Money Mark ‘Hand In Your Head’

A snatch of flute I heard yesterday led me to this track, and an album I’d forgotten all about. While watching a snippet of a documentary about Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two black American athletes who raised their fists in the black power salute on the winner’s podium at the 1968 Olympics, the backing music caught my ear. The flute sample out of Sure Shot by The Beastie Boys. I couldn’t remember where the sample was from, so googled it (Jeremy Steig, flute jazz-rock fusion). In the links to Youtube clips was the Sure Shot video and the original Stieg song Howling For Judy. Watched both and then ended up watching three more Beastie Boys videos (Sabotage, obviously, Root Down and Intergalactic). And then in the list of related videos on the right was this track, Hand In Your Head, by Beastie keyboardist Money Mark.

The Beastie Boys co-opted most of pop culture in the mid-1990s, especially for those people not too fussed by Britpop. Ill Communication, Hello Nasty, Grand Royale magazine and record label, 70s cop parodies, Mike Watt, Lee Perry, retro trainers, funk, soul and punk influences, all done with a sense of humour and lightness of touch. Money Mark released this lp in 1998, and it’s full of his trademark funky organ, retro keyboards and noises, but also some top ‘New Wave’ songwriting, all shot through with those California vibes (ugh, just used the word vibes. That’s the downside of what this stuff does to you). Money Mark always seemed like a cool chap. Apparently he was a carpenter, and only started playing with the Beastie Boys when he went to knock up some shelves at Mike D’s house, and let slip he played keyboards. I listened to most of Money Mark’s album, Push The Button, today for the first time in ten years, and this song stood out. Nice sleeve too.

‘I’ve got my hand in your head
And I’m pulling out all of your mind’

13 – Hand In Your Head.mp3

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