Death. Music. Love. Differences. Lupe. Adam Yauch.

“Death can cause an impetuous amount of bewilderment on a person’s emotions.

We cannot prevent thoughts or feelings from arising, they just happened.”

~M.B. Angeles 5.4.12

Last Friday while I was getting ready, PB told me about the loss of Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch aka MCA aka Nathanial Hornblower. I didn’t believe it and said, “no that’s not him… he didn’t… that’s not his last name.” Then it hit me, “Oh my gosh… he’s passed away… that’s sad.” But thus far, I still can’t fully comprehend what I’m feeling & what I’m thinking.

(teenager Adam Yauch; Brooklyn)

It’s ironic that just a few weeks back my brother’s girlfriend D.’s father, Lupe, had passed away. Not quite ironic because death happens all around at any given time, but it was an incomparable discernment. For both losses I felt a sadness and a solitary mourning of silence, but the sentiment for each was different. When I heard that D.’s father had passed, I was sad. My heart hurt thinking that D.’s mother had lost her partner and that my godson was not going to see his “BaBa” again. I had only talk to him in passing a few times, but he was a nice & very likable guy. Yet I didn’t write an entire blog for him prior to this one here and so I challenge myself & my theorizations.

Apart from the fact that I’m mentioning it now, I question why we succumb to such diverse feelings of sorrow and why with celebrities or public figures its much more of a public display of affection. I felt that Adam Yauch’s passing had abundantly affected my life more than D.’s father, despite the fact that I encountered Lupe more so in my life.

I’ll never get to see the Beastie Boys perform live. I’ll never see another live performance or interview on television. I’ll never be asked about whether or not I heard their latest album. I’ll never hear of up-and-coming projects. I’ll never get the chance to meet him and tell him how I felt that the Beastie Boys was such an influence on music and innovated the styles of rap & hiphop. The chances of any of that happening will never be. Not that I was more sad over one, each were equally an emotional loss.

With Adam Yauch I had never met him nor ever knew who he was outside of the public image & character he had portrayed to us audience. I learned that he had a film company. I knew he was a writer, producer & director in addition to being a talented musician. I learned that he had a wife & kid. I knew he was a humanitarian. I learned that he was interested in Buddhism, but… that’s all I knew… and what I knew of each was vague & inadequate. Knowing the latter information wasn’t because I personally knew him… it was information that was accessible to the public. I never knew anything about D.’s father. I never knew his history/backstory. I never knew his interests & likes. I never knew his thoughts on a personal basis. Yet in a sense, I felt so deeply sad when hearing that he had passed away. Still, I felt I had more of an understanding of Adam Yauch than I did of D.’s father. Not that it was a good or bad thing… or even intentional… that’s just the way it was. Adam Yauch was a public figure and in a way the music world felt the loss tremendously and I don’t mean that in any disrespect. I “followed” the Beastie Boys, whereas I “crossed paths” with D.’s father… but again… they were equally admirable human beings.

To me, I feel as if we cannot help but have a certain kinship with each other. We as humans are connected in some way or another and if you believe in the six degrees of separation then you may agree with my theory. This is a reason why we feel a certain feeling or perception of others we may or may not know wholeheartedly. It is nothing but positive vigor if we each see that love & interest for humankind is just an optimistic way to live life. When we dwell & compare ourselves to each other, negativity consumes the mind creating more hate & antagonistic behavior… and adoration for people is to me… a way to show my respect & fondness of individuality and at the same time togetherness.

When D.’s father had passed I didn’t attend the funeral. I’m strange when it comes to funerals. I don’t attend them. I’d rather remember those that have passed in their living days. I pretend as if I just don’t see them around anywhere, but that they’re still amongst us in this world/universe. I like to remember those we have lost in their healthy happy times rather than the last place being a cemetery. Although I believe they’re at peace, I’d rather reminisce about past times rather than be reminded about their death. And with the loss of Adam Yauch, I can’t help but currently read past interviews and watch Beastie Boys music videos/interviews nonstop.

Yet I still feel there is a difference in both deaths. I feel a sense of sadness & grief in equal circumstances, yet in a sense the loss of Adam Yauch affected my life more. It may sound ignorant of me to say, but it’s true. Beastie Boys was a big part of the public from the early/mid 80’s all the way up to the present, which was pretty much all my life. Being such public figures that I was so intrigued with even as a kid, I couldn’t help but be influenced by them. I admit that in some aspects I imitated them in my childhood because in a way I thought they were some of the coolest guys. Not at the beginning though… Before I saw them on t.v., when I would hear them on the radio or my brother playing cassette tapes of theirs, I thought that all their songs were by different rappers. That that’s just how rap sounded, all very familiar voices & similar beats. When I saw them on MTV I thought they were the funniest guys and that’s when I knew, “Oh my… they’re the ones rapping to all these songs I like so much… awesome!”

I’m a big fan of music. I can’t say I’m knowledgeable of all things music, nor do I know the complete history & details of every musician I love. I don’t know what good music is, but I do know what kind of music I love that moves me. I love every entire genre of music, but do I know each band I love’s favorite color or birthday? No. Do I listen to each band I love all day everyday? No. Have I read every article, own every record, seen every interview, recorded every live performance? Unfortunately not. Still I believe that people have a visible connection to others by indistinguishable relish. We each have interests. We each have likes. We each have hobbies. We each have specialties. We each have tastes. We each have love. We each have compassion. We each do because we each do.

As I continued to seek further knowledge on Adam Yauch both in & out of Beastie Boys, I came across many repugnant statements.

(Complaint? Or truth?)
(This photoshop picture I found the same day Adam Yauch had passed away)

The thing I find so strange is that the day that Adam Yauch had passed away was the same day I saw these [right] photoshopped pictures relating to the Beastie Boys. I find it hard to comprehend why someone would take time to create such a counteractive situation from the passing of a person. It makes me think about how society has become so radical in a way that in such times, people can be so cynical to the living & decease while convincing themselves that they’re doing something morally truthful. Humor is great, but there’s a time & place for it all. When people reminisce or talk about how much they loved a public figure who passes, its not for self-satisfaction or egotistical behavior. I believe it comes from respect to those we have lost. Strangers. Associates. Companions. Acquaintances. It’s all the same when someone dies. Even if we’re not the ones who literally are affected by their death, there’s others that are. It’s a sign of respect. It’s to show condolences. It’s an outlet of public sympathy. To send our hearts & prayers to those that are affected. I do believe like in all things there’s a necessity of balance…but disrespect never should be accounted for.

(teenage Michael Diamond aka Mike D of the Beastie Boys)
(Mike D; MCA’s childhood friend since Kindergarden)

Like I said earlier, it’s not about how much you love & adore someone(s) you’re a fan of, its about knowing that each of us all have our differences and each of us have our similarities. There’s not one person in this world who does not have any interests, likes, dislikes or enmities. It’s just the way it is. We love some. We don’t love some. We get excited about new things. We get bored of old things. We delight in the fresh. We cherish the archaic. If you disagree I respect that, but this is just my point of view. I’m not saying that I ever got bored or disliked the Beastie Boys. NEVER. I always was a fan. LOVE them… but in all honesty… from my standpoint… there’s so many bands… so many different types of music… so many diverse dance styles… that for me, I could never be faithful or loyal just to one musician(s)/band/artist(s)… my heart never kicks out past music I love, it just lives deeper in my heart allowing other music to accompany the space in my heart. Hey I was obsessed with Nsync & Britney Spears and still like them (Britney Spears pre-shaved head).

So as I sit here thinking to myself, “What shall I write about on my live journal?” I write on here to remind myself about things I love, things I’ve learned, things that interest me, things I’d like to change about myself and thoughts that unexpectedly cross my mind. So… I want to pay my respects to Lupe & to Adam Yauch… at the same time I want to take a moment to remind myself why the Beastie Boys found a place in my heart… and a tribute to the handsome Adam Yauch & his band we all know in some way shape or form. I wanted to learn things I didn’t know and recollect the memories I had gained from their influence on our generation.

Pictured: John Berry, Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch (MCA) (a.k.a. Nathanial Hörnblowér) and Kate Schellenbach which consisted of the hardcore punk band Beastie Boys

In 1979, the Beastie Boys were first established as a hardcore punk band with band members consisting of Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch (MCA) (a.k.a. Nathanial Hörnblowér), John Berry and Kate Schellenbach.

(Mike D, John Berry, MCA & Kate Schellenbach)
(candid picture of the Beastie Boys)
(Mike D on vocals & MCA on bass)

In 1982, Beastie Boys recorded their 7″ EP Polly Wog Stew. Beastie boys played at Phillip Pucci’s birthday making it their first onscreen performance where Adam Horovitz aka AdRock, who was at the time the vocalist from “The Young and the Useless,” was their opening act. Pucci was creating (in modern terms) a documentary/short called “Beastie.” Afterwards, the Beastie Boys excerpted a segment for “Skills to Pay the Bills,” which was then released by Capitol Records. They earned much credit & recognition after selling more than 500,000 copies. John Berry had left the band in 1983 and was replaced by Adam Horovitz who became the Beastie Boys’ guitarist. The band also recorded and performed its first hip hop track, “Cooky Puss” in 1983, which gained popularity in the New York underground dance clubs.

(Beastie Boys on “The Scott & Gary Show”)
(the band “Young And The Useless;” Adam Horovitz aka AdRock second on the right)

“Cooky Puss” was such a huge success that the Beastie Boys decided to hire a DJ, Rick Rubin, for live shows and continued to incorporate rap, which later became the band’s primary style of music to perform & create. Rick Rubin began producing records & formed Def Jam Recordings and offered the band to be under the new label. They released Rock Hard in 1985 and in 1991 Beastie Boys’ drummer Kate Schellenbach left the band… from there on… Beastie Boys’ popularity continued to grow… long story short the Beastie Boys became the Beastie Boys…

(1987; Beastie Boys on the cover of SMASH HITS magazine)

But again… this is a blog to honor and pay respects to a man I truly respect and that the music world & its fans will dearly miss… I hope you enjoyed reminiscing as much as I did.

MCA, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HUMANITARIAN WORK & YOUR PHILANTHROPIC CONTRIBUTIONS… YOU WILL FOREVER BE PART OF MUSIC & FILM… YOU’RE ART IS EVERLASTING… MUCH LOVE  TO YOU NATHANIAL HORNBLOWER.

MCA, Rest In Peace… Rest In Paradise…
(filmmaker/writer/director/musician Adam Yauch)
(Adam Yauch with wife Denchen Wangdu & daughter)
(Adam with daughter Tenzel Lousel Yauch)
(Adam Yauch with Patti Smith at a philanthropy conference)
(Adam Yauch who was an activist for the “Free Tibet” campaign; pictured above with Buddhist monks) [SIDENOTE: Before Yauch met his wife, he was contemplating whether being a monk & living a celibate life or having a family. Yauch continued to attend Dali Lama/Buddhist conferences where he met his wife Denchu Wengdu. They became close friends and Yauch eventually chose love over becoming a monk.]
(on right of picture: a young MCA & Mike D)
(Nathanial Hornblower & Michael Diamond)
(first two on right: Mike D & MCA)
(In the streets with young Beastie Boys: Kate Schellenbach, John Barry, Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond)
(Mike D; vocalist pre-hip hop Beastie Boys music)
(Michael Diamond singing hardcore punk)
(A young Adam Yauch on bass and Kate Schellenbach on drums performing for Pucci’s birthday)
(Phillip Pucci with Mike D in the green shirt & Nathanial Hornblower in light denim button-up)
(Adam Yauch with friends Kate Schellenbach & John)
(teenage Adam Horovitz aka AdRock; pre-Beastie Boys; vocalist for The Young And The Useless at the time)
(Mike D, MCA and AdRock became close friends after performing alongside one another after the filming of “Beastie”)
(MCA, Mike D, Beastie Boys’ DJ Rick Rubin and AdRock)
(Beastie Boys were the opening act for Madonna for her The Virgin Tour)
(Beastie Boys with Run-DMC)
(Beastie Boys opened for many well-know musicians which included Run-DMC)
(In picture: Nathanial Hornblower) [SIDENOTE: In 1994, Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” was up against REM’s “Everybody Hurts Sometime,” which REM won Best Music Video. Yauch decided to ‘sabotage’ their award speech in character as Nathanial Hornblower. It was great entertainment and unforgettable moment. REM were good sports about it.]
(Beastie Boys in the late 80’s)
(Beastie Boys in the streets of New York)
(Beastie Boys were not only talented musicians with great personalities & charisma, they were a big influence on the fashion world. The trio were always dressed in such suave appeal that they were thought to be some of the most stylish men in the scene.)
(Candid picture of Beastie Boys)
(Even through their photographs the Beastie Boys proved to be the most eclectic of their time)
(MCA listening to a cassette player; with band members: Mike D, Kate Schellenbach & John Berry)
(candid picture of the hardcore punk band Beastie Boys)
My favorite picture of MCA. That smile is dreamy. Rest In Peace Adam Yauch.

MCA, MUCH LOVE.

(In collage: D.’s parents & Deegan)

…AND TO LUPE… THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SUCH A SWEET HUMAN BEING AND FOR TAKING CARE OF DEEGSTER… HE IS LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH A KINDHEARTED GRANDFATHER WHO HE LOVED SPENDING TIME WITH… TO A GREAT HUSBAND, FATHER & GRANDFATHER, LUPE… REST IN PEACE… MUCH LOVE & RESPECT.

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