When the Beastie Boys stopped by to deliver a keynote address at the Austin Convention Center Friday morning — a full week into the 2019 edition of SXSW — the group consisted of two surviving members: Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. Adam Yauch, their third partner in crime, died of cancer in 2012, and Horowitz and Diamond wrote 2018’s Beastie Boys Book in celebration of both his memory and what the group achieved during their years together.
The last time the Beastie Boys attended South By Southwest, it was in 2006, when the group was promoting their fan-sourced concert film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! A lot has changed in the last 13 years. Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam “Adrock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond will return to the stage in April for a trio of live events directed by Spike Jonze.
Beastie Boys Book is why Horovitz and Diamond were invited to give a SXSW keynote moderated by Nathan Brackett, the head of Amazon Music. Brackett has a long history with the group, living in the same neighborhood as Yauch did when they were children. This close connection allowed Brackett and the Beasties to engage in a lively, free-flowing talk, filled with dumb jokes and profound insights — a blend that was not only the Beasties’ signature on record, but helps distinguish their memoir, which is revealing in ways rock autobiographies often aren’t. Even if Beastie Boys Book offered revelations of the group’s inner workings, there was plenty of material left to explore, which is precisely what Diamond and Horovitz did with Brackett this Friday morning.
Diamond and Horovitz dropped the big news at the end of the keynote: The pair are giving a handful of speaking events in Philadelphia and New York City in April. These dates are inspired by their book tour, at the conclusion of which the duo wondered why they didn’t just film their appearances. That’s exactly what will happen next month: Spike Jonze will film the shows that will be released at a later date.
“Beastie Boys Show” will premiere on April 5th at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Two further stagings are scheduled for the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on April 8th and 9th. Tickets go on sale beginning tomorrow — Saturday, March 16th — at 10:00 a.m. EST via Ticketmaster.
Jonze famously directed Beastie Boys’ iconic video for “Sabotage.” They also collaborated on an unreleased feature film called We Can Do This based on the late Adam Yauch’s alter-ego Nathanial Hornblower.