Last week, Neil Diamond told the London newspaper Metro he would "love to do something with the Beastie Boys," especially since they’ve shared producer Rick Rubin.
I informed Mike Schwartz (Beastie DJ Mix Master Mike) of Neil’s desire to collaborate. Would the Beastie Boys be game for Neil?
"Wow," Schwartz reacts. "That would give him another boost. … And if we played it cool, we could take his fan base."
No, but seriously, would the Beasties work with Neil?
"You know what? I would, but he would have to pay us a lot of money," Schwartz says, laughs and adds, "I’m just kidding.
"Of course, I would do it. That … is crazy. I would have Neil Diamond singing over a crazy dub-step bass instrumental. Just bring him back. Bring his old ass back!"
Schwartz isn’t sure if he’s ever sampled a piece of Diamond’s music into a Beastie Boys or Mix Master Mike music set. But maybe.
"I probably secretly sampled ‘Sweet Caroline,’ or ran it backwards, or something like that. Who knows?" Schwartz says. "I probably did. I started out (as a kid) with a bunch of records, just to see if I could mix ’em. Anything could be mixed — Neil Diamond, or whatever."
Over the years, the Beasties have turned down "a bunch" of artists who wanted to collaborate with them. But Schwartz won’t name names.
"I’d rather not say. I just can’t say. Just nip it in the bud right there. Don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings."
As DJ fans know, Mix Master Mike — who joined the Beastie Boys with 1998’s "Hello Nasty" — doesn’t just spin music for the rappers. Mix Master Mike is considered by many people in DJ culture to be the greatest turntablist there is.
Mix Master and his wife own a house in a Red Rock subdivision. In a studio there, he’s recorded structures for new songs, finishing them in their Hollywood house, for his upcoming album, "Plasma Rifle."
Specifically, he says, he recorded "little bits and pieces of my new record" here in Vegas. "I laid down the foundation and the skeletal back beats."
The October-slated album will come packaged with Skullcandy headphones he designed.
Also in October, he’s coming out with a new mix CD of "electronic and hip-hop bangers" called "Dub, Stomp and Kill."
Around the same time, he’ll release a new DJ application for iPhone called MMM DJ, so people can mix his own music on the phone’s interface.
And he’s helping work on a video game called "Scratch the Ultimate DJ," featuring a wireless game-turntable, possibly for release in early 2010.
"I have a plethora of things coming out," he says. "I’m really excited about all this stuff. The kids are gonna be happy."
Doug Elfman’s column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail delfman@reviewjournal. com. The blog’s at reviewjournal.com/elfman.Preview
Mix Master Mike
10 p.m. Sunday
Blush Boutique Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
So now, I want to know from the master what he thinks are the vinyl records used most by turntablists in DJ history. Off the top of his head, he names:
• "Change the Beat" by Fab Five Freddy with its "aw" and "fresh" sounds.
"If you were a real DJ, you would have that record. But I’ve never necessarily used that record. But everyone else does."
• Incredible Bongo Band’s "Apache," with its percussive funk and melody line.
• And Herbie Hancock’s "Rockit."
But Mix Master is known more for those crazy "Star Trek" sound effects he likes to drop. So, he says:
"If you really had a deep record collection, you would have the ‘Star Trek’ sound effects record. If I was stranded on a desert island, I would have that record.
"There’s all kinds of sounds on it. The record was just a bunch of sound effects: crazy sirens and crazy synthesizers and (stuff). You could do a couple of records with that record alone."
At this point, by the way, he owns close to 100,000 vinyl records spread out in his studios, he says.
"But keep in mind, those 100,000 records — not all of them are good. I would say 80,000 of my 100,000 are good; 20,000 are just (stuff) that people give to me. They say it’s good, but it’s not."
— By DOUG ELFMAN