Pull out your vinyl copy of Licensed
to Ill and open up the gatefold jacket. Inside of
the gatefold, you will find one of Sunny Bak's most well
known photographs. If you don't own the vinyl for Licensed
to Ill, a smaller black and white version exists inside
of the cd booklet as well.
Like the Beastie Boys, Sunny grew
up in New York City. Interestingly enough, she began her
career as a photographer while still a teenager. Sunny was
closest with Adam Yauch and
Dave Scilken, who she met
up with around 1984. At the time, she was taking interns
from Adrock's high school
in her studio. It just so happened that Dave Scilken turned
out to be one of them.
For some odd reason, Sunny isn't
the household name amongst Beastie Boys fans that other
Licensed to Ill era photographers are. Names like
Glen Friedman and Ricky
Powell are often associated with the band, yet it was
Sunny's photography that was chosen to be the centerpiece
for the album's gatefold inner-cover. Sunny also is credited
for having taken shots of the Beastie Boys that ended up
as public relations photos, t-shirts, and posters. Much
of 1987 Licensed to Ill Tour Book was her creation. Also,
the "Fight for Your Right to Party" music video
was actually filmed at her old studio in Manhattan. Here
is a little piece of trivia: all of the stuff in the video
belonged to her. Makes you want to ask the question, "Do
you like parties?"
In addition to all of the above, if you own the British
interview picture lp, the photo of the Beastie Boys on it
is just another taste of Bak's work.
These days, Sunny owns a photo studio
in Marina Del Rey,CA and spends her time between New York
and California. Her work recently appeared on the inside
of the Solid Gold Hits CD/DVD. For more information
on her and to see a list of other clients she has had check
out her website.