I can still remember most of the lyrics to “Paul Revere”. When I was just 11-years-old, my bunkmates at Camp Akiba and I sang it all the time. But, it would be years until I really understood the humor, irony, and creativity of the Beastie Boys.
In high school, my girlfriends and I rediscovered the classic Licensed to Ill. We cruised, as all suburban teenagers do, and sang out “No Sleep Till Brooklyn!” We loved “Girls” too, never once feeling it was degrading, or demeaning.
In college, I was delighted to learn a Brass Monkey was indeed a real drink. The college years brought us Ill Communication, though Frat boys dancing (or rather jumping up and down) on floors slick with stinky beer nearly ruined it for me.
And post college, in my early twenties, the Beastie Boys were still there- maybe a little angrier, a little more philosophical, but weren’t we all?
Then, there was the summer of 1998, when my friend Ranee and her friends stayed with us – a whirlwind of lip gloss, tank tops, and flip flops – so they could go to the Tibetan Freedom Concert.
I remember it well because they (my friends, not the Beastie Boys) chipped in and bought me a ticket for one of the days as a thank you for letting them stay the weekend. It was the concert where some poor girl got struck by lightening. Seriously, how crazy is that?
The passing of Adam Yauch has brought back so many memories – driving around with my friends, singing, laughing, being silly. I miss going to concerts and drinking cool beer in the hot sun. I miss talking about saving the world.
MCA, thank you for your creativity and your humor, for mixing musical genres in new ways, and for inspiring others to embrace social causes.