Namaste MCA

When news hit yesterday that Adam Yauch, aka MCA, of the Beastie Boys had succumbed to cancer, I was hit with a sadness I have never felt for someone I don’t know.

In truth, I wasn’t even a huge Beastie Boys fan, but that’s how influential they were. They permeated the pop culture. What kid of my age doesn’t remember seeing “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” on MTV as a kid and thinking they were the coolest MFers to walk the planet?

But over the years, they really evolved, becoming more aware of their behavior and being socially conscious. And I believe a lot of that had to do with Yauch’s conversion to Buddhism and his desire for equality for all.

I surprised even myself with my outpouring of emotion upon learning of his death. I didn’t know him personally and only followed the Beastie Boys peripherally over the years. I didn’t even own any of their albums. But the loss I feel is huge.

I don’t know if it’s because his death seems so sudden. I knew he had cancer, but had no idea it had gotten that bad. Or maybe his death parallels my own father’s death in a lot of ways. A man beloved by all taken far too soon; so much more he had to accomplish and no time left to do it. But honestly, I think it’s because he was one of the good ones in a generally terrible business who was trying to make things right – in music and the world. And that hole is not going to be filled any time soon.

I’ve read a lot of tributes over the last 24 hours and I think the Yeah Yeah Yeah‘s summed it up the best

MCA.  You lived so many lives in your time here.  Equal parts Musician, activist, philanthropist, director, producer, and father. You taught us how to be cool while getting older, and showed us how to be caring and how to laugh through the same medium. Who else could be friends with the Dalai Lama and also produce the Bad Brains? You were always so supportive and kind to us when we saw you, we are so grateful to have crossed paths.  Our thoughts are with you and your loved ones, our hearts are engulfed with maximum MCA LOVE.

I’m not a huge Coldplay fan, but this tribute really touched me as well.

Do yourself a favorite and go listen to the best 20 Beastie Boys songs and reminisce. I have very fond memories of driving to Brooklyn to see a Moldy Peaches show and shouting “NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN” for a good majority of that trip. And who hasn’t rocked out to “Sabotage” while driving?

So forgive my language for this one, but fuck cancer. You took one of the good ones again.

To donate, give to the American Cancer Society or the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.


About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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