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Catherine Lincoln

Catherine Lincoln



Many of us would like to have swapped places with Catherine Lincoln (she worked for Capitol Records from 1987 through 1993). For the second half of that time she was the person at Capitol Records who would deal directly with Beastie Boys when it came to issues regarding upcoming releases. "Most of my relationship with them consisted of me nagging Mike D, for finished mixes, artwork, artwork approvals and the like, for which they were always late." With the average time between new Beastie Boys releases increasing from three years to four, we can all sympathize with how frustrating it can be to wait for a finished product from the band.

"I was just starting at Capitol when Paul's Boutique was being recorded. I heard "Eggman" first, in an earlier form. Of course (at the time) we thought it was done when we heard it, but they tweaked it again, and again, and again." We can only imagine what it must have been like to be Catherine Lincoln working at Capitol Records when Paul's Boutique was released and then sold only a disappointing 500,000 units compared the mulit-platinum success of Licensed to Ill. It is only now that people are finally starting to give Paul's Boutique the recognition it deserved over ten years ago. "I was so disgusted with the way that record was worked, they totally forgot to market the record to the true fan base, their management at the time convinced The Beasties that until the label scored a major breakthrough at commercial radio, (this in the days when no rock station would play rap, and no rap station would play music by white folks, even though many rap artists had been stealing ideas off the first album for years) the band would not tour. The biggest mistake they made in their careers." The label ignored my begging for a budget to work the record to indie retail and the like. I don't think the boys even did any press that wasn't national or mainstream. After I became the product manager I tried to get some interest in "Looking down the barrel of a gun", but no one wanted to deal with a record that was over two years old."

If you collect Beastie Boys records, you are somewhat indebted to Lincoln for her push that got Check Your Head released on vinyl. "I am not sure that all the players would agree, but I remember being the driving force behind album and promo vinyl. I can't recall but one person that was encouraging the vinyl release. I also insisted we release a lot of promo play copies, even before Check Your Head was released, I was told at the end of the project that Check Your Head had more different radio and retail promotional releases than any other artist in the history of Capitol Records. That is a distinction I am very proud of.

Back in 1992, Catherine Lincoln found herself on tour with the Beastie Boys in Florida. It was there that she made the mistake of offering to buy Ricky Powell a drink. Following that incident, both band and Ricky Powell took every opportunity they could to joke about it with her. Ricky went so far as to mention Lincoln's innocent drink offer to concert audiences in Florida during his opening comedy routines. "St. Petersburg is where I offered Ricky a drink, and that is where the joke started. I think they wanted Ricky to believe I had a crush on him. The joke lasted only through the Florida dates of that tour, as far I know. I'm sure it was for my benefit only, and he dropped it when it didn't get any laughs except from the road crew." If you have seen the 1992 interview that Much Music did with the Beastie Boys, you may recall them joking about Ricky's relationship with Lincoln, when they were asked how things were between them and their new label.

Sean Lennon LL Cool J