Remembering Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

The passing of Adam Yauch saddens me. I wasn’t going to write today, as food poisoning has debilitated me beyond the patience to sit and type. Adam’s passing has me here. I didn’t really know him as a Beastie Boy, although I had a coincidental meal with him at the airport when they signed their big deal. They were off to Vegas or someplace like that to celebrate and we were off to Paris to pick up my wife’s wedding dress from Thierry Mugler. I met the crew when they were youngins tooling around St. Marks Place on skateboards. There were four that I remember; Shadi was still alive. I was holding meetings at the Holiday every day as my new promo business couldn’t afford an office. I had a table in the back and, for the cost of a few drinks a day, Stefan the owner was happy to have me.

I guess they heard I was doing a show, a hardcore punk show featuring The Undead and Khmer Rouge, two bands I was managing into obscurity. The Undead actually got signed by Stiff Records just a few weeks before Stiff closed down. It was like that. They asked me if they could open. They called themselves the Young and the Useless and for that alone they earned a spot on the bill. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I think I paid them $15 and they had to help load in the gear. It was like that. The space was some second-floor dance studio or loft on, I believe, 2nd Avenue just above Houston. It’s unimportant. What was important was they weren’t a joke.

I wasn’t surprised when I and the rest of downtown was invited by Vito Bruno in’83 or’84 to see them perform in some club…maybe 21st Street. You must forgive me as I am really ill and my mind cannot focus. I seem to remember being surprised that Kate Schellenbach (drummed for Luscious Jackson) wasn’t on drums – maybe it was Rick Rubin who was. They weren’t punks anymore, not physically and not musically. The Beastie Boys came to be what they are famous for. Maybe Shadi had passed by then, I can’t remember. I remember a sadness hung over the scene for quite some time. I remember how much fun he was but I strain to remember his face. I do remember seeing his tag all over town for quite awhile. There was one by the Midtown Tunnel that lasted forever. Over the years, I would see Adam in a club or on the street and he would say hello. He was way cool and I know a great many people who can’t deal with this news.

I can’t really speak to this or much of anything more today, so in their words:

"All I wanna know is when is checkout time, So I could be in heaven with the rhythm rock rhyme, And when I’m with my man Shadi rock at the gates, We’ll be rockin’ rhythms over disco breaks."