The Young And The Useless was the band in which Adam Horovitz played in the early 1980s before he joined the Beastie Boys. Scilken and Horovitz attended high school together at PS41 in Greenwich Village and were best friends. Scilken is credited for coming up with the title of the Young And The Useless’ EP ‘Real Men Don’t Floss’. At the time, he was obsessed with ‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’, a popular 1982 book that satirized stereotypes of masculinity.
According to his friends, Scilken had an enigmatic personality and a gift for making people laugh and feel good about themselves. Scilken had an interest in graphic design and, like his friend Cey Adams, was into graffiti art. His graffiti tag was “Shadi”. Scilken also had an interest in writing and created a music ‘zine called ‘Blister’ in the early 1980s.
On May 26, 1991, Scilken died from a drug overdose, shortly after completing a drug rehabilitation program. His death deeply affected the Beastie Boys. In interviews, they have stated Scilken’s death was a turning point for them, causing them to evaluate their rock ‘n roll lifestyles. The Beastie Boys’ 1992 album ‘Check Your Head’ is dedicated to him.