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The Young and the Useless
The Young and the Useless


The Young and the Useless (1)* was the band in which Adam Horovitz played in the early 1980s before he joined the Beastie Boys. The band line-up was Horovitz on guitar, Adam Trese on drums, Arthur Africano on bass, and Dave Scilken on vocals. The Young and the Useless were managed by Nick Cooper, who would line up shows for the band to play as well as to promote them.

The Young and the Useless played many shows in New York with bands such as Bad Brains, Ramones, PiL, Dead Kennedys, and the Necros. In December 1983, while still a member of The Young and the Useless, Horovitz joined the Beastie Boys when guitarist John Berry left the band. Following the unexpected success of Cooky Puss, Beastie Boys began playing more shows, which drew Horovitz' time away from the Young and the Useless. Sadly, by late 1984 the Young and the Useless had fallen apart as a band. On October 28th, 1984, they played their final gig at CBGB in New York.

Dave Parsons, who put out the Young and the Useless' only known recordings on his Ratcage Records label, fondly remembers the young punks as his favorite New York hardcore (or better called art-core) band. "They had the potential to be larger than the Beastie Boys," said Parsons. "I can recall people calling from California wanting to book the Young and Useless, and all of a sudden they didn't exist anymore. Just look at the cover of their Real Men Don't Floss EP. They would have been the biggest punk band from New York. They were way ahead of the pack. So young! Everybody wanted to see them. Dave Scilken had great ideas and was such a clever kid. He was way hip and had a different take on everything. Scilken had been hanging with us since the 171A days. He even had a fanzine, but I forget what it was called [Editor's note: it was called Blister]. I had never met or saw Adam Horovitz prior to Scilken bringing him into the store. Following the period after which Scilken gave me the Young and the Useless tape, Horovitz began coming into the [Ratcage Records] store. I remember that he would run down to the 2nd Avenue Deli to pick up the fries with gravy every morning."

Sadly, Dave Scilken died in 1991 from a drug overdose. The Beastie Boys' 1992 album Check Your Head is dedicated to him.

As for Arthur Africano and Adam Trese, they both went on to work in the entertainment business. Africano has worked as a cameraman on a number of well-known television shows and movies. He also helped film both the "Intergalactic" video for the Beasties Boys, as well as the "Buddy" BS2000 music video. His credits include TV shows Picket Fences and The Practice.

Adam Trese works as an actor. His acting credits include the films Laws of Gravity (1992) and 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), and TV shows Law & Order, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, and Rescue Me.

*See the Young and the Useless (2).

Tenzin Losel Yauch The Young & The Useless (2)