When we were informed of the passing of Adam Yauch, a/k/a MCA of the Beastie Boys, the mood was decidedly crushed. This stems from many varied bits of understanding we had…emphasis on had. One, Yauch had cancer but beat it. He was out of the woods for good. Two, the Beastie Boys were supposed to be with us forever. We came up when they did, and we grew up and got wiser together. Three, Yauch couldn’t be gone, not this early, because that means we’re just as vulnerable and that scares the hell out of us.
We were wrong, on all counts. The punky, bad boy brats that not only did good, making an entire musical community rethink them after the head-slap that was Paul’s Boutique, but did good in the world rather than simply lining their ninth home with more gold and another Bentley, were still just flesh and blood, susceptible to all the awful things found in our own biology. Yauch represents the third in that rule of threes we ghouls in pop culture obsess about. He joins Dick Clark and Levon Helm, somehow forming the triangle that is the phases of popular music itself.
And remission? Don’t get us started about what a deceptive, unholy word remission is. Sweet to the ears when your doctor delivers it to you, but why must that prognosis always be a loaner?
I cannot speak for the rest of the staff but I’m presuming you’ll be reading more tributes to Yauch on this site in the days to come. In the meantime, let’s take a moment and reclaim the party. The Beasties were always about the living, and with that in mind we should remember MCA with a smile.