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Year: 1984 1983 | 1985

1984 is a year of changes. It is the year that Kate Schellenbach leaves the group, but continues to get together with Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch to play under the name The Young and the Useless (II). When not rehearsing at the 59 Chrystie flat, Adam Yauch spends his time in the studio working as an assistant to Shakedown Sound's Arthur Baker.


The Beastie Boys begin the year with a line up comprised of Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, and Kate Schellenbach and perform two songs on the Scott and Gary show. This New York Cable access performance revealed that Kate (age 18) was attending Hunter college. Michael Diamond (age 18) had attended Vassar University during the Fall 1983 semester, but was now taking a leave of absence. Adam Yauch, the band's oldest member (age 19), was at the time attending Bard College. As the youngest member of the band, Adam Horovitz (age 17) was still in high school and taking part in the "City as School" program.


A month later in Boston, MA the Beastie Boys perform at the Ratskeller Club with an additional member of the group...Rick Rubin. As DJ Double R, Rick Rubin provides the group with a much needed DJ so that they can now more easily perform their hit single Cooky Puss as well as their New York hard core material.

Before long Rick Rubin's role changes from mere DJ to visonary. He arranges for the Beastie Boys to leave behind previous management Nick Cooper and label (Ratcage Records) for new management (Russel Simmons) and label (Def Jam Records).

Spring 1984

Dave Parsons decides to close the Ratcage Records store, but continues to sell records at gigs especially the afternoon matinees at CBGBs in New York. After awhile, he begins to sell skateboards at CBGBs along with the records. It is during this period that Parsons was living as a guest in the home of Adam Horovitz and his mother Doris. One day along with John Berry, Dante Ross, and Hilary Snyder went down to the Brooklyn Bridge to skate the brick park ramp, which was followed by week’s stay in a New York hospital. After getting out of the hospital, Parsons rented a new place for himself on 11th Street. A place where he recalled Michael Diamond and Adam Yauch dropped by frequently. Parsons moves more and more into selling skateboards and opens a skate shop called the Secret Spot. It is at the Secret Spot where Michael Diamond told Dave Parsons that the Beastie Boys were going to a deal with Rick Rubin’s label Def Jam.

Spending more and more time hanging out at Rick Rubin's NYU dorm room, Adam Horovitz gets involved with Def Jam's first release "It's Yours" by supplying the track's beats. Although uncredited, Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond are said to have joined Horovitz in the studio to lend their help in recording the track's backup vocals.

July 4th, 1984

The Beastie Boys perform at the Def Jam - Street Wise record release party. The party was thrown at Danceteria to celebrate T La Rock and Jazzy Jay's "It's Yours" 12" single. This record was the first to feature the Def Jam name and logo and its jacket featured the record label's contact information: "S. University Place, New York, NY" the address for Rick Rubin's New York University dorm.

Intrigued by the "It's Yours" record that Rick Rubin put out under the record label name Def Jam, Russell Simmons meets with the young white producer and the two form a co-partnership "Def Jam Recordings". This partnership spawns many hip hop classics with the first being the LL Cool J's "I Need a Beat" 12" (DJ001). Along side of the names "Rick Rubin" and "James Todd Smith" (LL Cool J), Adam Horovitz is credited on the record. In addition to creating the track's fat beat, it is Adam Horovitz that receives credit for having "discovered" LL Cool J while digging through a box of demos tapes at Rubin's college dorm. Adam's beats and LL Cool J's vocals make the "I Need a Beat" 12" was a huge initial success for Def Jam Recordings and put the new label on the map in 1984.

By year's end, Kate Schellenbach exits from the Beastie Boys. Her departure leaves the behind the all male line up and sets the stage for what will ensure in 1985.


United States : 19


Cookie Puss : 3
1983 1985