OK- things are definitely back to normal. Well, as normal as it ever is around here which I think is probably not all that normal. "413" is still getting a steady 1K or 2K new views every day. Today it's up to 142,000 plus. And one of my other music videos, "High School Girls" has found a new life of its own wracking up a few thousand new views over the past week as well. While I'm thrilled about all of this I keep coming back to the fact that...
MCA is gone. This is a loss that shakes the good Dr. to his core. There would be no Dr. Westchesterson were there no Beastie Boys. This is a fact. The Beasties are the entire foundation of what it is I do. Hell- I steal everything from them. Even the drumbreaks from Paul's Boutique which I not so stealthily inserted into my soon-to-be megahit, "Hot 16" (available on www.soundcloud.com as a free download). http://soundcloud.com/dr-westchesterson/04-a-hot-16-radio-edit
The Beastie Boys made it ok for white guys like me to attempt hip hop. And while their Judeo-American probascises now make up a good chunk of the Mt. Rushmore for hip hop artists, they took their share of flack for crossing the great racial divide back in the day, treading on hallowed ground and usurping an art form that didn't "belong to them". Yet they made their own way and they proved that if one's intentions are pure- the rest will take care of itself. And what's more pure than a Beastie Boys' track? It's the perfect combination of youthful fire, snark, humor, cool, innovation and groove. Their music is a litmus test of sorts. If you don't like the Beastie Boys, we're probably not going to get along.
I shudder to think how many other suburban sixth grade boys wore out "License to Ill" cassettes by the lunchbox-full in bright yellow Sony Sports Walkmens while spitting from the windows on the back of the bus. I woke up late for school many times- I didn't want to go. I asked my Mom, "please" but she still said, "no". Living at home wasn't exactly a drag (we had basic cable and three squares a day) and although my Mom never threw away my best porno mag (we hid them in the woods, buried in trash bags)- I was constantly ready to fight for my right to party despite the fact that the closest thing to a real party I'd been to up to that point was in my friend Sarah's parents' basement where we got crazy with the Kool-Aid and pizza.
But there they were- whenever you needed them. The Beastie Boys. All you had to do was push play and you could do it like this OR like that. Shit- you could even do it with a Whiffle Ball bat.
But now they're gone. The Beastie Boys are gone forever. With all due respect to Ad-Rock and Mike D the B-boys are three strong; a classic example of the whole being mightier than the sum of its parts. Once Lennon was gone, the Beatles would never be able to reunite. Ditto that for Bonham and Zeppelin, Morrison and the Doors- you get the idea. Sorry to say but it's a lesson the Who should've learned after Keith Moon went for a late night swim and never resurfaced. It's a reality that all of us gen-X thirty and forty-somethings are going to have a tough time coming to grips with. Even Kurt Cobain wasn't a huge surprise was it? I mean- that made sense in some tragic way. But MCA's passing makes NO sense.
Here's a guy who flipped the bird to the world while rockin' the mic, then got offstage and embraced the world via his philanthropy. Is that to say that MCA's persona was purely an act? Hellz no. You can't bring it like MCA without that irreverence that comes from a pure and real place. Adam Yauch stood for a lot more though than just egging cars and waxin' and milkin'. He fought for peace and made no bones about it yet he never came off like some stupid hippie or self-righteous superstar looking to bolster his public image. He stood for something. He mattered. He did it his way and he didn't give a fuck; all the while showing us that we should give a fuck.
So I don't know about all y'all but Adam Yauch's passing is a tough one. I can live knowing I'll never get to hear a new INXS tune or an album by the original line up of Guns N' Roses. But there's something very unsettling about waking up each day knowing that there's no more Beastie Boys. It makes me feel old. And mortal. And that sucks. The Beastie Boys make me feel like I'm sixteen again. They make me realize that it's perfectly ok to go smokin' and drinkin' on a Tuesday night. I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of that. I think the world needs to be reminded of that.
But it could be worse. At least I know I can always put on Paul's Boutique or Check Your Head and be instantaneously transported to a time where the only thing that mattered was getting someone to buy you beer or give you a lift to the mall. That's the only saving grace about this whole thing. They put it all on tape. So we can always go back.
We'll miss you MCA. Thanks for years of the illest communication known to man.