"For me, losing a Beastie Boy is like what losing a Beatle was to my father's generation."
One Goat, on Account
To the Editor:
I had the great pleasure of reading your unsolicited critique of the "Ch-Check It Out" music video ["Licensed to Stand Still" by Stephanie Zacharek, May 16]. It took some time to get to me, as it had to be curried (sp?) on goatback through the fjords of my homeland, the Oppenzell. And in the process the goat died, and then I had to give the mailman one of my goats, so remember, you owe me a goat.
Anyway, that video is big time good. Pauline Kael is spinning over in her grave. My film technique is clearly too advanced for your small way of looking at it. Someday you will be yelling out to the streets below your windows: "He is the chancellor of all the big ones! I love his genius! I am the most his close personal friend!"
You journalists are ever lying. I remember people like you laughing at me at the university, and now they are all eating off of my feet. You make this same unkind laughter at the Jerry Lewis for his Das Verruckte Professor and now look, he is respected as a French-clown. And you so-call New York Times smarties are giving love to the U2 because they are dressing as the Amish and singing songs about America? (Must I dress as the Leprechaun to sing songs about Ireland so that you will love me? You know the point I make here is true!)
In concluding, "Ch-Check It Out" is the always best music film and you will be realizing this too far passing. As ever I now wrap my dead goat carcass in the soiled New York Times - and you are not forgetting to buy me a replacement! Please send that one more goat to me now!
The writer, whose real name is Adam Yauch, is a member of the Beastie Boys. He directs their music videos under the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower.
"Shortly after we put out 'Paul's Boutique,’ I really started thinking about our lyrics and how they affected people. I just began noticing more and more how lyrics that I viewed as just joking around had a longer lasting effect on people, myself included. I never smoked 'dust' (PCP), but kids would come up to me citing our songs: 'Yo, I heard you talking about smoking dust in your song and we used to smoke dust all the time and listen to your music.'
"There are a lot of lyrics on our first two albums that talk about carrying guns or being disrespectful to women. We looked at it as a fantasy, a cowboy movie, but I began to realize those things have a deeper effect, where people actually think that's who we are. And in some cases, you kind of become that, a caricature of yourself, your image."
As Erin Potts, his Milarepa partner once told the Tribune, Yauch "showed that at any point in your life, good or bad, you can turn it around. None of us are perfect, but we all have the ability to say, 'I can start living my life right now to help other people.' "
I was very sad to hear the news of Adam Yauch's death yesterday.
We looked up to the Beastie Boys a lot when we were starting out and how they maintained artistic control making wicked records but still were on a major label, and the Tibetan Freedom Concerts they organized had a very big influence on me personally and the way Adam conducted himself and dealt with it all impressed me a lot. He was a mellow and v smart guy. May he rest in peace.
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