I woke up this afternoon to hear the awful news. Adam Yauch (aka: MCA) of the Beastie Boys had died at the age of 47.
My friends and I basically grew up with the Beastie Boys. I spent my teenage years listening to “Paul’s Boutique” and “Check Your Head” religiously. Trying to figure out what they sampled and laughing at their mocking pop culture lyrics was what my buddy and I did at work on our down time.
I remember when I first heard the Beastie Boys. My brother bought their first album, “License to Ill” on tape when it came out and I, at the age of 7 I believe, loved “Brass Monkey.” Of course, that tape would be played to the point that it probably wore out.
Like I mentioned above, my buddy Scott and I would listen to “Paul’s Boutique” and “Check Your Head” over and over again during slow moments at work. I pointed out to him that most of the samples on “Sounds of Science” was The Beatles and he pointed out the bass line on “Egg Man” was Curtis Mayfield. We were music dorks like that.
We would play “Ill Communication” when it was really slow because of the explicit lyrics.
One Halloween, my buddy Lucas and I dressed up as the cops from their video for “Sabotage.” We had the suits and fake mustaches. We were 19 and were a hit at the numerous Halloween parties we ended up at.
In college I would write reviews for the vinyl reissues of “Paul’s” and “Check Your Head.” The vinyl remasters were amazing sounding. As I write this, I’m listening to the sonic masterpiece on the record player that is “Paul’s Boutique.”
I’m saddened to hear of MCA’s passing. His gruff vocals were great alongside Mike D’s and Ad Rock’s. They had such a great dynamic among the three of them. I mean, this is a group that made references to Jack Kerouac, “Charles in Charge,” Johnny Cash and 80′s game show hosts on the same side of one of their albums.
I knew Yauch had health issues. I remember because it was found out just before they released their last album, “Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.” It delayed for a year as he was going through his health problems. When it was released, I figured he must have beat the cancer. It is yet unknown what it was that did him in. But that album was dynamite. Truly a great album.
But Yauch and the others basically made the soundtrack to my teens and 20s. I still listen to the Beastie Boys to this day. Maybe not as often as I did in my younger days, but today I will listen to them all day. Because the Beastie Boys remind me of some of my best times. Rest In Peace, Mr. Yauch. Your music still resonates with new generations, and that is a great testament to your talents.