Adam Yauch RIP
Sad Friday. Like a few of you, my first exposure to The Beastie Boys came when they exploded on the burgeoning rap scene, embracing their funky East Coast white boyz with tude pose backed up by their wild original style. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan primarily because I associated their party music with loudmouth cretins. I always appreciated their beats however, and their Spike Jonez directed video, SABOTAGE, became an instant classic. I was glad to hear the Beastie Bos themselves rue their early fan base, and like the artists they are, branched off into other music and movies. Adam Yauch put his money where his mind is by founding Ocilloscope Pictures (with a logo riffing off Toho-Scope) devoted to distributing independent films and unique classics to DVD who established themselves with THE MESSENGER. I was contacted by them a couple years back in regards to a hopeful video release of, yes, SKIDOO. Sadly, for economic reasons it didn’t pan out, but I always thought how cool it was to trace my life back from downtown punk-pads blasting “Licensed To Ill” to the intricacies of licensing to film under the auspicies of a Beastie Boy. More importantly, Yauch did what all true artists do, he shared his gifts with other artists, shifting his horizons from skateboard parks to mixing boards to velvet curtain cinema. The fact that I can even share this tiny anecdote is testament to his vision. Instead of playing an obvious tribute tune, here’s “Harmonics Of Life” from a close collaborator, Money Mark, from his wonderful, underheard, 1998 “Push To Play.” Skate On MCA.