Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MCA...a belated R.I.P.

Adam Yauch
 1964 - 2012

I've got shark's teeth so I can bite your head
I've got tiger's claws that will scratch you dead
I've got wings like a dragon when I'm flying above
Shoot venom from my eyes when it's time to get rough
So step back, and check yourself
This MC's got weapons that'll ruin your health
So if you're feeling strong then reach for yours
My book is my shield and my mic is my sword

   I've been meaning on posting something about MCA after he passed away last May (Neal actually brought up posting some of their hardcore stuff on his blog at but-id-rather-be-sleeping, but so far he hasn't done shit).  The Beastie Boys were such an integral part of my life.  I remember getting "Licensed To Ill" on cassette the summer before 8th grade and blasting it through our boom box while my brother and I played strike-out in our front driveway, foul balls occasionally breaking neighbor's windows.  It was the first rap album that we loved & learned every song.  It's an understatement to say the Beasties were the soundtrack to our youth.  "Paul's Boutique" release was when we were all getting our driver's licenses and playing the cassette in our cars as we cruised the nights and wreaked havok on our small town.

We all dressed in black...we snuck up around the back...we began to attack...the eggs did crack on Haze's back

   We actually did a drive-by egging on a bouncer while cranking "Eggman".   He was sitting on a chair shmoozing with a girl outside of this venue called The Globe and as we walked by he said to her loudly "Look at these losers".  Well, we went back to our apartment, grabbed all the eggs out of the fridge and a half filled tub of expired yogurt and hopped in our friends car.  The venue was near a lit intersection, so we timed it that when the traffic light turned red we pulled up curbside to the venue.   Two of us exited the rear of the vehicle, "EggMan" spilling out into the evening.  We unloaded all the eggs on his ass with no mercy.  The girl ran away screaming, eggs exploded off his body in rapid succession.  While he stumbled there stunned, we asked him back loudly, "Who's the loser now?  Yolk's on you!!" My friend then took a step forward and lobbed the tub of rancid yogurt into his face.  Before he could even react, we were back in the car and our getaway driver took off, a perfectly timed green light in the distance.

Some static the pool hall...hit a motherfucker's face...with the cue ball...

   This one time I requested "Car Thief" at a this bar/indie dance club Mad Planet and some frat guy kept purposefully knocking into me, spilling my drink.  I looked at him and punched him in the face as fast as I could.  I remember falling to the ground during the commotion and all his frat buddies trying to kick me.  My fingers felt like they dug into the wood floor and I pulled myself up and ran out the front door and jumped in a bush to my immediate right.  They all ran out the bar and past me like a Scooby Doo cartoon!  HaHa!!  Good Times!

Brother now...I'd like to ask you like to feel the bass in your face in the crowd

   The first time I saw the Beasties was on their "Check Your Head" tour,  my freshman year of college at UW-Milwaukee.  They played at the Rave, a medium sized venue, and Basehead (bought their cd "Play With Toys" ahead of time at Atomic Records) and Firehose (first time I heard "Slack Motherfucker" and to this day still LOVE the song & prefer their version to Superchunk's original) opened up the show.  For some reason, the venue had the drinking crowd (21+) on the main floor and the 20 and younger in the balcony.  At that point in time, we outnumbered the older crowd like 10 to 1.  The balcony was PACKED.  I still remember to this day that it was so hot up there, the ceiling was dripping sweat from the heat of the crammed bodies.  Below us there were definitely a mass of people, but it was sparse.  The lights went out and we saw the shadows of some figures running to the stage.  Then in complete darkness "Slow and Low" began.  By the time the beginning chorus ended, light burst open onto the stage and Mike D started up their trademarked lyrical exchange.  The balcony went ballistic.  There were speakers everywhere.  They were placed in a gradual incline towards the second floor.  MCA climbed two sets of speakers and started pulling kids out of the balcony.  They were slowly dropping to the stage and rushing out to the main floor.  Next thing you know, kids were actually climbing over the guardrail and hanging as far as they could until dropping to the lower level.  So many people were doing it, they couldn't stop it.  It was complete anarchy and the show never stopped.   I've seen hundreds  of shows and that's one I'll never forget. 

Smoking and drinking on a Tuesday Night...

   I saw them a few other times throughout the years.  Lollapalooza was fun.  The Ill Communication Tour on a rotating stage with Tribe Called Quest opening up was another goodie.  I actually saw my future wife in the crowd at that one and went home with a black eye and bloody lip thanks to the pit that erupted during "Heart Attack Man". That album was the soundtrack to my friends and I living on our own for the first time, partying every night, drinking forties while playing NHL hockey on Sega Genesis stoned.   From seeing the video of my favorite song "Rhyme The Rhyme Well" off the album "To The 5 Boroughs" on a television in a popkin shop in Bulgaria, to hunting down their recent limited "Record Store Day" vinyl releases, to their last 2011 album "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two" making my best of the year list... I have always been excited about news from MCA, Mike D & Ad Rock...and I thought they would be one of those bands that would be around forever.  Aging into a straight up instrumental funk band like they made famous on "The In Sound From Way Out!".   I never pictured them not being Three.
   Brotherhood, youth, ignorance, innocence, friendship, boom boxes, turntables, smoke machines, strobe lights, plastic cups, house parties, intoxication praying mantis style, fist fights, enlightenment, cruising, debauchery, laughter, snowboarding, record hunting at Atomic, playing hack at Jerry Ct, make out sessions, one night stands, true love, ...these are the images and sensations I feel when I hear the Beastie Boys.  Mike D, Ad Rock and MCA.  Thank You.

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