Questions and Answers:
The legend of Grand Royal is as multi-faceted
as the Beastie Boys themselves. It began with the birth of the record
label, branched into the phenomenal magazine, and concluded with an
internet website. Although the concept of a band-owned record label
was nothing new, people seemed to realize right away that there was something special about Grand Royal.
The Beatles, with their Apple Records Co., had been one of the first
groups interested in signing talented acts that had been passed over
by other record companies. Taking a similar approach, the Beastie Boys
stated in 1992 interviews that they would see to it that each and every
unsolicited demo tape sent to the Grand Royal post office box would
get listened to. A decade later, we are still just beginning to understand
and appreciate everything that went into Grand Royal's rise and unfortunate
fall. When the announcement was posted on GrandRoyal.com's website in
the fall of 2001, loyal fans around the world mourned the loss of their
favorite upstart. To legions of fans, Grand Royal was much more than
a company; it was a way of life.
Although the Beastie Boys 1992 release Check Your Head was the first albumto display the now famous Grand Royal label, Luscious Jackson's 1992-93 release In Search of Manny was the label's first release. In the June 1997issue of Select Magazine, Mike D retold how things came together under the Grand Royal banner: "We used to sit for hours coming up with these ideas. But, we never did anything about it. Then Jill Cunniff kept asking if we knew anyone who might put the (Luscious Jackson) demo out and suddenly we thought, 'why don't we do it?' The fact that we actually did something was miraculous." Luscious Jackson was the first group signed to the label and would later score commercial success and earn a gold record sales award.