New Beastie Boys doc aims to capture the “spirit” and “friendship” of an iconic band

Beastie Boys Story is a documentary film adapted from a live stage performance, which was adapted from the 2018 Beastie Boys Book by Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond. Before any words were put on paper or any scene was shot, however, the two surviving Beasties were struck by an idea: if someone is going to tell the story of the Beastie Boys, it might as well be them.

“We had wanted to write a book or make a documentary a while ago documenting our band,” Ad-Rock said in a virtual roundtable discussing the doc. “So we figured we should tell our story if we’re gonna tell our story.”

Once the book was written, Horovitz and Diamond knew they didn’t want to go on a regular book tour, so they recruited longtime friend and collaborator Spike Jonze.

“We were basically faced with the idea of, ‘What are we supposed to do now?"” Diamond said. “‘Are we supposed to go out and do some book readings and feel kind of lame that we’re in a bookstore doing a book reading?’ So we, along with Spike, came up with this idea of doing more of a performance.”

The very end result of this process is the Jonze-directed Beastie Boys Story, which is out today on Apple TV+. While the film certain dives into the history of the band, Jonze wanted it to be about the Beasties on a personal level, verses a global one.

“We don’t have anyone else…talking about the band from a cultural perspective or their relevance or who they influenced or anything like that,” Jonze explained. “I wanted to really just capture the way they create and the spirit in which they’re a band and their friendship.” 

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