Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Beastie Boys made the dictionary. Or did they?

One of the no-so-great rock’n’roll haircuts is the mullet. Business in the front, party in the back. But why do we call it a “mullet?”

Legend has it that the Beasties Boys invented this word. Way back in the 90s, the Beasties used to publish a magazine called Grand Royal. In an early issue, the term “mullet” was used to describe this particular haircut and from there, it was assumed that the Beasties were the inventor of this word.

Not so, says Adam Yauch. He had heard the word being used by snowboarders up in the Rockies of Utah. He simply brought the word back to New York and made it popular by inserting it into Beastie Boys’ vernacular.

They may not have invented the mullet, but they’re more responsible than anyone for getting the word into the Oxford English Dictionary.

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 38458 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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