Beastie Boys join antiwar movement

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 12 08:01:15 MST 2003

NY Times, Mar. 12, 2003
Antiwar Song, With Whimsy

"Now how many people must get killed?" begins the latest antiwar refrain
from the pop world. "For oil families' pockets to get filled?" The song
is "In a World Gone Mad," which was released yesterday with no advance
fanfare by the Beastie Boys. Though not commercially available as a
single, the song is available free at the Beastie Boys Web site
( and is being distributed to disc jockeys, who were
unaware of it until they began receiving copies yesterday.

"We were working on our record, and we realized that by the time we
finished a record that it might be a bit late to get out some of the
things we wanted to comment on," said Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys,
speaking by telephone yesterday. "So we figured we'd finish the song and
post it."

The single is also meant to serve as more than a protest song. The band
said that it wanted to send a message to the rest of the world that not
every American backed the foreign policy of the current administration.
"I think a big part of wanting to do the song was just hearing Bush make
these speeches, seeing how the rest of the world was reacting to it, and
feeling like Bush doesn't represent us," Mr. Yauch said. "One of the
purposes is to let people in other parts of the world know that the
messages he's sending out aren't necessarily the view of all Americans.
And it's also to say to people in the United States who might be
uncomfortable protesting that it's all right to do that. One thing that
the U.S. administration has been trying to do is give the feeling that
it's un-American to protest."

Though the song has a similar title to the Beenie Man reggae song "World
Gone Mad," which laments social conditions and asks the president for an
explanation, the Beastie Boys said they were unaware of the other song.
Their song mixes lyrics advocating nonviolence and multilateral
disarmament with the band's sense of whimsy. Thus a deep thought is
followed immediately by a rhyme like "They're layin' on the syrup
thick/We ain't waffles, we ain't havin' it."

"Part of music is being able to enjoy yourself, too," Mr. Yauch said.
"Some of the most powerful commentary that there's been on the Bush
administration has been Will Farrell on `Saturday Night Live.' It's
goofing around, but it has a huge impact."


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