out now. It is fantastic, great for fans or even if you're not. Mike and Adam, thank you so much for joining us.
HOROVITZ: Bye, everybody.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SO WHAT'CHA WANT")
HOROVITZ: (Rapping) Well, just plug me in just like I was Eddie Harris. You're eating crazy cheese like you would think I'm from Paris. You know I get fly...
SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill enters the dragon in the Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.
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