For many of us over the age of 35, the Beastie Boys were as big as the Beatles. With today’s passing of Adam Yauch, we have truly lost one of the greatest musical innovators of our time. The significance of the Beastie Boys in the history of music can never be overstated. From “Fight For Your Right” to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, they never lost touch with who they were, where they came from, and what they were all about.
Instead of memorializing Adam “MCA” Yauch in this blog post, I just wanted to list a few of my greatest memories when it comes to the B-Boys:
- 8th grade school trip to DC. Bus driver was cool enough to let us rock License to Ill over the radio for the entire trip. On repeat. I don’t think there was a kid in our class who didn’t know the lyrics to “Brass Monkey.”
- Smoking a huge joint with my friend at the Jersey shore and walking onto the boardwalk to hear a yet-unreleased song from Paul’s Boutique playing over the speakers at a game stand. The song was “Shake Your Rump” and the middle buzzed-out bass line blew our teenage minds. This was not the same band that sang “did her with a whiffle-ball bat” anymore. Mature. Kinda.
- In college, basically rocking out to Check Your Head at every single party between the years of 1992-1995.
- Going to the local record store at midnight to purchase Ill Communication the minute it was released. Going home to put it on and being absolutely floored.
- Seeing them live at Lollapalooza when they put on one of the all-time greatest live shows I have ever witnessed. There was not one person among the 20,000 that didn’t dance, sing, and scream during every song. When the flute loop on “Sure Shot” opened the show I thought an avalanche of people were coming down on my head.
- Listening to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two for the first time and being so happy that they Boys still had something left in their tank.
So yes, it is a very sad day for Beastie fans and for music itself. A great pioneer is gone. And like those before him he will be best served if we all home and blast “Jimmy James” until your neighbors call the police.