Interview with Bettadays
[Conducted in September 2002]
The proud owner of some of the rarest Beastie Collectables out there, a DJ, bass player and a well known figure on the hip hop trading scene, here's Bettadays.
The standard stats on yourself (age, location, etc)
I'm 21, live in NYC, home of the Beasties of course, and go to the University of Delaware.
I've seen it written as "Bettadays" and "Bettadaze". So which one is it?
The original is "bettadaze", which i used to have as a screen name on AOL, but for some reason was cancelled, and i havent been able to get it back since even though nobody else has it, hence the name change "bettadays". How did the name come about? I used to have this sticker on my stereo, said "bettadaze" and it was all blurry - as if you were looking at it drunk. smart fellas.
You're a DJ yourself and play some bass. Are you currently in a band or doing any musical projects at the moment?
Unfortunately neither right now, due to the fact that I'm away at school. I wouldnt be able to bring down my equipment, and really don't have time to practice with a band. For any people wondering my tablist setup is: 2x 1200's, Rane TTM54 mixer, Shure SC35C needles, ninja tune slipmats.
How did you first get into the Beastie Boys?
Living around here, it's hard not to hear the beasties. So I always knew their popular stuff. My first real taste of the beasties was when my brothers friend brought over "Get It Together" on some mixtape he had. Back then I was strictly a hiphop nerd, and just thought it was the shit. However I didn't get too heavily into them until I started record collecting, in about 97-98ish.
Looking at your musical tastes, it's a fairly broad range, but a lot of it is Hip Hop as well as some punk thrown in, so I guess the Beastie Boys are an obvious choice. So which came first for you, the beasties or hiphop? And what about the punk interest, did this come about from listening to the Beastie Boys?
I do like to have a broad range. The way it worked with me, is that I started out a total 100% hiphop kid, ever since I first heard Wu Tang. I really got into the underground scene. I'd say in one year I went from liking Blind Melon or Pearl Jam to being a hardcore hip hop fan, and stayed there for a couple of years. My punk likings didnt really come from beasties that much. I saw Rage Against the Machine & Wu Tang back in 97, that show kind of turned me on again to rock music. I was one of those kids, who wanted everybody else to like hiphop and didnt see the big thing about other types of music, I wouldn't bash them or anything - but I just wanted them to like hiphop too. The turning point for me when I really got back into rock, punk, basically just other types of music, was in 98 or 99, when I was in the TRL studios and the Beasties were there (was like 5 feet away) and they just talked about shit, influences and what not, plus they premiered a Rage video, and I was just hooked.
You mentioned them being really close at the TRL studios, did you actually meet them? Have you ever met any of their inner circle of friends/band-members?
I didn't meet them that time but I did meet Mike D outside a BS2000 show. Although one of my good friends did hang out with them for a whole night, went to dinner with them and hung out with them backstage at a show, they didn't mention my collection!!!!! Mark knows who I'm talking about :o). My girlfriend also gave a massage to Mix Master Mike backstage at the New Yorkers Against Violence show as she is a therapeutical masseuse, and so I got to chat with him too.
Onto the collecting questions. You're a vinyl guy - why do you steer clear of the CDs?
Pretty simple, I dj. Ive been scratching since I started, and you can't scratch with cds. Of course when I got into collecting more, you want the original vinyl pressing, the things that go out of print are the records.
What are the stats on your collection? (How many 12"s, 7"s etc)
This is what I figured (+/- about 3-5):
149x 12"s and LP's
Total: 202 records
How long have you been collecting Beastie Boys records for?
Since 98-99? Somewhere around then.
Any other bands that you collect?
hmm, Gangstarr, A Tribe Called Quest, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Those are my other big main collections. Unfortunately I haven't been able to stay in the scene for the past couple months.
What's the driving force behind you wanting to collect?
If you're on this website reading this, I'm sure you have a bit of it too, lil obssessive compulsiveness. I want all the stuff, I want to have that rare test pressing and everybody else wonder where I got it. Somehow I've actually been able to limit myself to mainly vinyl, a couple of shirts and stuff, but I dont really collect all the promo items, etc.
Ill Communication & Check Your Head Platinum Awards
(and original copy of the Country Mike 12")
Looking at your records, most of the collectors (definitely me included) are extremely jealous of your stack of Show Vinyl. Are these your favourite items or are there others?
Maybe only the Check Your Head show vinyl is one of my favorites, Shadrach 12" (considering I got it for free, those are the best ones), Check Your Head Korean Press. But Im gonna have to say my 2 most prized Beastie items - my Ill Communication & Check Your Head Platinum Awards.
Which items are you on the look out for at the moment? Any that you keep just missing out on?
As far as Beasties, Sure Shot UK 12" promo, they dont come around often, but stuff like the Mexican 7"s, I always lose out on them.
If someone was to offer you a large sum of cash for your collection, let's say $5,000. Would you take it? Is there a price you would take?
I have actually been offered that price before for the collection, but from what I've gone through to do the research to get some of these, I feel its worth a lot more.
Where does the majority of your collection come from? (Trading? Ebay? Record Stores? Online Stores?)
A rough breakdown I'd say is Trading: 65%, Ebay 25%, Record Stores: 5%, Online Stores: 5%
Any bad experiences through trading records?
Fortunately I've been lucky and have gotten almost all my stuff just as expected, but there have been a couple. I believe my first ebay auction I ever won, was for Get it Together 7" green vinyl, paid on time and everything, the 7" was as warped as anything could be, I sent it back to get a refund and never got my money back. Only other bad experience besides that is when I bought my LTI Argentina press, the vinyl was cracked, but I just kept it, and wasn't going to waste the money on sending that back.
What are your thoughts on eBay - good or bad for collectors?
We all know the good side of ebay, with so many listings, and rare things on it. But we have the bad things about it, the snipe bidding, people that put fake listings, etc. Overall I think it is the best online store we'll ever find, and the best place to buy Beasties stuff, considering the fall of Grand Royal. Its helped me get tons of rare stuff.
With an increase lately in the number of different bootlegs appearing, especially on vinyl, do you have any views/thoughts on them?
My only beef with a lot of the bootlegs is that they suck. But then again, thats why they are bootlegs. In the past couple of years they have been getting better. I'd say the biggest push has been in the hiphop market for obvious reasons, most of the classic vinyls have been out of press for years, and many of the kids my age really want them, and people started to finally realize they need to press em up again. As far as Beasties, I don't get so worked up as I used to get the bootlegs, theres so many, and most don't contain anything that isn't on anything else.
Any final comments
Just to encourage people who collect to list their stuff, make a website or something, really helps to keep others informed on stuff, and good luck getting some of this stuff - it's not easy :O)
To contact me, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org