The brothers three, AKA the Beastie Boys, followed up their 1989 (critically hailed, and historically beloved) flop, Paul’s Boutique by moving from NYC to northeast Los Angeles where they would record their instrumentally diverse, and genre-shredding third album, Check Your Head. Gratitude, one of the albums’ five singles, features the crew goofin’ under the Atwater Village sign, which has now become an immediate nerd-tour destination spot for yours truly.
Two quick things and then I’ll be out of your hair. 1) Having been introduced to the b-boys back in Wisconsin, I had no Earthly idea to think of visiting the Atwater Village sign once I finally got my ass to LA. On a side note, I currently live only 13 from it, a stark contrast from the 2008 miles from where I first heard this song. 2) Gratitude is an essential buy if only for the unreleased joker, Honky Rink. I won’t go into details, but it involves a facetious announcement for white-only skaters at a local ice rink. Check your head, and this out.
Do you own Aglio E Olio (pronounced ahl-yo ay ohl-yo) by the Beastie Boys on wax? If you don’t, discontinue reading and go here. If you do, have you ever noticed the subtle misconception with the record? It’s not a wrong impression so much as a blatant deception. Allow me to briefly explain.
Here is the record, right? Nothing out of the ordinary, at least at first glance. It plays, doesn’t skip, everyone is happy. With me? Ok, good. So, for years I thought this was an ordinary record. I’d purchased it new, kept good care of it, saw that it wasn’t colored, only the basic black, would play it from time to time, and that was it. It wasn’t until about 10 or so years later that I discovered (thanks to Beastiemania.com) that the record wasn’t black, but instead an excellently executed bit of trickery by the band.
If you hold the “black” record up to the light, you’ll discover that it’s actually very dark translucent brown, made to look black. Needless to say, this blew my feeble mind upon immediate discovery.
I’m 99.9% sure every Aglio E Olio record is translucent brown, so if you own this album, and you haven’t heard of this before, check it out. While you’re at it, Check Your Head.