Beastie Boys - Coney Island High 22.11.1995 & The Scott & Gary Show, 9.12.1984. - VIDEO
Beastie Boys' rapper, bassist, video director and Tibetan rights promoter Adam "MCA" Yauch has succumbed to cancer yesterday, aged 47. I haven't had such a strong feeling of personal loss due to a musician's death since Joe Strummer had died. Both of these men were influential to my life, not only by providing a soundtrack to countless great moments I have had, but also by giving me a framework of various interests to explore, musics to discover, even clothes to wear (I have not attended a wedding in the last 15 years wearing anything besides the Beasties' suit-and-sneakers attire). The Clash's "Sandinista!" and Beastie Boys' "Check Your Head" stand as two of the most obvious examples of outsiders successfully taking in different styles of music not "appropriate" for their background, in the process teaching their fans that all music is worthy of at least giving a chance to. Hell, even the Beasties' switch to hip-hop was such a then-unheard-of cultural/musical mismatch that it took them half a decade to prove they were NOT a joke band! Another common thread connecting Joe's and Adam's death for me is the fact both were still making vital, creative and immensely enjoyable music, and both had - or that's what I thought - still lots of time left to give more. I will never find out where Joe would have went after "Global a Go-Go", an incredible record that in my book stands much higher than the respectable, but inherently failed posthumous work "Streetcore" (and on a side note, do all those celebrities and journalists who proclaimed "Streetcore" Joe's best work, really think it's a compliment to say that a man's best work was the one others had finished for him, without his guidance and participation?); I will also probably never again hear a new Beastie Boys record. I have never seen Joe live; I have also, and will never, see the Beastie Boys live. I have seen their live footage on TV and firmly believe they were one of the best, most fun and most energetic live acts ever; even watching them on TV, I couldn't help jumping a little. I was always certain there would be tons of chances to catch them, and have missed out on shows in my region (the closest one being the Exit festival in Novi Sad, Serbia), waiting for them to come closer to my town. Who would've thought they would be taken from us so cruelly? Before I end this rambling post with a video of their two punk rock shows, one recorded in the "modern" Beasties era and the other an ancient one, I will add a few simple words bass legend and punk rock's official father figure Mike Watt wrote about Adam:
this man, brother adam... how he could work the bass!