Record producer Rick Rubin recently spoke to RollingStone.com and said that professional wrestling, Roddy Piper in particular, had an influence on The Beastie Boys.
On group being influenced by pro wrestling: “There’s no question that, early on, the Beastie Boys were very influenced by pro wrestling. One-hundred percent. The idea of being bad-guy rappers, saying really outlandish things in interviews, that all came from a love of pro wrestling. We didn’t say it because it was true – we said it because it was entertaining. To me, it was performance art; we were as inspired by pro wrestling and Monty Python as we were music. I remember showing them videotapes of old matches, because I was the fan, and we’d laugh about the stuff on there.”
On being influenced by Roddy Piper in particular: “And at that time, there was a wrestling hotline, and we’d call and listen to prerecorded messages from Roddy Piper and get inspired by the crazy things he’d say. Kerry King [from Slayer] was really into wrestling, too. Later, I worked with Andrew Dice Clay, and he was a perfect heel.”