Beastie Boys "Grand Royal Records" Men's Record Label T-Shirt
Everybody knows how the Beastie Boys fight for your right to party, but making their 80's Jewish whiteboy rap-rock an unlikely success was a whole other feat. They crafted a coolness that nobody else has been able to touch, and their discerning tastes made their 90s vanity label, Grand Royal, a hit enterprise that established an entirely new kind of following.
Just as the slogan implies, the label guaranteed quality every time. The three MCs; Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA (or Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz and the late Adam Yauch) tore up stages and rallied audiences into wild frenzies on their License to Ill tours, helping launch Def Jam Records and the record producing career of Rick Rubin. So it was no surprise the hitmakers would sign up for the big leagues -- and did so with Capitol Records -- but they stayed true to the underground by establishing Grand Royal Records.
The label signed an eclectic roster of unusually funky shit, with their official first release of Luscious Jackson's 'In Search of Manny'', featuring the Beastie's former drummer Kate Schellenbauch (from their original Hardcore Punk lineup).
Grand Royal's success was not limited to the band's fan base though, as collectors from every corner turned the label into an independent success -- creating the kind of loyal following that buys up every release. In their own fashion the Boys took on the fanzine trend of the 90s with a glossy alternative -- Grand Royal published a magazine by the same name that detailing whatever interested the guys -- a mixed bag of music, demolition derbies, kung fu, and Moog synthesizers.
The record label and publications both eventually folded for financial reasons, as with other great labels of the time, such as infamous poster artist Frank Kozik' "Mans's Ruin"... but so is the way of things, the greats aren't supposed to last, they're supposed to be remembered. I would hate to see what Jimi Hendrix turned into had he stayed alive through the 1980's. The king is dead, long live the king!