I grew up with the Beastie Boys. My first memory of them was a mix tape my cousin had at my Grandma’s house. I remember it had RUN DMC and the Beastie Boys and some other stuff on it. I was really young and my cousin played this tape for me. I was too young to understand what I was listening to, but I liked the energy and all the yell talking and it was fun and made me smile when I was probably crying like a lunatic for no reason. I was kind of a douchebag as a little kid. Cried all the time…
I was too young to hear “Paul’s Boutique” when it came out but later on I’d buy that TAPE (a effing tape, how do those work?!) in a discount bin when I had my first car at 18 and I wore it out. And blew my speakers in Neil (my car) at one point listening to “Shake Your Rump.” I remember this idiot I was dating in college for a minute who thought he was THE AUTHORITY on hip hop getting into my car not knowing what it was and I just looked at him and told him to shut up and listen, this was art.
Before that though when I was in junior high, “Check Your Head” came out and holy mother of noise it was awesome. I was in love with it and used to listen to that and “Nevermind” constantly. “Check Your Head” was one of my favorite records in 8th grade and one time when my mom grounded me to the point of making me give her all of my tapes and cds, I hid it and my CD Walkman and used to hang out in my room after she’d gone to bed and listen to it on repeat. (Sorry Mom) “Gratitude,” became my favorite song and I could probably listen to it another four thousand times and never get sick of it. It’s so sonically interesting and the lyrics are amazing.
Some of my best friends in high school (Hi Josh) loved the Beastie Boys too, so when we were rolling deep in their various shitty high school cars the Beasties were on ALOT. This was around the time when the Beastie Boys launched Grand Royal and I have to give it up to them for bringing me Luscious Jackson way before they went pop and also for bringing Atari Teenage Riot to America. I might have worn out a cd or two from that label during the summer after high school.
Then there was “Hello Nasty.” I was in radio by then and got a big kick out of playing NEW Beastie Boys. Hell, we blew the doors off of “Make Some Noise” when it came out last year. I don’t think the Beastie Boys ever made a bad single when you look at it from a programmers point of view. They were just a very solid and creative group and the music world will miss them.
I can’t pretend to know MCA. I only saw the band play once in 94 when my dad took me to Lolllapalooza. I can say that I was proud of the man MCA became, apologizing for all the misogynistic comments he made in the past and working so hard for Tibet and continuing to do really interesting music. I remember when I found out he had cancer, I was walking to the beach and I got an email from some prep service on my phone and I actually stopped at the end of my street and sat on the fence for a second. It didn’t seem fair at the time, that someone who’s entire musical journey was based on living life would get something like cancer.
When I saw the “Fight For Your Right Revisited” thing last year I was in tears because it was so goddamn funny. The Beastie Boys are three dudes you’d expect to live forever. You’d expect them to always be this background presence in your life, doing cool shit you can only dream of and being these weird almost super hero characters, lending their voices to causes you care about. Doing things you can’t do yourself.
I had to go on the air yesterday and announce Adam’s passing. My boss actually knew the guy and was a little shook up. We blew the format up and did an hour of the Beasties and damn while we were doing it, I kept thinking of songs we should be playing. I wanted to do more. I was so self conscious about not doing MCA justice. In the end me and my jocks crowded into the studio and had a party. At one point I think I had four people crammed in there. Telling stories, playing music, feeling it. We decided the best thing to do was celebrate the amazing ill shit that MCA did instead of being somber. Even my boss agreed that it’s what MCA would have wanted.
RIP Adam. You’re going to be so very missed.