The Making of (You Gotta) Fight for
Your Right (to Party!)
Beastiemania.com was curious about what
went into the creation of the "(You Gotta) Fight for Your
Right to Party" music video. Never before has the story been
told, so we are delighted to be a part of this first.
In the words of Adam
Dubin, who along with Ric Menello, directed both the "No
Sleep Till Brooklyn" music video as well as the "(You
Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)":
"Fight for your Right"
came about this way
Rubin was a year ahead of me at school (New York University).
While he was working on the Licensed to Ill recording
during the spring of 1986, I was finishing my senior thesis
film at NYU. I wrote, produced, and directed a film entitled
My Pal Satan. Rick liked it and provided me with
some Slayer music as well as some Beastie Boys music
for the film's soundtrack.
In the fall of 1986 I was working
with Rick Rubin, who was busy directing Tougher Than
Leather. The single for "Fight for Your Right"
was going crazy on the radio in New York as well as in other
markets by November of 1986. I have no doubt that if he
had been free, Rubin would have directed the video. He was
too bogged down finishing the Run
DMC film though and MTV was screaming for the video.
Therefore he called Ric Menello in to direct the video.
Menello, who is just an incredible film historian, had gone
to NYU film school about ten years before Rick and I had
When we first met him, Menello was working
the front desk at Weinstein dorm from midnight to 8am. Menello
had studied film history at NYU film school in the 70's. On many
a night while eating food from Cozy Soup and Burg on Broadway,
Rick Rubin, the Beastie Boys and I would sit with Menello and
get a first class film history lesson. So when it came time to
direct the video, the Beastie Boys wanted Menello to do it. The
problem was that Menello didn't know how to produce a video and
Rick Rubin wasn't putting up a lot of money to do it. That is
where I, Adam Dubin, entered. They all knew me, my film My
Pal Satan, and they knew that I could pull it off for very
little money. So the next thing that I knew, I was producing and
co-directing the video. The next challenge was that Rick Rubin
dictated that we had to pull it off the very next weekend, which
was Thanksgiving weekend, or else no video.
I started doing everything that I
could in order to pull together the video shoot. It is tough
getting crew people on a holiday weekend, because most people
were traveling so that they could be with family. The concept
for the video came from us just batting around ideas between
the Beasties, Menello and myself. It just sort of came up
that there would be a party that the Beastie Boys would
invade. Menello and I definitely came up with the pie fight
in the end, because we are such silent movie fans. We modeled
the video after the party scene in the great movie Breakfast
at Tiffany's. We just threw in every gag in the book.
Rick Rubin gave us $20,000, which
was not much for a two day shoot. In order to get it done,
we had to beg, borrow, and steal everything that we could.
We used Sunny Bak's studio,
because she was a friend of the Beastie Boys. All of the
people in the video were friends of the band. The television
set that Adam Yauch smashes
with a sledgehammer is my family's old TV. I remember that
when shooting the smashing of the TV, Adam
Horovitz, Mike D,
and I all hid behind Menello, so that the shattering glass
didn't hit us.
Ric Menello's folks are the parents you
see in the beginning and then again at end of the video. Ric had
to hit his own mother in the face with the pie at the end. The
pie fight was fun because everyone just went nuts and threw pies
at everyone else. However it was over far too quickly and we just
didn't have enough footage of it. This is why we had to reuse
the footage over and over. The Beasties all wanted to be the ones
to throw the pie in Rick Rubin's face on camera. Everybody pulled
together, pitched in, and it all worked out. I can still remember
cutting the back of the guitar, so that it would explode when
they smashed it. But it was Ric Menello's idea for that great
shot that everyone remembers...where the Beasties are on the couch
singing the first chorus.
The "No Sleep 'till Brooklyn"
video was sort of the same thing, but we had more money
because of the success of first video."No Sleep 'till
Brooklyn" was shot in January of 1987. The concept
was that the video would be a series of gags set in the
world of Heavy Metal. Ric Menello played the club promoter
in the beginning of the video. I was in the gorilla suit
doing the guitar solo until Kerry
King from Slayer pushes me out of the way. Ric and I
felt great with the success of the two videos. It allowed
us to go on and do other videos. I moved on to work with
Metallica, which was incredible.
I think that the "Fight for
Your Right" video did the best thing that a video can
do....it gave an identity to the band. Who are the Beastie
Boys? This is the Beastie Boys. They are the kids that would
invade a boring house party, wreck the place, and leave
with the beer and the chicks. End of story. It was great
to see these guys who we had known as just guys around the
way, blow up to be huge stars around the world. It was hilarious.
I think that the reason the "Fight
for Your Right" music video holds up today and continues
to be on those top video lists is because it is a great song and
a fun video that captures the artists in the right way. I have
no idea why those videos were left off the Beastie Boys Video
Anthology DVD. I suspect that it is because of who owns the
copyrights. It is too bad, because I wish all the videos were
available on DVD set. The gags were good and it makes you laugh.
It was designed to be a classic comedy and it works that way.
It is like the Beastie Boys version of the Beatles' A
Hard Days Night.