Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys passed away yesterday. To some, this is just basic celebrity news where you think, “oh that’s too bad” or “oh, he was so young.” But, to me (and countless other Beastie Boys fans), this is like losing a friend. I have not ever cared so much or been so sad over a famous person’s death.
I remember the first time I heard “Fight for your Right to Party.” It was with my dad in his very ugly brown Nissan. He wasn’t a BBoys fan, but he did (and still does) enjoy “popular” music and if I remember correctly, the song was on some sort of comp cassette tape he was listening to. That tape also had “Come on Feel the Noise” on it and some Twisted Sister song. My dad has interesting taste in music 🙂 I really loved “Fight for your Right to Party.” I was in elementary school.
I would listen to the Beastie Boys here and there in middle school, but high school (senior year) is when I really became obsessed. And I mean, OBSESSED. I had posters of them in my room. Around that time, AOL had just come out and I would chat with others about the Beastie Boys for hours. I swapped tapes of rare Beastie Boys stuff with some stranger (wonder whatever happened to that kid and HELLO, internet safety?!?! That kid had my address?!?! My mother obviously did not know about this…). I listened to everything that anyone who worked with the Beastie Boys made. I watched their music videos for hours. Then I saw them in concert and it was over. I was in awe. 1994 at Lollapolloza. Best. Show. Ever. I think I saw them 4 or 5 times in concert after that. In fact, they were about to tour again not too long ago when Adam was diagnosed with cancer. That tour was cancelled.
Today, I think I’ll listen to some Beastie Boys and think about the influence they’ve had in my life. Pretty crazy that some white rappers can mean so much, right?