My heart seriously just sunk a few moments ago when I learned that Adam Yauch, also known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away today after a 5-year battle with cancer. He was 47.
When I heard he was not attending the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony a few weeks back, I knew something was up, but I figured he was just getting treatment again.
At the ceremony, Ad- Rock (Adam Horovitz) and Mike D. (Michael Diamond) read a letter from Yauch in response to being inducted to the Rock Hall:
“I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike. They walked the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”
I think “touched” is an understatement. The Beastie Boys are one of the most important bands of my lifetime. Love them or hate them, the B-Boys changed music in a good good way and Yauch had a big part in that.
Currently the website / blog for the Beastie Boys is down, so I am waiting to see what the rest of the band has to say about this unfortunate loss. (UPDATE – The site is now up and there is an amazing piece about Yauch on it. Head over to the Beastie Boys site if you would like to check it out.)
All I know is that when I found out, I was sad – really sad. Maybe some people do not care, but I do…
I have been a fan of the Beastie Boys since I picked up Licensed To Ill in a Gold Circle store in 1986. I remember hearing them once on MTv when it was a cable channel that actually played music videos all the time. My Mom caved in and bought it for me. The way I looked at music changed the moment I ripped off that cellophane wrapper.
I grew up with them and wanted to be like them as a youth. My Paul’s Boutique cassette was played so much that it disintegrated. I have caught them a handful of times including when they headlined at Bonnaroo in 2009.
I was lucky enough to have met Yauch, and the rest of the B-Boys, in 2007 at the Virgin Mobile Music Festival in Baltimore. I interviewed the band for about 7 minutes and laughed more than anything. They were cool guys and I remember specifically Yauch just laughing hard while Ad-Rock stood ever so close to me while I rifled off some questions to them. It was a memory I will never forget, and now plan on cherishing for the rest of my life.
Yauch was always the bad ass of the group. He was an inspiration, an icon, a legend. He will be missed.