Now I have to admit that in recent years, I hadn’t followed the Beastie Boys as much as I had in younger days. It seemed as though it was ages ago when I couldn’t stop listening to those guys, and they were always a staple in my CD player (yeah, CD player….lol). I started to think about that a little bit and reflect on where I was when I was a big Beastie Boys fan and where I am now, and I have to say that it got me thinking about a simpler time in my life.
Those guys liked to party….hell, “Fight For Your Right” was a theme song at our high school parties. Smashing beer cans on your head, drinking with pretty girls, yelling and screaming and pretty much not giving a damn about anything was what those guys were about, and as young impressionable high school dudes, we embraced that. MCA was an idol to us….we emulated him. We looked up to him, and so did the music business. If you go back and listen to old school and newer rap alike, just think about how many times you’ve heard a sampling of a Beastie Boys beat, lyric, line or idea. It’s ironic that three white Jewish boys from NYC did so much to influence so many people at the early dawn of rap, but their mark on us is undeniable.I had the opportunity to see the Beastie Boys here in Denver back in 2000, and while it was one hell of a show, I did not realize at that time that this would be the only time I would have the opportunity to see them live. They had a huge mural with a dragon on it behind them as they performed and even at that time, I felt as though I had lost some of my youth as I had fallen away from being a hard core fan. Obviously, the group evolved over time to somewhat keep in sync with an older following, but I feel that they never lost their original hip-hop origins. I guess they didn’t really change….it was me.
I’ve been listening to a lot of old Beastie Boys for the last few days, and I have to say that it feels good. Maybe there is room in our adult professional lives for a little “illin” and “body rockin”. Maybe the next time you’re leaving a terrible business meeting that you just got your ass kicked in, or a fight with your wife or girlfriend that totally pissed you off, you should think about rocking a little “Brass Monkey” or “Jimmy James” to “put you in the right mood”. We’re not too busy and important for that, are we? The passing of MCA has reminded me that you’re never too old. I’m afraid that I’m getting to the age where a lot of my musical favorites will get older and start to pass away and leave us for good. It’s all a part of the game. I’ve got a new appreciation for the mortality of the musical acts from my younger days, and I think that some of those old forgotten songs will find their way onto my iPod in the very near future.
MCA, you will be missed. Time to get ill on the other side……and rest in peace, old friend.