Ode to the Beastie Boys

November 19, 2017

When people ask me about my favourite music I usually answer: hip-hop and punk. Fortunately I enjoy a wider variety of music too, but let's say that hip-hop and punk are central to my general taste. Yet when people ask me about my favourite band I never need to think about this for too long either. It would be the band that symbiotically synthesises my two favourite types of music: Boys Entering Anarchistic Stages Towards Internal Excellence Boys, or perhaps you might know them under their nickname: BEASTIE Boys.


Witty yanks who started out as a hardcore punk-band in the eighties, and during that decennium developed towards hip-hop with a twist. In punk formation the Beastie Boys never really managed to impress me, even though some material on the anthology album Some Old Bullshit (1994) is still rather amusing screaming puberty-punk.


Source: http://wallpapersdsc.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Beastie-Boys-Photos.jpg


Since 1986 - I was nine and just started exploring the world of music - I follow the Beastie Boys. In that year they released their debut album Licensed to Ill with its hit single Fight For Your Right (To Party!). Three white punks rapping over shredding guitar sounds. The Beasties were an explosion in the theretofore ordered soundscape of pop music. Without too much difficulty they combined two distinct styles that were prima facie incompatible, thereby creating a whole new sound. Many later bands owe a lot in terms of idiosyncrasy to the Beasties.


I saw them live three times. The first time was at Paradiso (Amsterdam) with Urban Dance Squad as their support act, the second time at the Statenhallen (The Hague) in 1995. It was a lovely little festival: Hurricane as first band to play, followed by Luscious Jackson as second act, and Urban Dance Squad as final support before the set by the Beastie Boys. All of that cost me ƒ37,50 (ca. €17) for four absolute top bands.


The last time I saw them live was at a showcase in 2004 at Melkweg (Amsterdam): a promotional performance of little over half an hour for the release of To The 5 Boroughs. Tickets for the showcase cost a tenner and were sold on one single day only. The queue ran from Melkweg alongside the Stadsschouwburg, and from there across the Marnixstraat. Anyone who knows Amsterdam knows that is quite the queue. Luckily I had the privilege of working at Melkweg and walking straight in. I remember it as one of the few concerts where I positioned myself at the front, as you can usually find me near the bar. For the Beasties I made an exception.


With the passing of MCA in 2012 - sadly at only 47 years of age - the Beastie Boys died. Their heritage as enjoyed by many music lovers is a unique collection of music with an own sound, renewed with every album.



[ Written by Amsterdam columnist, blogger, and friend Rodzooi ]


[ Translation by Dr. Music ]


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