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So on Friday we learned the awful news that MCA from the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, died at the age of 47…losing his battle with cancer. Ugh, cancer blows. This seriously bummed me out over the weekend, and the more I thought of it…the more I was saddened by it. The Beastie Boys could easily be the soundtrack to my early teen through my late teen years. I was so obsessed with the Beastie Boys as a kid, that I wanted to be a Beastie Boy. I’ve shared my stories of being in a break dancing “troop” and a skate punk as a kid, and License to Ill was the soundtrack. I was 12 when I first heard that cassette…yes, it was 1986, what the hell was a CD? This band resonated for me, and my friends…as this was “our” band…we had a lot of “Brooklyn Pride”, and here is a band that is singing about our home…so of course “No Sleep Til” Brooklyn” was our jam, but for me…it was the first song off of this album that hooked me…sampling Zeppelin & Sabbath during a time when we didn’t even know what “sampling” meant.
We listened to this album over and over and over…going through multiple copies of the cassette…all of us wanted to get our hands on a Volkswagen logo off a car so we too could rock the VW on a chain like MCA, Ad Rock, and Mike Diamond wore. I loved each of their vocal abilities for different reasons, by far my favorite was MCA…raspy and smooth…he just sounded cool the second he opened his mouth. As a 13 year old I wanted nothing more than to hit puberty fully so that I too could have a 5 o’clock shadow. Yes we were that obsessed.
After License to Ill, many people didn’t pay attention to their next record, I was not one of those people. I fell in love with Paul’s Boutique immediately. Thanks to this song…
I just loved the vibe to this…but as I listened to the rest of the record, it was this song that blew me away…it was just so damn heavy!!!!!
I know a lot of people that didn’t like Paul’s Boutique at first but then rediscovered it eventually (kind of like Weezer’s Pinkerton)….I am glad that they did…it’s such a great album. The sampled so many songs on that record, but back then you didn’t have to pay royalties (sampling was a whole new world)…they could never make a record like this now…it would cost way too much money to get clearance for all of the stuff they lifted!
Next up was Check Your Head…this was high school personified! My band mate Steve and I played this cassette (yup, still rocking cassettes) all the time…So Whatcha Want…Pass The Mic, and my favorite…Gratitude!
Even though I have to show love to gratitude, I have to share the video to So Whatcha Wanbt…whenever this would be played on MTV…I would stop everything and watch it. Yes kids, there was a time when MTV played videos…I lived it bitches!!!
I could go on and on…and on on and on…about my love of the Beasties! From seeing them on their Ill Communication tour for Lolapalooza…to getting to see them at the Crocodile Café with just a couple hundred other people a few years back (Thanks Sgt. Hairclub for taking me). The Beastie Boys will always bring me back to being a teenage skate punk from Brooklyn NY.
I would like to end with a song that got me a little teary eyed when I watched it…as well as massive goose bumps. The night we learned of his passing, the guys in Coldplay were playing in LA and paid tribute to Adam Yauch with a version of Fight For Your Right!