Friday, 4 May 2012

NEWS: Beastie Boys Adam Yauch Dies at 47

In some very sad news 'Mr Scott:Music' can confirm that Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has died at the age of 47. Born in Brooklyn, Yauch was also known by his Beastie Boys stage name MCA. He announced that he was being treated for cancer in 2009 after discovering a tumour in his salivary gland.

In 1979, Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike "Mike D" Diamond, who he met at school, and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz. After starting out as a punk group inspired by Black Flag, the trio soon began experimenting with hip-hop. 

The release of their first full album 'Liscenced to Ill' in 1986 broke them into the mainstrean by becoming the the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard album chart and featured the track '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)'. In total, the band released eight albums including 'Paul's Boutique', 'Check Your Head' and 'Ill Communication'. 

The group's last album, 'Hot Sauce Committee Part Two', was released last year. It was originally planned for release in 2009 but was delayed after Yauch's diagnosis.

Yauch had an enduring passion for film. Working under a pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower, he directed many of the band's music videos, including 'So What'cha Want,' 'Intergalactic,' and more recently 'Make Some Noise.' In 2002, he launched the film production company Oscilloscope Laboratories – a studio and distributor which he set up to put out his high-school basketball documentary 'Gunnin' For That #1 Spot' but later put out films including Kelly Reichardt's drama 'Wendy and Lucy' and street artist Banksy's 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'.

Alongside the Beastie Boys, Yauch was heavily involved in the free Tibet movement, co-organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the late '90s.

When Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame two weeks ago, Yauch was too ill to go. 

At the ceremony, Ad-Rock and Mike D read a letter from Yauch: "I'd like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike," he wrote. "They walked the globe with me. It's also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours."

Mr. Yauch’s mother said he died at 9 a.m. on Friday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan with his parents, his in-laws, his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and his 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch, at his bedside.  He had been admitted to the hospital on April 14 after a three-year battle with cancer of the salivary gland. He was conscious until the end.
“He was a very courageous person,” his mother, Frances Yauch, said. “He fought a long battle with cancer. He was hopeful to the very end.”
Mrs. Yauch said had been undergoing chemotherapy this spring, but his health deteriorated rapidly over the last two weeks. “It all just seemed to happen overnight,” she said.  She added: “He was a terrific guy and had a brief but really wonderful life. We are really proud of him.”

Adam Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter Losel.

I had heard of The Beastie Boys during the 90's, but it wasn't until 1998's 'Hello Nasty' that I came to realise how brilliant this band was. Without a doubt my favourite hip hop act, MCA, Mike D and Ad- Rock released some classic albums that will surely never be eclipsed in the world of hip hop. The band's most recent album 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 2' was a much welcome return to form, and news that Yauch's treatment for cancer was going well offered hope for the future. 

The loss of Adam Yauch is tragic, and potentially signals the end of hip hop's greatest musical force. The Beastie Boys may have been three geeky white boys from New York, but they expanded every possibilty in the musical book, and will never be forgotten.

Thoughts and best wishes going to Yauch's family, Mike D and Adam Horovitz, and all of MCA's friends and fans all over the world.

RIP Adam Yauch.

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