Yesterday, we said goodbye to a true musical legend under the name of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of Beastie Boys fame. Although, I’ve never listened to all that much of Beastie Boys, who produced such massive hits as Sabotage and Fight For Your Right (To Party), I do know that they are a massive influence to a lot of musicians and that they have a long-term, very loyal fanbase, who are all deeply affected.
Yauch was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1964 and was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, which was then a punk band, with Michael Diamond, who is the only remaining original member, John Berry and Kate Schellenbach. They played their first gig on Yauch’s 17th birthday and by the time, he was in his early 20s, the group had moved into hip hop and released their first album Licenced To III.
Not only a rapper, producer and songwriter, Yauch also set up an independent film company called Oscilloscope Laboratories, which produced a few small films. He also directed many of the band’s music videos as well as the Beastie Boys’ concert film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That in 2006.
In 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer in his throat but was told that it was treatable. The band then went on to record their last album Hot Sauce Committee and became the “biggest selling rap group” since 1991. The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame last month, where Yauch wasn’t present due to his illness. He died yesterday aged 47.
A lot of stars, both musicians and actors, have tweeted their condolences for such a well-loved, well-respected artist, who said back in 1986:
“The Beastie Boys, are putting rock and roll back into rock and roll, and doing just what you, the listeners, want to hear”.
Although I knew little of his work, it’s always sad when someone held in such high-esteem by so many people is lost. May he and his music be forever played and remembered.