So it’s been almost a year since my last official blog entry here on WordPress and it’s taken some sad news to be the catalyst to sit down in front of my very neglected computer and start to type! Honestly this introduction is what can only be described as stage fright in written format… Is it like riding a bike though? Once you’ve learnt how to do it you never forget… Anyway, no apologies for my lengthy absence, I just hope you’ve all been patient enough to wait around for me!
So the sad news was the recent passing of Adam Yauch (MCA) of ‘The Beastie Boys’, which I found out about as the news broke just over 24 hours ago. Now you might think that this is a bit of a weird thing to kick-start a blog that’s not had any active material for such a long time, but hear me out… This entry is a tribute to a man that has played a massive part in my life, a hero if you will! It’s not a blog about the death of Adam Yauch, but a celebration of his life and how he and the ‘Beastie Boys’ put their fingerprints on my life!
As most of you are probably aware by now Adam Yauch passed away yesterday (May 4th 2012) after a Three Year battle with a rare form of cancer. I found out the news in a hotel room in London after a shock ‘R.I.P’ post had been put up on a friends Facebook page. Instantly I’d opened the search engine to try and find out if this was true… MCA dead?! Surely just a badly timed rumor… And then there it was! Confirmation was like a baseball bat to the gut and it really took the wind out of my sails. Now I know you may think that this is a little dramatic (you didn’t know him!) but through his music and legacy I kind of do in a mad sort of way… I’m rambling!
With that I fired up Twitter put up a message ‘R.I.P MCA (Adam Yauch), So fucking sad! #beastieboysforlife’
The news was only just breaking when I posted that first tweet, but it wasn’t long before the world was finding out and tweeting their sadness, thoughts, and respects! I found myself retweeting celebrities tweets, about their memories of MCA and The Beasties and I sat there for a good few hours just reading all of these awesome accounts!
I first heard ‘The Beastie Boys’ when I was 10 years old with the release of Ill Communication (Their Second Triple platinum album!), which had the song that would later become the theme tune for myself and a group of close friends (Craig, Ben, Phil!) That song was ‘Sabotage’! I remember listening to the album over and over… and listening to it as it was intended to be listened to…LOUD! So many amazing tracks, ‘Sure Shot’, ‘Root Down’, ‘Get it together’… The kickass instrumental ‘Shambala’ and the great insider acoustic ‘Heart Attack Man’,
I think like every ‘Beastie’ fan out there, my parents weren’t fans of the sound at all! And this made me want to listen to them even more, to search out their earlier albums, and search and find I did! ‘Licensed to Ill’, The amazing album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ (The Beasties Sgt Pepper’s) and ‘Check your head’ being their 3 earlier studio albums, each one providing me with the music and lyrics to be in this exclusive club… I was a Beastie Boy!
I’m listening to the Beastie Boys now as I write this blog, each track bringing back some great memories, each time every track sounds fresh and like I’ve heard it for the first time again! I think that says a lot about the Beastie Boys… They’re timeless!
Needless to say from that day I first heard ‘Ill Communication’ back in ’94 I was hooked on every lyric, guitar riff, scratch, cut and baseline! And if you really listen to their first album ‘Licensed to Ill’ right through to they’re latest (perhaps now their last) album ‘Hot Sauce Committee: Part Two’ you’ll hear the perfect progression of music! Pure/Real Hip Hop! A tweet from Chromeo, summed the Beastie Boys up, ‘The Beastie Boys basically invented the concept of the cool white person!’ Too true!
Fair enough I wasn’t there at the start (I would have been I’m sure, but I was too young!) I wasn’t one of those stealing VW badges from cars and vans and wearing them around my neck (I have a couple now… completely legit 😉 ) However I can honestly say I’m a Beastie Boy For Life!
In 2009 I was so excited to see that The Beastie Boys was going to tour again and that they had announced that they were touring the UK (Finally this was my chance to see them live), unfortunately this was the year that Adam was diagnosed with cancer and through a heartfelt video message that was posted on they’re website Ad-Rock explained about MCA’s diagnosis and that they were cancelling a lot of the back end of they’re tour because of this! (This being The UK tour was cancelled.) I didn’t think at the time that this could have been my last chance to see them! Looking back at it now I am gutted I hadn’t gone out of my way to seen them earlier, they’re worth the price of airfares and hotels across in the States (CHRIST!)
Of course Adam Yauch wasn’t only known for his music, in later years he was a practicing Buddhist and became an important voice in the Tibetan Independence Movement! Also he was a great director, directing many of The Beastie Boys awesome music videos under the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower! I recently watched ‘Awesome: I Fuckin’ Shot That’ (For about the 100th time) a concert film shot by Adam (Nathanial) in 2006 and I have to admit it is the best music concert film I have seen! Pure Class!
Those that know me personally will probably understand this blog a little better, they’ll know how much ‘The Beastie Boys’ mean to me, how much their music has been a part of my life and how gutted I am to not see them live or to experience the anticipation of another studio album! I’m simply trying to pour out my feeling in tribute to the loss of someone great in this blog entry!
I’ll wrap up by simply saying thank you Adam Yauch for your music, your lyrics, for founding the Beastie Boys back in ’79 as a hardcore punk band and progressing so far that every track leaves a solid imprint on you! If you’re reading this and you’re not familiar with The Beastie Boys then do yourself a favor and get aquainted!
Rest In Peace Adam Yauch (MCA) 1964-2012
BEASTIE BOYS FOR LIFE!