My Christmas wish-list is easily transcribed onto a post-it note. I have what I need and want very little. When Christmas morning arrived and I carefully teased the paper away from a gift labelled to me I graciously accepted this ‘want’ – the ‘Beastie Boys Book’.
The Beastie Boys Book is a 500 page chronicle of their early years. The book is published by Spiegel & Grau (NYC - obviously) under the Random House publishing banner. The book is rife with images of band members, friends, and photos that complement the written anecdotes from Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. If you have any interest in the early stages of the band, or the music genre, or need a brief history of music in New York City in the eighties this is a must-read.
To The Point
It’s not just a book. It’s a piece of memorabilia. For someone who has grown-up listening to these artists, and their influences, this book is a badge. A conversation starter that sits on your desk at the office or the coffee table at your home.
As much as it is an absolute necessity that this piece of art exists in the physical form - it unceremoniously presents the limitations of the media. There are numerous references throughout the book to the Beastie Boys early musical influences such as Bad Brains or Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Often, Mike or Adam would suggest ‘googling’ a song or band that they were referring to within the narrative. Enter the natural divide that exists between print and digital. Being completely focused on the written words but also compelled to put aside the book to look-up a song on YouTube.
Even when not prompted by the authors there were a number of occasions where I would place the book down to pull-up a map of NYC or LA on my computer. Just getting my bearings. Connecting the dots.
At the same time I kept thinking to myself that it’s 2018 (now 2019). Society is driven by technology. And here I am bouncing back and forth between a book and a device trying to put the pieces together.
From a business perspective I am constantly extolling the virtues of adding interactivity to digital edition magazines and newspapers to create an immersive multi-media experience for the reader. But this time I was the reader – looking for a deeper connection to the words on the page.
The disconnect, or maybe more accurately the discord, between print-based media and digital media is not news. Digital has often been viewed and represented as a sworn enemy of print media and vice-versa. There is such an incredible opportunity for them to thrive together. To offset their own limitations or weaknesses. I believe that the opportunities are endless. Print and digital media execs just need to ‘get it together’. I am just not sure who needs to lead the charge. But, I do know one thing, I am pretty sure Yauch would know.