Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch passes away at age 47.
RollingStone.com reported this morning that the Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away this morning at the age of 47, after a three year battle with cancer.
As some of you may know, I am a HUGE Beastie Boys fan--I often call them “My Boys” The Beastie Boys--I grew up with them and they grew up with me. Their music as been with me every step of my clumsy little life. So, it should come as no surprise that I took the news of founding member Adam "MCA" Yauch’s death pretty hard. I am not ashed to admit that I blared Licensed To Ill from my car speakers this morning while sitting alone in the abandoned old Wal Mart parking lot. Have you ever cry/screamed “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” before? I have. Three times today. (It wasn’t pretty.)
So, in memory of one of my dear, dear Boys, let’s take a look back at the late, great life of Adam Yauch.
MCA co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 with Michael Diamond (Mike D), and Adam Horovitz (Ad Rock). They first began as a hardcore punk band and played their first live show in 1981 on Yauch’s 17th birthday. The trio first appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash before releasing their first EP Polly Wog Stew, in 1982, which was followed up by their experimental hip hop 12” Cooky Puss. The Beastie Boys made the official transition to hip hop in 1984 after a sleugh of successful 12” singles followed by their debut album Licensed to Ill in 1986.
Under the alias “Nathaniel Hornblower” Yauch directed many of the Beastie Boys’ music videos, including “Intergalactic” and “Ch-Check It Out”. “Hornblower”, which Yauch claimed was his uncle from Switzerland, made his first TV debut at the MTV Video Music Awards when he stormed the stage in protest after REM won the award for best direction for their song “Everybody Hurts” over the Spike Jonze directed Beastie Boys video “Sabotage”. This was the first time that anyone had ever stormed the stage at an MTV award show.
Not only was Yauch a bass player, rapper, and director, but he also ran a production company, Oscilloscope Pictures, which produced many films, including We Need to Talk About Kevin, and the forthcoming LCD Soundsystem documentary “Shut Up and Play the Hits”.
In the mid-1990s he co-founded the Milarepa Fund, which helped raise money for the Tibetan independence movement. They put on a series of concerts titled the “Tibetan Freedom Concerts”.
In 2009 Yauch was diagnosed with cancer (a tumor in a salivary gland), resulting in a cancelled tour and a delay of their album “The Hot Sauce Committee Part I”. That album was later stated to be ‘delayed indefinitely’ and “The Hot Sauce Committee Part II” was released on (ironically) May 4th, 2011.
Last month, in April, the Beastie Boys were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the end, Adam lived his life fighting for my right to party ...and I intend to make him proud. And what better way to remember Adam than with one of the Beastie Boys most iconic songs, in a video that he directed, featuring Elijah Wood, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Jack Black, and a sleugh of other great actors? (Full list here.) This is Fight For Your Right (Revisited).
RIP Adam "MCA" Yauch. You will be missed.