Soundings: Season 1 Episode 7

Mike D

The Beastie Boy on how he found his way to surfing, risk-taking, and the making of “Sabotage.”

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When I first saw the Beastie Boys play live in the early 1990s, they looked a hell of a long way from the beach. Three decades later, Mike D is deeply surf-obsessed. How do you go from Paul’s Boutique to streaking free and easy across a soft righthander at one of California’s most exclusive point breaks?

The Beastie Boys have sold 20 million records in the United States, had seven platinum-selling albums from 1986 to 2004, and are the biggest-selling rap group since Billboard began recording sales in 1991. In 2012, they became the third rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In this episode, Mike explains how he found his way to surfing, the similarities between being a touring musician and a touring pro surfer, ecstatic moments on stage as compared to ecstatic moments on a wave, improvisation, and risk-taking. We also got into the importance of believing in yourself, fame, the making of “Sabotage,” and his present-day surfing life. —Jamie Brisick

Follow Mike D at @miked.

Produced by Jonathan Shifflett.
Music by Little Wings.

Feature image by Morgan Maassen.