I don’t know you. And you don’t know me. It’s probably better to keep it that way. I’m not here to write for you, but you’re free to listen in.
A few weeks ago, I turned 30. To tell the truth, it didn’t bother me at the time. I had a nice dinner with two friends, watched Space Balls at their place (“…only one man would dare to give me the raspberry…”) and got a call from my mom. Not once did the thought cross my mind, “I’m old now.” Not because I’m preternaturally youthful, mind you. It’s mostly because my temperament has skewed older for most of my adult life. Youthful indiscretions never really interested me.
But today, I feel old. Old, old, old. It’s not a muscle ache, a bad ankle or a lapse in short-term memory. You see, I’m a musician. Not professionally (although I’ve done that, too, for supplemental income), but it’s part of my identity at this point. If you’ve ever really loved playing an instrument, it never leaves you (this will be a recurring focus of this blog). And now I’ve officially reached the age where my musical influences are starting to die off. Not of drug overdoses, which can happen at any age, but of the wear and tear of time and genetics.
Adam Yauch died, and he took my youth with him.
To clarify, I was never the world’s biggest Beastie Boys fan. But they influenced me. I listened to 90’s rap growing up, and I respected the music of the Biggies and Pacs of the world, but I only grokked the Beasties. Listening to Dre or Snoop was like peering through a window into a world that I knew existed, but that I wasn’t able to understand. I was too coddled to ever understand the realities of rough neighborhoods and gang violence. I’m not saying the Beasties had it easy growing up (NYC isn’t all Manhattan skyline), but they rapped like loquacious scoundrels. It made sense to me.
And now MCA is gone. At the age of 47. He didn’t even make his 48th birthday in the August to come. That means when Ill Communication was released, and when “Sabotage” was tearing up the charts 18 years ago in 1994, MCA was 29.
I’m one year older now than he was then, and I’ve nothing to show for it.
That isn’t hyperbole. I’m 30 and divorced, working a menial job I despise. I’m now old enough to watch the soundtrack of my youth decay from existence, most likely due to a cancerous salivary gland.
I’ll miss the Beasties. But right now, I’m more missing the years.
Instead of reaching for a rope, it’s probably best to shake this apathy that I’ve made my own. Maybe this blog will be a first step.
Miss you, MCA.
…wait, that’s far too maudlin, isn’t it? Thought so.