True or false: the Beastie Boys got a big boost early in their career as the result of a lawsuit involving British Airways. The answer is “maybe.”
Back in the summer of 1983, the Beasties released one of their very first singles, something called “Cookie Puss.” It was a minor hit, selling a few copies around New York and getting some airplay mostly on college stations across the continent. But then they heard that British Airways used a sample from the song in one of their commercials.
No one had asked permission, so the Beasties sued. And they won. Legend is that the settlement was for $40,000–a good chunk of change for a band just starting out.
But did it really happen? Or was this just some elaborate story invented by the band? That, apparently, is still up for debate.