“I’d just like to say that we, the Beastie Boys, are putting rock and roll back into rock and roll, and doing just what you, the listeners, want to hear! Yeah!”
That’s the promise Adam Yauch made to MTV News back in 1986, and it’s a promise the Beastie Boys have followed through on ever since. The news of Yauch’s death meant the passing of a rock and hip-hop legend, and MTV News has spent the day honoring and remembering a man who has given us so much.
Our hour-long special “Adam Yauch: Remembering a Beastie Boy” took viewers back to 1986, to a time when the Beastie Boys had just released License to Ill to international critical acclaim and commercial success. MTV News caught up with Yauch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz — better known as MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock — on New Year’s Eve at MTV’s sixth annual Rock and Roll Ball. They were riding high, and they promised that the next year would be even better.
“In 1987, the Beastie Boys are going to be taking over America!” MCA promised. “America, watch out, because we’ve got a new show … ”
” … And lots of stuff!” Ad-Rock added, before all three of them started yelling, “Yeah!” and banging their heads together.
The Boys were gushing about their upcoming shows and how they were going to treat their fans to the performances of their lives. It’s funny now hearing them talk about opening for Madonna, because they have since become such an important act that we can’t imagine them opening for anyone.
When asked how their show in Iowa was going to go over, Yauch answered, “Well, I think our show’s going to go over … ”
” … Very good!” Horovitz piped up.
“Very well, thank you!” Diamond finished.
As they promised, 1987 was a big year for the Beastie Boys, and 1988 was even bigger. They put out their second album, Paul’s Boutique, that year, and it’s since been considered one of their strongest records.
With each passing year, the Beastie Boys became bigger and bigger, and they likely would still be making music today had Yauch not tragically been diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He was unable to attend the group’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony last month, which sparked concerns about his health. He died after a lengthy battle with cancer of the parotid salivary gland and leaves behind his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and daughter, Tenzin Losel.
Share your memories of Adam on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMCA.