Chicago librarian remake of Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' goes viral

By on

Reprinted courtesy of: redeye

By: Mick Swasko

Two Chicago private school employees are scheming on a thing that's "Sabotage."

Duane Freeman and Mike Ferbrache didn't expect a remake of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video--which was directed by Spike Jonze in 1994--to get much attention beyond their students and faculty at Francis W. Parker K-12 School in Lincoln Park. It was just a fun way to showcase the school's librarians in a new light for an annual variety show for the students in May.

Until last week, the near shot-for-shot redo of the cheesy cops and robbers style video sat on their Vimeo page, collecting a couple thousand views. But in the last week, the duo -- which performs comedy shows around Chicago on the side -- has watched views of the video exceed 140,000, all from a little library love.

“It’s just been so fun,” Freeman, 34, of Roscoe Village and a counselor at the school, said. “I’ve had a smile on my face all weekend.”

The explosion of attention started last week, Freeman said, when the New York Public Library shared the video on their Tumblr last Wednesday. From there, popular technology and culture blog Boing Boing gave it some love on Friday. By Monday, the video had amassed more than 100,000 views thanks to the Huffington Post, CBS News and Rolling Stone.

Click to view video

“I’m kind of blown away by the whole thing,” Ferbrache, 38, of Logan Square and a 3rd grade teacher at the school, said. “It’s been amazing to watch.”

Both credit the dedication of the librarians to their roles for the popularity of the video. It was a way for them to shed the quiet, stuffy perceptions librarians often get, they said.

“They didn’t hold back anything,” Ferbrache said. “it was great. They were 100-percent committed to their roles.”

It’s not the first time they’ve solicited the help of faculty for videos. They’ve also recreated OK Go’s “Here it Goes Again” (the one with the treadmill dancing) as well as Michael Jackson’s “Bad.”

Freeman said the librarians at Francis W. Parker are in disbelief as well. "I think they are in shock," he said. "One of them emailed me back and just said 'OMG.' She usually doesn't talk like that. She's usually pretty quiet."

The cast includes librarians Anne Duncan as "Story time," Stephanie McMurray as "Late Fee," Branka Steinbaugh as "Bookworm," Margaret Threet as "Dewey" Technology Facilitator Cathy Donnelly as "The Techie" and teacher Martin Moran as "Himself."