I nearly cried today during lunch when learning of the loss of Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch. Known as MCA, he played the bass guitar and belted out rhymes in a scratchy deep voice.
But I’m not blogging today about MCA’s bio. I write about how much I love MCA and the Beasties.
I am truthfully saddened by this loss to the music world. I was obsessed with the Beasties in junior high school. Posters of them lined my walls and I clipped out magazine pictures to paste onto school folders and notebooks. The Beastie Boys was perhaps the first band I loved that repulsed my mother when the rap/rock album License to Ill blasted into the mainstream. I played the License cassette every day after school. Here is how I first remember the Beastie Boys, completely rude and crude (well before their spiritual Free Tibet days, and sensitivity towards women) with MCA donning a leather jacket and baseball cap.
Image from allposterimages.com
But it took me a bit of time to get used to their more funky sounds in the following album, Paul’s Boutique. But when the early 90’s brought sounds like So Whatcha Want?, the Beastie Boys were propelled into the more alternative music scene. Since then, they’ve made amazing comebacks with songs like Sabotage, Intergalactic Planetary, Body Movin’ and Make Some Noise. Here and then, the Beasties would jam out to their original punk sound, keeping me and other fans listening faithfully. All they while MCA’s raspy voice wonderfully contrasted Mike D’s and Adrock’s higher pitches. MCA’s voice has remained distinct in the world of rap, proving not to be some monotonous droning sound.
Their music videos were usually very enjoyable and sometimes caused a few laughs. I am a fan of the Sabotage video, where they are dressed like 1970’s cops with thick fake moustaches. Other times they are dressed like Divo or in crazy matching suits, or have actors like Elijah Wood and Jack Black portray the Beasties.
I have jammed out to the Beastie Boys’ rap and rock sound, alternative, funk, and punk for at least 25 years now. Truthfully, I hoped for a few more albums. I wanted to hear more new ear candy from the Boys for another decade, showing the newbies how its done. I was thrilled about their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I have never considered them to be rock. But they changed music for the better. And even though Adam could not attend the induction, it is fortunate he was able to receive this honor in life.
Seven years ago, I was finally able to see them in concert at the Red Rock amphitheatre in Colorado. Although this venue is more suitable for rock or classic sounds, I still had loads of fun. They dressed in matching suits, rapped, played their instruments, and pleaded for the crowd not to re-elect President Bush. Ad-rock simply sung the famous opening word, “Noooowwwww….” from Paul Revere, all three Beasties went silent and let the crowd continue the song. We sucked. I went absolutely nuts when they played Sabotage.
To me, losing MCA hit like I’ve lost all three of my Beastie Boys. For each of them is irreplaceable. My heart goes out to Adam’s family and the surviving Boys, Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Hororwitz (Ad-rock).
Goodbye, MCA. I will miss your horribly.