Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique

Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique by Dan LeRoy Read Free Book Online

Book: Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique by Dan LeRoy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan LeRoy
pretty serious.’ So Arsenio gives $100 to Mario. Then afterwards, Mike comes down and talks to Arsenio, and Arsenio says, ‘What about that hundred?’ And Mike goes, ‘What hundred?’” 14
    Carr boarded a plane for New York the next day, still amazed at how the Beastie Boys had made fools of so many of their music industry peers. Whether he and Capitol were next on the list was something he tried to put out of his mind.
    * * *
    The G-Spot has entered Beastie Boys lore as the house that allowed them to indulge their deepest, darkest blaxploitation fantasies. It is imagined as a mansion-slash-museum of perfectly preserved seventies chic, which the band and its associates would thoughtlessly trash in orgy after
Licensed to Ill
—inspired orgy.
    In fact, an argument can be made that the one-bedroom house on Torreyson Drive, owned by Alex and Marilyn Grasshoff, actually provided the Beastie Boys some much-needed stability at a time when
Paul’s Boutique
was threatening to get lost in a morass of recreational drug use and hotel bills. If nothing else, the $11,000 rent the band paid each month still beat the cost of three $200-a-night hotel rooms.“It never had occurred to us that you don’t have to live in a hotel,” admits Diamond with a laugh. “But I think we had all become more serious about thinking, ‘OK, we’ve gotta finish this record.’”
    The property offered a view of all the major movie studios and the Griffith Observatory, while the band’s neighbors would have included actress Sharon Stone; the old Errol Flynn estate (later owned by singer Justin Timberlake), was close by on Mullholland Drive. A less glitzy, but still important, benefit was the large gold “G” on the front of the house, making the location’s new nickname both perfect and inevitable.
    When they attempted to rent from the Grasshoffs, the Beasties’ reputation—for once—did not fully precede them. As Marilyn Grasshoff remembers it, “The agent didn’t tell us anything about the Beastie Boys. He said they were three young men who were writers.”
    The Grasshoffs would soon learn the rest of the story. “When I said, ‘The Beastie Boys are living in my home,’ people said, ‘Oh my gosh, you let them in your home?!’ Because they had made this movie where they trashed this house,” says Mrs. Grasshoff. Once again, “Fight for Your Right (To Party)”—via its video—had come back to haunt the band. “And of course, I don’t watch those kinds of movies, so it made me a little nervous. Maybe we made a mistake.”
    It was not as if the Grasshoffs were unworldly rubes. Alex Grasshoff was a producer and director who had helmed episodes of “The Rockford Files,” and “ChiPs,” as well as several films, including the Emmy-winning 1973 documentary
Journey to the Outer Limits
. His wife, better known under her stage name Madelyn Clark, owned a Los Angelesstudio, which A-list musicians would often rent for tour rehearsals.
    The couple, who traveled frequently, also had experience turning their home over to showbiz personalities. Actor Bill Murray had lived at the Grasshoffs’ in 1980 while playing gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson in the film
Where the Buffalo Roam
. (Thompson himself stayed in the guesthouse.) And even rocker Jon Bon Jovi had once been a tenant, pleasantly surprising Mrs. Grasshoff with his tidiness and good manners. “He was very good to the house,” she recalls.
    Speculation to the contrary, she would say the same of the Beasties. “What happened was, they were absolutely clean and neat,” she says, “and took care of the place very, very well.” 15
    Of course, the Grasshoffs were also not aware of the activities taking place in their absence. The foremost attraction happened to be Mrs. Grasshoff’s closet, which yielded, as Ricky Powell remembers, “Crazy, crazy seventies shit. Fur coats. Crazy pimp hats. Platforms. Lots and lots of velvet.” Mike Simpson, who also got a good look at the

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