Mike Carroll Talks About the Beastie Boys’ Influence on Skate Culture

The Beastie Boys recently released a book, which was followed by a capsule collection with Girl that features photos of the band shot by Spike Jonze. The Beastie Boys influence on and perpetuation of skate culture is undeniable. Anthony Pappalardo delves into topic in his latest piece for Highsnobiety in which he gets Mike Carroll’s insight on how Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA played into his matrix during that pivotal time when Plan B’s Questionable was released in 1992.

After a string of successful singles, the Beastie Boys made a meaningful connection while working on a promo video for “Time For Livin’.” Even though the under two-minute hardcore punk track wasn’t a proper single, it was edited and featured “out of focus” live footage shot by a young skate photographer, videographer, and writer “put on by Yauch,” named Spike Jonze, who they had previously met in 1991 while he worked at the short lived magazine Dirt. Jonze fused the black-and-white and color performance footage with raw skate footage taken from Plan B’s “Questionable” video. Heralded as a superteam, Questionable was the most innovative skate video released at the time and featured three Beasties tracks during pro Mike Carroll’s part.

“I got an advanced copy of the album from Lance Dawes at Slap Magazine,” Carroll told Highsnobiety when we discussed the video. “When it came time for the video we used the music from that advanced copy – I didn’t think anything of it, because the album wasn’t even out yet. So yeah, we didn’t get the rights and the album didn’t even come out for two weeks after Questionable. It’s pretty fucked up. [laughs] We were recently on a Lakai trip in Japan and Tony Hawk actually asked us if we got permission to use those Beasties tracks. Years ago he was snowboarding with MCA and Tony asked him if Plan B had gotten permission. MCA told him we didn’t but said it didn’t matter because he thought the video was ‘sick,’ well… he used some other words, but getting that sign off was all that mattered.”

“I’ve always tried to figure out how it all started [the retro craze],” Carroll says. “It was going on before Check Your Head but that album – the cover, the videos, especially ‘So What’cha Want,’ that whole style is where it started for me, really set it off. Stop dressing like a goofy boy and get back to normal. When I first started skating I had Puma Clydes, then I saw Cab [Steve Caballero] wearing them, then a few years later this was happening. I got a pair again at a place in SF called Famous Footwear, but when we traveled to England on a Plan B tour I must have bought 10 pairs of shoes because we couldn’t get those old shoes in the US. There was a store in SF called Kaplan’s that would sometimes have Campuses or Shelltoes, but I don’t think I ever even got any there. Later on Nick Tershay [Diamond Supply Co.] met Paul Shier [Pro skater and current team manager for adidas Skateboarding] and he’d start sending shoes to him, and for me too.”

Head over to Highsnobiety to read the entire piece.

Image Via Jacob Rosenberg