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Beastie Boys: Well, they really were nice middle class kids from New York, United States. But, in the early days, they always acted as repulsively as possible, as if to live up to the Beastly name.
They formed in 1979 as a punk act, The Young Aborigines. Two years later, they switched to the Beastie Boys at the suggestion of guitarist John Berry: this was 1981, as Adam Yauch joined. BB really had no other significance, with other interpretations coming later, according to members Michael Diamond (better known as Mike D) and Yauch (pronounced Yowk, also known as MCA: that's not "Master of Ceremonies Adam" but "Mic Controller Adam", according to the 1989 song Year And A Day).
King Ad-Rock, (AKA Adam Horovitz) joined the band slightly later but said in an interview that they could have been called The Beastly Boys.
They all rubbish the suggestion, often slavishly repeated on the Internet, that Berry initially intended "Beastie" to mean "Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence". He may very well have come up with this LATER, true.
The Boys were soon winning support slots for Washington punk band Bad Brains. It's also suggested their initials BB were intended to mimic the main act. The song, Beastie Boys, from 1982, was later included in a 1999 compilation, where Ad-Rock says the Bad Brains were their "heroes".
Their antisocial behaviour was celebrated on the B side of a 1983 single with a rant called Beastie Revolution.
As the Beasties became one of the longest-lived hip-hop acts, nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than 20 years after their debut, the "Boys" became more than faintly ridiculous. The Beastie Men (Beastly Men?) somehow doesn't work, any more than The Beach Men. Inspired The Sneaker Pimps.
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