I may talk incessantly about Dave Grohl & the Foo Fighters as my absolute favorite band, but I may have to rescind on some level. When driving this past week, I put on a playlist of solely Beastie Boys and realized that they would be, hands down, the most influential band in my lifetime. Not only do I know the words to more of their songs than not, I can think of 7 specific experiences/memories that stand out.
Courtesy of Andrew Katz Art
1. 8th grade, coming back from the Annapolis Mall with Robin Gordon and listening to License to Ill on my parents stereo system record player. Yes, I own the original vinyl copy of that album that I still listen to. I listened to that so often, I knew every word. Paul Revere is still my go to song for karaoke to this day, I have even gotten on stage with an old cover band that used to play every other Wednesday at Seacrets, pre Morley Hall. It got to the point when they played Paul Revere they would just hand me the mic. Someone that used to take pictures at Seacrets actually has me on film somewhere, I would love to see that. I also remember my mom driving me and Scott Jacques to Crofton Junior High listening to Brass Monkey and debating, very innocently and naively, what it was actually about.
2. 10th grade, Pauls Boutique
, not as many memories but I still recall listening to Hey Ladies
and Shake Your Rump when hanging with friends. Actually, our new dog Lady, we constantly yell Hey Lady in total Ad Rock voice.
3. Sophomore year, Check Your Head
. A new sound for the Beasties but I still got it. That was the time of grunge and they went a little less traditional hip hop and I still loved it. I remember being tested at a Skull/KD social for saying I was a Beastie Boys fan, and I could drop lyrics to almost any song they requested. Ahh those were the good ol’ days.
Driving home from Towson for summer break and listening to it with the windows down, driving down Rt 3 from Waugh Chapel to Crofton. That was a fun summer… but I digress… Professor Booty
reminds me of that summer for sure.
4. Summer before senior year and the summer I lived in OC… Ill Communication
. Living at The Hitch Apts on St. Louis between 3rd and 4th, 5 girls, one bedroom. That summer was epic, working at Paul Revere Smorgasboard and jumping in puddles walking to The Angler. Blasting music in our tiny apartment, specifically Get it Together
5. Hello Nasty… Not the most memorable for me. I did not care for Intergalactic, but still have Three MCs and One DJ
on my active playlists to this day.
6. To the 5 Boroughs
I think of as their love letter to NYC, just a couple years after 9/11. The Beastie Boys have over the years had their political tilt, and I appreciate artists being able to express themselves however they can. This album has their share of politically charged tunes, but I really like the fun song…Ch-Check It Out
, it is one I still quote. Sometimes we just need to be silly, when things get a little heavy. Does not mean we don’t pay attention to the matters that count, just sometimes need a break.
Courtesy of Katz Art
7. The last but not the least, was Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. This one is a tough one in hindsight as it is their last. Knowing MCA had not been well, we sort of had a feeling things would change after this. I still kick myself for never seeing them live. My favorite from this album is what brought us to introduce them to the kids, it brought it all back to me. The memories, the fun, the silliness, still with their flavor of political action. The best is the video, which was a great way to wrap things up in my mind.
If you have never taken the time to listen, please do. They are fun, energetic, creative dudes with great souls. This weekend, is the 4th Annual MCA Day
in NYC. We have a friend who has actively taken part in this event from the beginning, and its a great celebration of life and art. Check out the event if you are able, check out the music for sure, and also check out Andrew Katz’
artwork of MCA, AdRock and many other hip hop stars.