From 1983 to 1989, Sheepshead Bay natives Scott Lewis and Gary Winter brought music, comedy, and more to New Yorkers via their public-access television variety show: The Scott and Gary Show. The show featured very early performances by a few now notable bands, including The Beastie Boys, whose visit Scott reflects on in the video below.
The co-host recalls: "I can't say I was a fan... I had seen them open for the Dead Kennedys, and the response from the audience... people were really into them, they were really getting a kick out of them. And I think that's what sold me on them, people seemed to really be excited by them." The band is barely recognizable in the broadcast: so young, so hardcore punk, and this was back when Kate Schellenbach (later of Luscious Jackson) was on drums.
This was only the second episode of the show, which was filmed in January of 1984 for the Valentine's Day special—at the time Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, and Schellenbach were still teenagers, and they were getting their first small taste of fame around New York, through the underground success of "Cooky Puss," their first hip hop track:
The episode was broadcast two years before they'd record Licensed To Ill, which became the best selling rap album of the 1980s and would propel them to a level fame that few expected... except the Beastie Boys themselves. A few years ago Gary recalled their experience with the band, saying: "We picked [Diamond and Yauch] up on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. I had a '69 Buick with a big trunk, and we went up there and looked at each other and went 'woah!' They were quite wealthy and had incredible film equipment in their homes. And they were very pompous, saying things in the car like, 'We shouldn't have to do this show, we're going to be big stars.' I was like 'If you really don't want to do it you don't have to. If this is too much for you. 'No, no, we'll do it.'"
For more vintage Beastie Boys, check out these videos, and this classic 1986 Oprah episode featuring B-Boy-hating Tipper Gore putting the fear into parents about the band's lyrics and antics.