Henry Rollins: The Column! R.I.P. MCA
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
A few days ago, I woke up to the sad news that Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys had lost his battle with cancer and passed away.
As the sun started to set in Hobart, Australia -- where I was performing that night -- I became sadder and sadder. I wanted to talk about him during the show but, not having had much time to think about what I would say, I didn't want to get anything wrong or in any way be misunderstood. So I said nothing about him and kept it all to myself.
Last week, I was in a gym and on the television was one of those endless "best of" music video marathons. The show played the Beasties' "Sabotage" video. I don't know how many times I have seen this mini-masterpiece directed by Spike Jonze, but it never fails to knock me out every time. The talent of Adam and his cohorts Mike D and Ad-Rock is a very large and deep pool.
I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to tour with the Beastie Boys and watched almost every set they played on all those dates. Why not? You do your set and then you get to see the Beasties play? Best deal in town.
Never was any show a letdown. The fact that they would break away from the rap material and actually play instruments onstage -- sometimes to the dissatisfaction of some of their MTV-generated, ADHD-addled youth fans -- made it all the more impressive. They were a real band, and if they had to test the patience of some kid at his second concert, all the better. The Beastie Boys were completely impressive and you could tell their love of music was the real thing.
Not to get too music critic on you, because those parade watchers are such a pain in the ass, but the Beastie Boys in my opinion pulled off quite an amazing feat years ago that bears mentioning.