I was 6 years old in 1986 -- when Licensed to Ill came out. I used to steal my brother's cassette and rock it on the little two-tape boombox I had in my room. I used to rock Ill Communication out of it while at house-parties my freshman year of college. I still have that boombox. What I'm trying to say is that life is long. And complicated. And it's incredibly rare to find something that really remains a constant throughout your life -- something that you can always turn to, and even though, like yourself, it has grown and evolved, it still makes you feel that unparalleled joy in the same fashion it did 25 years ago. For me that constant has always been the Beastie Boys. Before I fell for Jerry, before I fell for Phish and Pavement and Built to Spill and Radiohead and all my other favorite bands… I fell for these 3 white Jews who represented everything I thought was cool and right in the world. And c'mon, 2 of the kids are named Adam? When I was younger I always wanted to be AdRock though. He was the hyper punk I thought I could compete with. But MCA was the embodiment of smooth that I knew I could never achieve. He was the voice of this old-soul on a skateboard that just seemed a degree above everything else for me. But shit, as I got older -- it became all about that low knee swagger MCA would drop when his lines would come in. I don't know if he invented that or stole it from somewhere else -- but that is the epitome of honest white boy swag. Honestly, anytime I get on stage to perform, I'm always trying to make sure I look almost as cool as MCA does.
This has been a crazy day for me though. I suppose I shouldn't be so shocked at how sad I am, but sometimes it's wild to see how much people who you've never actually met can influence your life, and your heart, and the person you want to be. God, there's so many dip-shits out there in the music world, and for some reason Adam Yauch has to die at 47? From friggin' cancer? Can't we cure that bullshit by now? It's just another one of those moments of reaching out to all the good people in humanity and saying: Fuck -- man down -- everyone needs to pick up their game. You know? We need more real fucking heroes these days… people who can channel their love and passion for humanity into a medium that can change people's lives. And from the Tibetan Freedom Concerts to his earnest pledges of hope in his sarcastic street-grit lyrics, MCA was one of them.
I've talked to each of the ex-girlfriends today. Any existing bullshit was thrown out the window because each one of those women has heard me rant about the philosophical and existential wonder of the Beastie Boys before. And most of them feel the same way anyway. About how they are a constant force of love and passion, and a sign post that reality is a true place of wonder. We all have different markers of moments in time for us. Some things are huge and unite the whole world, like 9/11 or something. But sometimes, they're one of your favorite musicians dying. But either way they cause you to stop and think about where you are in your life, and how NOW relates to all the other "now's" that have gone by over the years. And sometimes those moments are big enough for the past to cycle back in for that moment. Moments in time when your entire sequential line of reality gets a little balled up, and the pains and joys that have their tangents to that moment all join together in a giant motion of acceptance and release. Sometimes saying goodbye and honoring one of your heroes can be a beautiful thing. And it can make you realize all the hours and years of love that that stranger brought into your life. But most of all, all I want to do today is scream Fuck, and roll a huge one, and play Paul's Boutique at full volume from my car windows.
Thoughts on Adam MCA Yauchphoto by Phil Andelman