It’s very rare that I’m upset at the passing of an artist/musician or anyone involved in the music biz. Sad yes, but not upset – probably because in the business that they are in, it’s not uncommon for those who go before what is perceived to be ‘their time’ to have been somewhat complicit in the easing of their departure. Today’s news has completely thrown me.
I was still at work earlier this evening when someone sent me a message with the news that Adam Yauch had died. To say that it was a shock is something of an understatement: I knew of his battles with cancer but I thought he’d won, or was at the very least winning. And the depth of the sadness I felt was also a surprise, as although I’d been listening to them since around 1987, the Beastie Boys were always a band on the edges of whatever I was listening to rather than being a particular focus.
But I guess this is it – they were always there, doing whatever felt right for them to do, blazing their own trail and making it sound like whatever fun anyone was having, they were always having more. Yeah, they were silly but they were silly with an intelligence and aptitude that sets them apart from their peers in whatever genre they felt like habiting at any given time. And without me really noticing, they became an intrinsic part of wherever I went with my own changing listening habits and a look around a shellshocked internet tonight shows that I’m not alone.
It’s one of those obvious things to say, but I Hate Cancer. It takes away the brightest lights from around us whether they’re close to us (in a couple of days, one of my best friends will have been without her husband for a year because of this awful disease, and I don’t know what to say to help) or whether they lifted our hearts and illuminated our days without ever knowing that they were doing so – like Voivod’s Piggy or Manchester’s own Tony Wilson, MCA’s passing leaves an empty space that I never really knew was there until today. Thanks to Adam for being part of something truly amazing.