Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Beastie Boys get help from vodka and grapefruit juice

In the summer of 1986, The Beastie Boys were in the final stages of transitioning from being a punk band into something new. A few years later, they’d discovered hip-hop and were now deep into the scene. The Beasties had nailed a record deal with Def Jam Records and were looking for a few more songs to complete the album.

That summer, a few months before the album’s released, the guys were at the Palladium Club banging back a ton of vodka-and-grapefruit cocktails when the idea of writing a song parodying frat boy culture came up. Mike D recalls that “Fight For Your Right to Party” was written in about five minutes with all the lyrics jotted down on napkins.

The song turned out to a massive hit, but it also came very close to pigeonholing The Beastie Boys as a novelty act and the very type of frat boys they wanted to make fun of.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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