Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch remembered: Our favorite songs
"Hold It Now, Hit It" wasn't the band's biggest hit, but the 1986 single from their first album -- and its video -- captures MCA ( Adam Yauch), Mike D ( Michael Diamond) and Ad-Rock ( Adam Horovitz) and their silly best before they got hip to slick video producers and grew up. The raw talent is there, even if it is hidden by a few layers of goofiness. And, hey, they're having fun and we're all for that. I love it because the Beastie Boys were my first concert. It was 1987 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md., and because of our proximity to Washington, D.C. the boys were fined $125 every time they used a swear word. Thanks Tipper Gore, for ensuring they swore a LOT.
- Liz Kelly Nelson
My favorite Beastie Boys moment probably has to be at Lollapalooza 1994. I took the day off from work with a couple friends and drove about 100 miles if not further to see the show. It was an awesome line-up overall that also included the Smashing Pumpkins and George Clinton. But the performance that got the 50,000 fans really going was the Beastie Boys, specifically when they broke into "Sabotage." Plus they did the entire show while wearing black suits, white shirts and black neck ties. It was epic and unforgettable.
- David Eckstein
I was in eighth grade, and my family had just gotten cable, when I saw the video for "Fight For Your Right" on MTV for the first time. I didn't really know who the Beastie Boys were then, but I knew I had to go out and find a copy of "Licensed to Ill" quickly.
Then after the initial cool reception to "Paul's Boutique" I stopped listening to them -- until my college roommate got a copy of "Check Your Head" and it became pretty much the soundtrack to a year of my life. The following summer I traded another copy of "Check Your Head" for "Paul's Boutique" and spent hours and hours in my headphones with it, wondering why I hadn't gotten on board sooner.
- Rick Porter
In the late '90s, the Beastie Boys leveraged their fan base to launch the Tibetan Freedom Concert series. Hundreds of thousands of music lovers were able to see the Beasties along with Radiohead, Bjork, Rage Against the Machine and more - as well as hear guest speakers and engage with human rights activists to improve conditions in Tibet. Millions of dollars were raised for Adam Yauch's Milarepa fund, along with increased awareness - it really raised the bar for activism and awareness, and solidified maturity and awareness that the Beastie Boys embraced in their later years.
- Elizabeth Brady
A classic "License to Ill"-era performance of "Fight For Your Right (to Party)" and "Time to Get Ill." The group had reached fame and success by 1987, but still struck many as odd: Three white kids bouncing around, rocking sneakers, chains, hats, background dancers and rowdiness. The Joan Rivers interview in this clip is classic - "How'd you three get together - Juilliard?" and "How do your parents feel about this?" (the group tells Joan they are 19 - and 12 years old, in Yauch's case). Watching MCA sitting in Joan's seat and goofing around is hilarious, and extra bittersweet today.
- Elizabeth Brady