Adam Yauch in Memoriam: Jim DeRogatis weighs in

May 7, 2012

Caroline O'Donovan

Download Story
(Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Jim DeRogatis joined Tony Sarabia on Eight Forty-Eight Wednesday morning to talk about the death of Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys. One caller, Rebecca, who was saddened by Yauch's death, called in to remember a 1992 show at the Aragon ballroom after which she watched Yauch skateboard in an alley outside. 

Other listeners wanted to remember Yauch for the work that he did in the public sphere. “It’s a sad day day not only for music lovers and rap lovers,” said Ellen from Maryland, “but also for feminists. They did a great job making a very public turnaround from their misogynistic veiws in their earlier career, and went not only in their songs change their views on women and how women are treated but also turn that into a global campaign.”

Jim DeRogatis also remembered Yauch's commitment to the Tibetan Freedom concerts, which he organized with great enthusiasm and success. If the Beastie Boys did for hip hop what the Beatles did for rock 'n roll--that is, make the genre a part of the mainstream--then Yauch was their George Harrison. A practicing Buddhist who, like Harrison, funded important documentary film work during his career, Yauch brought a focus and weight to the sometimes silly shenanigans of Beastie music. Said DeRogatis, he was "the pulse, the heart, and the soul," of the Beastie Boys. 

If you're a Beastie fan looking for more coverage, check out this episode of Afternoon Shift to hear director Jason Marck and host Steve Edwards react right after the news of Yauch's death broke. For more from Jim DeRogatis, tune into Sound Opinions Friday, where he'll play even more Beastie music with co-host Greg Kot.