Adam Yauch, aka MCA of The Beastie Boys, passed away at the age of 47 yesterday, and while celebrity deaths don’t often get under my skin (I mean, I don’t know these people), this one hit harder than most, probably because I associate the Beasties with effortless cool, fun and, above all, my youth. In my private universe, no one will ever again be as cool as The Beastie Boys were in 1994. As a guy on Metafilter put it, “Check Your Head came out and was like a wrecking ball to us. It could not have been more perfect for who we were or wanted to be, at that point in our lives. It might as well have been created by some platonic, idealized version of us.” And as platonic, idealized versions of us, these guys weren’t supposed to get old. It’s a story as old as rock and roll fandom itself. Namaste, Mr. Yauch.
But enough moping. In memory and in honour of MCA, here’s my personal shortlist of The Beastie Boys’ finest moments: