I remember when I was a kid, my friend’s dad had just taken him to buy a couple of CDs and that afternoon I rode my bike over to his house to see what treasures he returned with. I think he wanted to buy toys, Transformers and such, but I had perhaps peer-pressured him into collecting music instead. He had bought Bon Jovi ‘Slippery When Wet’ and Beastie Boys ‘Paul’s Boutique’. The Bon Jovi songs had already been endlessly played on the radio, so I dove right in on ‘Paul’s Boutique’. It was tremendous. I just kept thinking to myself, “What are they doing? What are those sounds? Why does this feel so good?”. They were talking about places I didn’t know about, using samples of songs I hadn’t heard, and they had an energy that’s never been duplicated. The sound of that CD was like a sonic portal into a party that I was too young and naive to be allowed into, but there I was, a welcome guest. That party is still raging any time I listen to ‘Shadrac’ or ‘3 Minute Rule’.
So today, on the morning of the Beastie Boy’s Adam “MCA” Yauch’s death, I can only hope he knew that there are millions of us that are so thankful for letting us all into the party.