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2012 Inductee :: Blog

Remembering Adam Yauch

Friday, May 4: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Adam Yauch aka MCA (8.5.1964 – 5.4.2012)

Adam Yauch, better known to fans of the Beastie Boys as MCA, passed away on Friday, May 4, 2012, after a battle with cancer that began in 2009. He was 47.

Born on August 5, 1964, the vocalist and bassist was raised in New York City, a fertile backdrop that informed the street-smart attitude and urban swagger of the Beastie Boys. Formed as a hardcore quartet in 1981 with Yauch and Michael Diamond aka Mike D, drummer Kate Schellenbach and guitarist John Berry, this earliest incarnation of the Beastie Boys played its first gig at Yauch's 17th birthday party. This was the same lineup that recorded the group's debut eight-song EP, Polly Wog Stew, which included the hardcore manifesto "Beastie Boys." When Berry left the group, Adam Horowitz aka ADROCK was recruited and the newly formed band cut a 12-inch single for "Cooky Puss"/"Beastie Revolution." When Schellenbach left the group (later joining Luscious Jackson), the three-man posse of MCs took shape.

The Beastie Boys brashly announced themselves to the world with the full-length Licensed to Ill (1986), produced by Rick Rubin. A milestone rap-rock release, it contained a feisty statement of purpose (“The New Style”) and ...


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