'Murder In The Front Row' Announces New York Comic Con Panel, October 3

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Today Murder In The Front Row is thrilled to announce a panel discussion during this year's New York Comic Con, entitled 'Metal's Influence Within Today's Comic Con Culture', October 3 at 6:45pm, featuring director Adam Dubin, Alex Skolnick (Testament/Metal Allegiance), Brian Lew (co-author, 'Murder In The Front Row'), Brian Posehn (comedian, narrator of 'Murder In The Front Row'), Brian Pulido (founder/publisher Coffin Comics), moderated by Kory Grow (senior writer, Rolling Stone). In addition, Murder In The Front Row has added dozens of new screenings including September 20-26 in Seattle, October 1 in New York City, October 16 in Los Angeles.

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How music guru Rick Rubin transformed from NYU rap brat to Zen master


Back in his 1980s New York heyday, record producer Rick Rubin was an unapologetically bratty loudmouth. To those who saw him at the time, he’s barely recognizable in the new Showtime documentary “Shangri-La.” Named for Rubin’s recording studio above Zuma Beach in Malibu, Calif., the series, premiering July 12, shows him resembling Mr. Natural as he lays on his back and unspools chill proclamations.

Rap legend Chuck D, of Public Enemy fame, recently went to Shangri-La where he and his supergroup Prophets of Rage sought something beyond common production. “We went to Rick to find our ID,” Chuck D tells The Post. “We needed to get below the star tissue to find our soul.”

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Billboard - Testament's Alex Skolnick, Director Adam Dubin Revisit Thrash's Ground Zero in 'Murder in the Front Row'

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for many things, but during the ’80s, a peculiar cultural phenomenon developed there when the region became the unofficial home base for the then-burgeoning thrash subgenre. Bands like ExodusTestament andDeath Angel sprang up there, while outside groups like MetallicaAnthraxMegadeth and Slayer were met with a warm reception from hometown fans and fellow musicians — so much so that Metallica famously relocated to the area from Los Angeles not long after forming.

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CBS SF Talks To ‘Murder In The Front Row’ Doc Director Adam Dubin

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Bay Area has a rich musical history dating back to the 1940s when the region was an important hub for West Coast blues and jazz players. While psychedelic rock bands like the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane that emerged from the Haight during the Summer of Love may be the first modern musical movement to come to mind when talking about San Francisco, another far less documented scene that began just over a decade later has arguably exerted nearly as much influence on modern sounds.

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Adam Dubin/Murder In the Front Row feature from The Aquarian

NYU Magazine Winter 2015

NYU Washington Square News March 9, 2015

Argonaut News Article December 2013

An article by Michael Aushenker about the making of Ric Menello’s groundbreaking “Going Back To Cali” music video.


The King Of Rap: Rick Rubin Makes The Music Industry Walk His Way

Barry Walters, author
Village Voice, 1986
Interview with Adam Dubin on early days of Def Jam.

Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World’s Most Influential Hip-Hop Label

Stacey Gueraseva, author
One World/Ballantine, 2005
Extensive interview with Adam Dubin on early days of Def Jam and Beastie Boys music videos.

“Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin, and Redemption of Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay”

Ronin Ro, author
Harper, 2006
Extensive interview with Adam Dubin on early days of Def Jam and Beastie Boys music videos.

“Metallica: All That Matters”

Paul Stenning, author
Plexus Publishing, 2009
Extensive interview with Adam Dubin on Metallica.

The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

Dan Charnas, author
NAL Hardcover, 2010
Extensive interview with Adam Dubin on early days of Def Jam and Beastie Boys music videos.

An Oral History of the Beastie Boys

Amos Barshad, author
New York Magazine, 2011
Extensive interview with Adam Dubin on early days of Def Jam and Beastie Boys music videos.

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors
Dutton Adult, 2011
Extensive Adam Dubin interview on early days of Def Jam, Beastie Boys, Metallica and the business of music videos.

Metal Hammer Magazine August 2011

Dominik Winter, author — Metal Hammer 2011 translation

‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’: The Story Behind The Anthem

MTV News-August 2013

It’s the rallying cry of bands on their way home after a long tour. The drunken chorus of newly minted New Yorkers as they roll over the Brooklyn Bridge at 3 a.m. And now, nearly 30 years after the Beastie Boys dropped the seminal album Licensed To Ill, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” is the official anthem of the 2013 Video Music Awards.

The Beastie Boys’ debut studio album, Licensed to Ill, dropped in 1986, fresh from the new Def Jam Recordings, which was headed up at the time by Rick Rubin and the Boys’ then-manager Russell Simmons. The record contains some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Fight for Your Right” and the tribute to the borough that many of the guys called home: “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

A battle cry, a debaucherous ode to BK embraced New Yorkers and non-natives alike, the song also represented a shift in music — a merging of hip-hop and rock that the guys pulled off with their trademark tongue-in-cheek swagger. The accompanying video, featuring the Beasties’ friends and co-directed by Def Jam pal Ric Menello — who passed away in March — captured that same spirit.

In celebration of the jam’s history — and to get pumped for the Video Music Awards’ first time in Brooklyn — MTV News spoke with the people behind the song and video. They gave us a heartfelt and hilarious new-before-seen peek at Brooklyn’s own unofficial anthem.


A ‘Very New York Song’

Russell Simmons, Def Jam Recordings founder:

It was perfect, you know, ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn.’ It was a very New York song, a very hip-hop song, a very — you know, Harlem and the Bronx was the home of hip-hop and ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn,’ I mean, it was a lot of things. It’s a lot of things [that] could go through your mind. A lot of things it implied.


‘Poking Fun At Heavy Metal’

Adam Dubin, music video co-director:

It’s a little bit of a take off on ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith,’ which is a classic Motörhead album. They were doing a take on that, which is why there’s so much heavy metal in the song. Because it’s a little bit of a — it’s not a spoof, but it’s sort of poking fun at heavy metal.

Vincent Giordano, music video producer:

Kerry King from Slayer plays the guitar solo, you know — it’s a very heavy band, you know. So there were all these elements that were fusing and then in years to come that was going to be the template.

Simone Reyes, former Def Jam receptionist:

I remember being at Chung King Studios, which is where all the magic happened in Chinatown with [engineer] Steve Ett and Rick [Rubin] and Russell [Simmons] and the Beastie Boys and all of our friends. And I remember just being like curled up on the couch one night — waiting for Adam [Yauch] I’m sure — and Rick sort of pounding in the door and saying, ‘We need a female voice on the chorus of “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”‘ and being like, ‘OK.’ And me and Lisa Kirk, who was Rick Rubin’s girlfriend at the time, going in there and just screaming. And you can hear like my voice so loud in that song, just screaming the ‘NO SLEEP TILL!’


‘We’re Gonna Shoot This Video And Then We Can Party’


The video for ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ came about from everybody just throwing their ideas in a hat. We had one starting point, which was make it funny, and with heavy metal. At that time there was actually — and this is 1986, 1987 — there was actually kind of a backlash against a band playing using turntables to play as opposed to using real instruments. So we decided to open the video with a joke about that.


When it was time to do the video for ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn,’ it was shot at a place called The World, which was a place we went to every single night on the Lower East Side. It was literally like a Sunday — I think it was — and we got a call from Adam Horovitz, like: ‘Come to The World, but come early. We’re gonna shoot this video and then we can party after that.’ So it was always just our friends, getting together, and supporting our friends and doing what we would normally be doing — except maybe a couple of hours earlier.

‘The Gag Was Going To Be A Real Chimp’


Originally you know, the gag was going to be a real chimp. He was going to play the guitar solo. And there was a chimp named at the time Zip the Chimp and he was on David Letterman and we really loved him. But it was going to cost a fortune and we just — I couldn’t…. He was really short. If Kerry King came and bumped him he would probably just like kick him out of the [venue]. And then Adam Dubin, he said, ‘Well, if we can’t have him we’ll find like a monkey suit [or] gorilla suit.’ So he found it. [It was] like $175 or something.

‘This Song Is The Perfect Choice’


This song — if you think of all of their work — this song really does represent the sound that they brought into the mainstream. This is the hip-hop that they created. And so this song is a perfect choice [for the 2013 Video Music Awards].


“So What!”

Video Director Survives Metal Mayhem
Adam Dubin, author
Publisher: Metallica’s Official Fan Magazine, Stephen Chirrazi, editor

“Megabox” NYU student film

Adam Dubin, director
(1 minute, 16mm, black and white, sound, 1982)

A short comic “commercial” for a really big boombox featuring narration by Rick Rubin. Possibly Rick Rubin’s first recorded rap as an MC.

Beastie Boys “Licensed To Ill TV Commercial”

Adam Dubin, co-writer, c0-director

(30 seconds, 16mm, color, sound, 1986)

30 second TV commercial for the Beastie Boys “License To Ill” album. The commercial ran on network TV.

Beastie Boys TV Script “Beastie Boys Get Ill”

Adam Dubin, writer

(20 pages, 1986)

Spec TV script for the never produced MTV show starring Beastie Boys.

“My Pal Satan” NYU student thesis film

Adam Dubin, writer, director

(10 minutes, 16mm, color, sound, 1986)

The teenager summons the devil to help him win the girl of his dreams in suburbia. Things do not go well. Featuring music by Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Slayer. Filmed six months before Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right To Party,” “My Pal Satan” became a prototype for the music video classic that followed.

“Rick Rubin-Adam Dubin” short comic bit

Adam Dubin, director
(2 minutes, 16mm, black and white, sound, 1991)

A short comedy bit starring Rick Rubin and Adam Dubin doing a take off on an old Abbott and Costello routine involving Adam Dubin selling his soul to the devil (Rick Rubin) in exchange for filmmaking success.