Johnny Ryall

From Rocklopedia Fakebandica
Jump to: navigation, search

Subject of the titular song from the Beastie Boys' acclaimed 1989 album Paul's Boutique. According to the lyrics, Ryall, a homeless man who hung out on Mike D's stoop, was a former rockabilly star from Memphis who claimed to have written "Blue Suede Shoes." He's described as:

A rockabilly star from the days of old
He used to have teeth all filled with gold
A platinum voice, but only gold records
On the bass was Boots on the drums was Checkers
Luis Vuitton with the Gucci guitar

In reality, according to Dan LeRoy's Paul's Boutique: 33 1/3, "Johnny Ryall" was a real homeless man, but his backstory was created by Mike D's roommate and tour manager, Sean Carasov, who said the homeless man "looked like the fifty-miles-of-bad-road version of Chet Baker" (79). The band occasionally referred to the character's exploitation by the music industry in their own battles with their labels.

External links