I have always been a fan of the Beastie Boys since Licensed To Ill. I saw them live, early on, opening for Run DMC. I knew they were on the verge of being huge and influential. They were respected in the rap world, they came from punk rock and when they eventually started playing instruments on Check Your Head, I became hugely influenced by their direction and fearlessness. I was friends with Mario Caldato Jr, who helped produce and engineered the Beastie Boys and it was Mario, who introduced me to the Beastie Boys at G-Son studios in Los Angeles. He also introduced me to the great Mark Ramos Nishita aka Money Mark. Mark played on a few records I did but we remained friends over the years and he has recorded and played in the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group.
Recently, at a recording session, Mark came by the studio to say hi and he brought me a pedal to check out. It was the fuzz/distortion unit Yauch used live for songs like Sabotage and Gratitude. I was honored to have the chance to check out a piece of history and having seen the Beastie Boys several times, it was cool to be able to run by bass through a pedal I heard live by another great musician.