Skip to main content

Pass the Mic

Adam Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys rap/rock group, passed away yesterday aged 47. He leaves behind a wife and daughter. Also left behind are a plethora of mourning fans and devotees. Along with Yauch, a piece of our modern pop culture has died.

To tell the truth, I was not a Beastie Boys fan. I didn't dislike them, per se, just never got into most of their music. So it goes. Of course, it's hard to be a child of the '80s and avoid their influence. The Beastie Boys are icons of that era, and have earned much respect. Just last month, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by LL Cool J and Chuck D. Yauch was too ill to attend the ceremony.

The group is closely intertwined with a memory from childhood. It was a 5th grade field trip to visit the historic sites in Springfield. As we rode the yellow school bus the hour or so to the capitol city, a classmate named Brett regaled us with this new-fangled thing called a Walkman. Inside of it was the cassette tape of the Beastie Boys' 1986 album License to Ill. The Walkman, with its awesome little tunes playing through the headphones, was passed around and sampled by almost all of us. We would briefly jam to tracks like No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Girls, (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party), and Brass Monkey.

Yellow school buses, field trips and Walkmans are a part of my life left behind some years ago. They represent the past. But Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys were still here, a living connection to that past. Now, Yauch joins the field trips and Walkmans.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.