ASK FOR JANICE
by Jim Mahfood
2007
This will sound pathetic but I firmly believe that I’
m the only person I personally know who likes the
Beastie Boys. Obviously, not a news flash, but
considering my background and friends, it’s a bit
of a shocker. I remember a 2008 road trip to
APEcon in San Francisco and the reaction I got
when ‘Hey Ladies’ popped up on my mp3 player
that was hooked up to the car stereo. It wasn’t
pretty. Must have been the ‘Fight For Your Right
To Party’ stigma, I guess.  

I didn’t care for their first record either…still don’
t….but when I first heard Sure Shot in the early
90’s, I was interested and have ended up with
most of their output since. So how did the
Beasties go from the juvenile/frat boy rap my
friends despised to a level of respect that not
many saw coming? The missing link lies with their
1989 LP ‘Paul’s Boutique’.

I’m not going to explain the how and why here
because someone did the tedious job for me. I’ve
been a big fan of the artist Jim Mahfood (Stupid
Comics, Bad Idea) for a long time and so it was a
trip to find out that he made a zine about the
Boutique, one of my favorite records.
Named after a track, ‘Ask For Janice’ is Mahfood’s condensed history of this record: the set-
up, the list of players, the recording. the initial commercial failure and the revaluation and
resurrection in the next decade. The last half is for the hard-core only: it’s a track by track
breakdown of the labyrinth of unlicensed samples, cultural references and in-jokes. All
flanked by Jim’s fine loose graffiti style that matches the record’s vibe.
This one shot is out-of-print, but Jim
Mahfood is still in action. His web site
is
HERE.

(
left, the back cover of my copy of the
Janice zine I bought from Mahfood at
A. P. E., complete with autograph and
sketch
)
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