RIP Adam Yauch

Sad to wake to the news that one of my heroes has died.

Adam Yauch, the member of the Beastie Boys known as MCA, lost his battle with cancer. The Beasties were one of the first bands I discovered for myself in high school that I'm still comfortable associating myself with. (Sigue Sigue Sputnik are another and I only started acknowledging them again a few years ago!)

I remember seeing the Fight For Your Right video and buying the album License To Ill in 1986. I'd been into breakdancing in primary school and obsessed with rap and here was an album that brought rock energy to the genre.

Check Your Head is my favourite Beastie Boys album and influenced more than a few bands I formed with friends in the '90s. Like me, Yauch played bass guitar and I also took inspiration from his vocal tone when rapping.

The few times I've seen the band live, Yauch was the member whose rhymes could be heard clearly and comprehended through the din of a concert. I like to think I can hear Yauch in my rhyme delivery, here in Pongrass from 1994.

Yauch's interest in Buddhism added new depth to the group, particularly the role the Beasties have played in raising political issues at their concerts, like the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the importance of voting.

And Yauch's work under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower in directing the Beasties' videos has been another inspiration too, as I now make videos to promote my music.

Perhaps the biggest sign of my attentiveness to Yauch was, when I read of his diagnosis with throat cancer, I began to worry about lumps in my neck and even convinced the GP to write me a referral to the ear, nose and throat specialist!

I was lucky enough to sneak into the party after the Beastie Boys show with Helmet at the Hordern Pavilion in 1994 and it was a thrill for me to look around the crowd and spot members of these bands. That year I also had my first album review published in Canberra's BMA Magazine, a piece on the Boys' hit Ill Communication. That was the first of many articles, reviews and (lately) media releases I've had published since.

Thanks Adam and all the Boys for the inspiration for over 25 years now.