It’s one of those things you always remember. Where you were when you first heard/fell in love with the Beastie Boys. For me it was at a kickball game in East Moline, Illinois in what must have been 1987. I know it was fifth grade because of who was there. License to Ill, specifically Brass Monkey. I picked up a new copy a few months ago, and we had no business listening to that. It’s gloriously vulgar, yet innocent, like adolescent boys with makeshift dry bars and panty-related agendas tend to be.
There aren’t many non-people things I’ve held on to consistently since then. Perhaps unconditional love for the Chicago Cubs (shut up) and the midwest. For most of my generation the Beastie Boys were responsible for a huge part of the soundtrack of our youth. As grown as we get cranking License to Ill, Paul’s Boutique or Check Your Head can, for a moment, take us back to an unincumbered, debaucherous and oddly innocent time, despite knowing the music was made by three pretty deep and thoughtful guys. Maybe that’s what makes it ok.
Today we lost Adam Yauch, MCA, to cancer at age 47. A beautiful contradiction. He leaves behind a wife, teenage daughter, his good works and an abbreviated lifetime of art that will continue to challenge us and provide us a reprieve from our adult woes.