you know he had rhymes like abe vigoda

i got grounded at the worst times when i was a kid…

…i didn’t get grounded a lot, but it was always at times when it stung. one of those times was when a few of my buddies got to go see madonna’s “like a virgin” tour. i could give a shit about madonna – but i later heard great things about the opening act…

…the beastie boys. this was just before they broke with the “license to ill” album.

got that pretty much when it came out. same with “paul’s boutique”, which just blew me the fuck away with the production (it also has the distinction of being the one tape i got for free off a sundance “freebie” card where if you bought ten (later fifteen) you got a free one…but if they were on sale you didn’t get a stamp, and i tended to buy shit RIGHT when it came out so it always on sale. but i’m digressing like a motherfucker here. back to beastie boys.

i finally got to catch them live at the austin city coliseum in 1992. it was house of pain, L7 (house of pain came out a side door and ended up dragging me in the L7 pit with them) and then came the beasties.

i was hooked.

i saw them again in houston in 1994 – it was lollapalooza a and a good lineup – green day, tribe called quest, george clinton, beasties, and smashing pumpkins. not bad. than came the alamodome show in 2000 and the erwin center show in 2004, a day after alex moved in. all awesome, all great set lists, lots of energy, etc.

i was looking forward to seeing them at acl in 2009, but they cancelled due to mca’s cancer diagnosis, and three years later here we are…he’s gone at forty-seven.

i got to “break” the ill communication album in 1994, which was kinda cool. first a friend of a friend out in LA ended up cleaning their studio on a night job and scored a cassette copy of the album months before it broke. we all got copies, and i was jamming it in my car around campus long before we got radio advances – i wanted to debut it on my show but that was vetoed by the boss of the college station, bob shrader, due to how i had “acquired” said recording.

but then came the first single, which was not actually “sabotage” but rather the cut with q-tip, “get it together”. it came as a plain white sleeve, plain white label, with “get it together” in gang tag looking font. no other explanation, save for the press release inside the jacket…

…but nobody bothered looking at that. they just said “vinyl, gang tag, give it to sean” – so a month or two AFTER i had my bootleg of the whole album, i got to sneak debut the first single…which of course i’d been listening to for months, but as this was an official release i wasn’t hassled about throwing that on.

pissed off the others at ktsw, but you snooze and lose, ya know?

what a lot of people don’t know is what i put on the facebook page for my college radio station:

Yesterday was a bit more significant for KTSW than some of the current staff might think – when the transmitter was fired up back in 1992, the first song ever played across 89.9FM was “Pass The Mic” from the Beastie Boys (to signify the station going from FM cable to regular FM). The first verse on that song was done by Adam Yauch, aka “MCA”, so technically he was the first voice on KTSW FM. RIP MCA!

i actually still have the record used for that first broadcast, and figure i’ll get it framed and matted and present it to the station this summer on the twentieth anniversary of when i started with them…

…fuck me, i’m old.

on a side note, actor abe vigoda, who appeared as salvatore in the godfather amongst other things, is ninety-one and still very much alive, despite interweb rumors to the contrary…