Paris Review – Get It Together: On Mourning Adam Yauch, Dave Tompkins


“I realized we weren’t just mourning Adam Yauch. As many would agree, we’ve been mourning our memories. Mourning an adolescence that seemed to get over on fifteen years of adulthood, from Def Jam to Grand Royal. Mourning how a record once could finish your thought, and how much that thought would cost once the lawyers realized it belonged to someone else. (The Beasties were sued for copyright infringement the day before Yauch passed.) Mourning all the goofball references and the passing of those references. Mourning the brilliantly lame Dick Butkus joke. Mourning ‘Got more ___ than ___ got ___.’ Mourning my tattered ‘Live at the Fever T-shirt’ that I saw Adrock wearing in the woods in the video for ‘So Watcha Want.’ (Might as well mourn the ‘Live at the Disco Fever’ twelve-inch and the famous Bronx hip-hop club itself, while we’re at it.) Mourning magazines that came with cardboard Miami booty jeeps in the center. Mourning once being able to write ten thousand words on South Florida Bass for said magazine and being sent to cover strip clubs in Atlanta with Lil’ Jon while Yauch was in India with the Dalai Lama. Mourning the file cabinet and Yauch’s two-foot bong chucked out of a three-story window by Grand Royal editor Bob Mack. Mourning all the memory loss from all those times spent, er, ‘listening,’ to Check Your Head. Mourning all the woofers blown from the 808 low end of ‘Hello Brooklyn.’ Mourning how we felt when the video for ‘Intergalactic,’ which was directed by Yauch, reminded us of coming home from school to watch Ultraman kick the crap out of a giant radioactive artichoke. Mourning a time when you never considered how one day you’d be mourning the Beastie Boys. Mourning can be a pretty narcissistic act, it turns out.”

Well said.