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2003 The Year in Review

Beastie Boys News

This year was much like the previous in that the Beastie Boys were quite inactive. There were no new releases, save for "In A World Gone Mad" and "That's It." Only 5 performances were made this year by the band. The first three held special meaning for the group with Tibetan Freedom Concerts held in Japan and Taipei and a gig in memory of Jam Master Jay from Run DMC in Las Vegas. The Coachella Music Festival saw the band headline a two day event with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and with Radiohead at the Field Day Festival.

Despite the lull in official activity, the first half of the year was quite demanding for the Beastie collectors. A number of the 'Grand Royal Sleeve' bootlegs were released in a range of different colored sleeves. Advertised on some new-release sheets as re-issues and official Grand Royal products, these were definate bootlegs, and if the quality wasn't a tip-off, the fact that Grand Royal finished in 2001 should have convinced everyone. Generally, these 12"s gathered tracks from a number of different official singles from the past, but a few rarities were also present like "The Scenario" and "I'm Down".

Two new bootleg releases titled "Up Close & Personal (I and II)" brought us the most dubious covers ever seen on a Beasties record sleeve, and the contents were below average. Some of the most sought after Beastie related items were also made available for the general public by some entrepreneurial bootleger. "Beastie Show Breaks" and "Hello Nasty Instrumentals" gave the average consumer a chance to own copies of the DJ Show Vinyl used by Mix Master Mike. Numerous variations of the "DVD Remixes" bootleg were made available and came from a number of different countries (USA, England, Japan), and the self titled BS2000 album was also bootleged.

A bootleg compilation from Japan featured some previously available tracks, but the sleeve was interesting as it had a sticker on the front with a logo designed by the message board's very own Taco Zip (much to his surprise)."In A World Gone Mad" was the only official release by the band during the whole year. Besides being available for download from the official site, it only came out on vinyl and in Promo form and contained the Standard, Accapella and Instrumental mixes.

Online Beastie Boys News

Reflecting back on the last twelve months we must say that a fair amount has happened (even without the release of a new full length Beastie Boys album) within the Beastie Boys online community. Most noteworthy was the release of "In a World Gone Mad" through the official site. Although it perhaps was not exactly what some had been waiting years/months to hear, it was still exciting to hear something new from the Beastie Boys.

Even more promising was the other new song which fans have entitled "That’s It." Even though it was not officially released, live versions of the song quickly circulated among internet users (courtesy of Ari-Matti and his Trading Site). Perhaps the biggest surprise of the summer was the discovery of the lost "Rock This (Take Me Out)" track, which Adam Yauch had recorded with group Circuit II back in 1985.

The Official Website held an Audio Visual Contest led by Dan Trommer. The contest generated a fair amount of buzz within the community and without. Padua, Taco Zip, and e0e took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively and were each rewarded with a prize.

Sadly, Andrew Minton's beloved Beastie Boys A/V Centre bit the dust this year with his promotion to webmaster at the official site. He has assumed full duties of the site and we wish him well, despite that we're a little bit jealous. Assisting him is our friend tpk, who has let his website, the Beastie Pad lay fallow since March, leaving us one of the only Beastie Boys fansite that we know of.

In more positive online news, Jim Gaunt has not only resurrected the long dead $5 Extra Fanzine (which will release Issue 2 Vol. 2 this January), but also for a short time, the Intergalactic Planetary Beastie Site. We here at Beastiemania.com are anxious for the upcoming issue of $5 Extra and the return of the Intergalactic Planetary Beastie Site.

Speaking of websites, the aforementioned Dan Trommer has been busy with his Beastie Museum (now that he is free of his responsibilities at the Official Site), which we can only speculate on at this time. The community can look forward to browsing websites of yesteryear (including our very own 9thbeastie's old trading page). Look for it in the indefinite future.

Beastiemania.com News

Unfortunately this year we lost one of our closest friends and greatest supporters, Donna Parsons, to cancer. Parsons had helped us to gather history of the Beastie Boy’s from 1981-1984. With the additional help of Jeremy Shatan, Adam Trese, and Nick Cooper we have been able to continue to build upon the foundation that Parsons started. Thanks to these individuals we now know a great deal more about the precursors to the Beastie Boys.

Speaking of precursors to the Beasties Boys, Kate Schellenbach contributed to both the Young Aborigines and the early Beastie Boys, and it was decided that we would include more Luscious Jackson content within the realm of our site. We recently added a Luscious Jackson Discography with an initial 55x releases which we will continue to expand upon, thus helping us attain our goal of documenting most everything Beastie.

This year we interviewed a number of individuals, from Andy VanDette recalling his memories about working on Paul's Boutique, to Andrew Minton discussing his favourite pie. Daryl Jenifer talked about his time in the band Brooklyn with Adam Yauch, while remixers Egon, T.M.S 1 and DJ Design each gave us an insight into their diverse styles of music and dealings with the Beastie Boys.

Our Discography was on the receiving end of a great deal of vinyl love this year. In the course of twelve months we have (with the help of our great contributors) added more than fifty releases to our Discography. This has made Beastienut and AstroBBoy quite happy, especially since some hidden gems from Ecuador and Hong Kong were uncovered.

As part of the site's mission to try and give our readers a better understanding of where the Beasties are coming from, a new section was added this year entitled the Song Spotlight. For this we have listed Samples, References, Commentary and Track Versions for all the Beastie Boys, Country Mike and The Young and the Useless songs.

September was rough for us since had to go through the pain of changing Internet Service Providers for the site (one month after our birthday, nonetheless). Things nearly went bad for us when the current database was lost, leaving us in the lurch for a few days. Thankfully, that was resolved thanks to some Crocodile Dundee tactics from AstroBBoy.

We're very proud of the fact that we still have new updates once a week, especially since members of our team have real life commitments that have been quite hectic during 2003. From seeking higher education, to working more than forty hours a week, we've been busy and hope you enjoy our commitment to the site. We'll make a News Years Resolution to keep working and hope to encourage you to get involved if you haven't already done so. Whether you contribute to our site, or start your own, get busy and let's make 2004 the best year yet for the scene.


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