It’s been an incredibly sad 72 hours or so since we learned of the death of The Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch, who lost his courageous, three-year battle with cancer at the age of 47. As a means of helping everyone (including ourselves) through the grieving process, we put together this compilation of five moments from MCA’s life that aren’t necessarily the things that you would automatically remember when thinking of him, but moments that are nonetheless essential to capturing who he was as an individual.
1) Before The Beastie Boys Got Famous (1983)
Years before they got signed to Def Jam and became household names with the release of Licensed To Ill, Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Kate Schellenbach (later of Luscious Jackson) were a noisy punk outfit. (That’s MCA slappin’ da bass.)
2) Introducing Nathaniel Hornblower
Hornblower was MCA’s alter ego, and his famous crashing of the 1994 VMAs is a moment that will forever capture his playful spirit.
3) Hip Hop Honored
The Beastie Boys were among the honorees at the 2006 edition of VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors; this interview segment is a perfect example of the chemistry that the guys had together.
4) Ballin’ With B-Easy
This outtake from Yauch’s 2008 documentary film, Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot, shows a healthy Yauch playing a spirited game of 2-on-2 with future NBA lottery pick Michael “B-Easy” Beasley.
5) One Last Show
Unbeknownst to everyone who attended Bonnaroo in 2009 (including yours truly), this would be the very last time the Beastie Boys ever performed live in concert. Here’s their closing song from that night, “Sabotage.”