Jeremy Shatan was a member of the Young Aborigines, the band in which Michael Diamond, Kate Schellenbach, and John Berry were members before Beastie Boys. When Shatan, who was the Young Aborigines bassist, left New York for the summer of 1981, he discovered upon his return that his bandmates had formed a new band called Beastie Boys. Not interested in hardcore music, Shatan did not become involved with Beastie Boys.
Years later, Shatan collaborated with his old friends, who were now a successful band, by helping to photograph the cover of Paul's Boutique.
In a 2003 interview with Beastiemania.com, Shatan explained how he became involved in the cover shoot. "Michael Diamond and I reconnected and re-established our relationship around 1988-89," said Shatan. "They were working on Paul's Boutique, and one day at lunch with Mike and his brother Stephen, Michael mentioned their idea for the cover of Paul's Boutique. I can remember him saying that, 'We want to do a 360 panorama of a Lower East Side intersection, and we'll all just dance around.' Since I had studied photography at SUNY Purchase and was working for a photographer, as well as doing my own work, I figured that I could help them out. 'I know how to do it,' I said. 'I'll rent the equipment and hire an assistant. Just tell me the time and place.'
"We all showed up at the appointed time. I was impressed that they had made up a fake Paul's Boutique sign and had brought props. We shot about 30 rolls down there, and then we went to the roof of 101 Park Avenue in Midtown and did more panoramics up there. I don't think those photos have ever seen the light of day. In the car between locations, they played me some of the Paul's Boutique rough mixes. I was knocked out. This stuff sounded really good. The Paul's Boutique cover won plenty of recognition and even a few awards. The cover photo was credited to Nathanial Hornblower, the collective nom de plume of the Beastie Boys. Matt Cohen, the guy I hired, and I were listed as 'photo assistants.' It didn't really bother me as it really was their idea. At least they spelled my name right.
"The photography work on Paul's Boutique was about the end of my connection to the Beastie Boys. I have not been too much of keeper of the flame as far as the Young Aborigines were concerned. For a long time, mention of the Young Aborigines was consistently left out of all official [Beastie Boys] histories. My feeling was just that if they were going to be included, at least get the facts right."
Today, Shatan is the Executive Director of Hope & Heroes Children's Cancer Fund. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Karen. They have had three children - Jacob (whom they lost to a brain tumor at 2-1/2 years old), Hannah, and Noah. Shatan still does some photography as a hobby and has channeled his omnivorous passion for music into writing about it at www.AnEarful.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/AnEarful and www.twitter.com/AnEarful. His Fender Precision bass has made it's way out of the closet...