Whinery: R.I.P. Beastie Boys MCA

Tragic news from the music world, Adam Yauch – or as he was known, MCA from the Beastie Boys – passed away today after a long bout with cancer…

Like most white kids from the burbs, I dabbled some with Run-DMC and LL Cool J but never really gave up “Hair Metal” for rap music until Licensed to ILL was released in ’86. And after seeing their video- back when MTV still played music- for  their song Fight for Your Right (To Party) I went to Metro North Mall the next day, picked up the cassette and have been a huge fan of the Beasties ever since….

 First saw them live at the Uptown with my good friend Anthony Turner in 87’, or thereabouts, and WOW!

  After a stop a Speedy’s Liquor in the “Hood” – where I bought a 12 pack of Old Milwaukee Light using dubious forms of ID – we drank in the parking lot before going into the show. Murphy’s Law and Fishbone warmed up the crowd, then the curtain parted. After hearing lots of commotion from behind it, the theater went black, spotlights hit the stage and from behind the curtain came one of the craziest stage setups I’ve ever seen. 

There was a girl dancing in a cage and a hydraulic dildo and a giant can of Bud on lifters. And for the next hour and a half, three guys ran around in a circle spitting beer on the crowd and throwing beer cans everywhere. And the mosh pit was total chaos.

Saw them again at Kemper about a year later, when they opened for Run-DMC and the Beasties were out of control again. I was working as a doorman at the Hyatt Regency at Crown Center at the time and that’s where they were staying after the show- and proceeded to tear up two floors so bad that they got banned from all Hyatt Properties. According to housekeeping, they picked up at least 24 cases of beer cans, furniture was ruined, naked groupies running between rooms…

Rappers with a punk rock attitude.

Caught their act one more time at Memorial Hall in KCK on the Check Your Head Tour which was awful. They were playing instruments! The Beasties had no business at that time deviating from having Mix Master Mike playing all the music. They seemed to think that if the volume was high enough, no one would notice their remedial skill levels.

 It’s sad that there will never be another Beasties show to go to.

Been listening to Paul’s Boutique while writing this…which I think is their greatest recording.  The legalities of  song sampling were changed after that record and nothing like it will probably ever be made again.

 Good Luck and G-dspeed to MCA on the other side… and thanks for the music.

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5 Responses to Whinery: R.I.P. Beastie Boys MCA

  1. Hearne says:

    Great post…
    My first memory of the Beastie Boys was very similar. Summer 1986 at the New Music Seminar in NYC.

    It came in the form of a totally unexpected, daytime mini gig in which the boys blew into a small room and just went completely crazy doing like one or two songs and jumping around like mad men. It was insane. They were totally out of control. Who were these kids? I wondered.

    Then it was over as quickly as it had began and the rest is history.

  2. balbonis moleskine says:

    How to make a brass monkey:

    Take a 40 ounce malt liquor bottle, drink it down to the end of the conical part and the beginning of the cylindrical part. Fill the top part up with OJ.

    Drink it, and CHECK YOUR HEAD

  3. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Saw ’em at Kemper in ’98 with Tribe Called Quest and while the show is a great memory, by then the Beasties were in a new phase that I couldn’t get into as much as the Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique period. Paul’s Boutique was like London Calling if you were so inclined and of the right age in ’89 when it dropped. Coolest rap record ever made, hands down. Once they started playing instruments their game had changed and it just wasn’t the same. Although, The In Sound From Way Out is a bad ass instrumental record. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to see them back in ’87 at the Uptown. Must have been pure beautiful madness.

    I’ll never forget for as long as I live, the first time I heard Fight For Your Right To Party…I was in the car with my mom sitting at the stoplight at 87th and Blue Ridge, back when there was a Dunkin Donuts on that corner. I remember that song coming on, I turned it up to see what it was and about blew my mom’s ear drums. Next thing I know we’re at Bannister Mall and I’m in Camelot Music store buying Licensed to Ill on cassette. Ahh the memories.

  4. kcfred says:

    My turn to piss on the Cheerios
    They’re still just guys with mikes. I find it hilarious that when they started playing instruments…they sucked.
    Don’t compare them to The Clash.
    The Clash actually played their own music.
    Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference.
    They will always be 3 guys with mikes.
    Rapping ain’t music, call it what you want but music actually should have “musicians”, you know, guys who play music?
    If you want to take a look at it, these guys are partly responsible for white dudes liking rap, which pretty much killed off music after 1990.
    And get off my lawn…

  5. Merle Tagladucci says:

    good speech fred

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