Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Fabio Venni)


Watch rare footage of Beastie Boys' MCA playing a mean double bass backstage, 1995

The world has been a much darker place since we lost the pioneering MCA—AKA Adam Yauch from The Beastie Boys—in 2012. The musician remains a truly iconic figure and one who helped blur the lines between hip-hop and punk with prolific effect.

This footage of MCA showing he was a man of many talents during soundcheck proves just that. Playing an array of different instruments with his usual flair, but it takes some beating to see him delivering a killer masterclass in the double bass of all things.

Yauch is a character who is impossible to pin down and, as a character, he always strived for authenticity. On one side, you’ve got MCA the showman, a figure who gives everything on stage and was a ferocious ball of captivating energy. On the other hand, however, you’ve also got Adam Yauch who was at peace with his Buddhist faith which helped him live a fruitful and rewarding existence.

The span of tributes from the world of music upon his death which spoke volumes about Yauch’s immense character. Russell Simmons of Def Jam Records labelled Yauch “was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly”.

The influence he had on contemporary music was nothing short of emphatic. Reflecting on his work, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wrote: “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 organised 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 [very] smart guy. May he rest in peace.”

As tributes continued to roll in, rapper Eminem once stated: “Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world and I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others. They are trailblazers and pioneers and Adam will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Mike D., and Ad-Rock.”

This video is the perfect tribute to MCA who was an artist who could turn his hand to just about anything who was a once in a generation talent that made magic at every corner. Pour one out and enjoy the magnificence of MCA.