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