Taking over the world by doing nothing, from Afwanistan to Zanzibar, brought to you live from the Command Bunker at the Lightning Man World Propaganda Network....Of all the blogs you've ever read, this one is the most recent.
Friday, May 4, 2012
The Passing of a Musical Icon: Adam Yauch
It's not often that I am moved to write about the death of a celebrity,
unless it's to be snarky or prove a point. However, today I felt the need to
write as I absorb the news that a musician I greatly admired for over half my
life, roughly the last 25 years, had finally lost his 3-year battle with
Known to the world as MCA, Adam Nathaniel Yauch was one-third of pioneering
hip-hop band The Beastie Boys. MCA was always my favorite band member, with his
gravelly voice and incredible rhyme delivery. More than just a rapper, Yauch
was a talented lyricist, director, and film distributor, as well as a husband
Born & raised in his beloved Brooklyn, NY , Yauch fittingly passed away
there today at 47. At the tender age of 22, Yauch and his bandmates exploded
onto the music scene in late 1986/early 1987 with the release of their debut
album License to Ill, which sold over 9 million copies and was the first
hip-hop album to top the Billboard 200 charts. To date, The Beastie Boys have
sold over 40 million albums worldwide and have been nominated for ten Grammy
Awards, winning three. This year the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame, with Yauch being inducted in absentia due to his failing health,
with his bandmates paying him a warm tribute from the stage. A letter from Adam
was read to the crowd and fellow inductees The Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicated
their live performance to Yauch.
Goofy kids having fun: The Beastie Boys in 1987. From L-R : MCA (Adam Yauch), Ad-Rock (Adam Horowitz), and Mike-D (Michael Diamond).
All grown up: The Boys in 2006, L-R Mike-D, MCA, and Ad-Rock.
In 2011, Adam received the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and
Letters from the college he attended for two years, Bard College in
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The award is "given in recognition of a
significant contribution to the American artistic or literary heritage".
A practicing Buddhist, Yauch founded Milarepa Fund, a
non-profit organization which promotes Tibetan independence. In 1996,
Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco’s Golden
Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the largest U.S. benefit concert since
1985's Live Aid.
After September 11, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against
Violence, a benefit headlined by Beastie Boys in New York, with the proceeds
going to to the New York Women’s Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New
York Association for New Americans September 11 Fund for New Americans.
I guess Adam’s death hit me harder than the average
celebrity death because he was only 5 years
older than me, and his music had been part of my life for 25 years. I
never heard anything negative in the press about him and he always seemed like
he’d be a really fun guy to hang out with for an afternoon, down to earth
rather than a pretentious flake.