I can’t believe this week: First Junior Seau, and now Adam Yauch. When it comes to pop culture, music and football are the two things I’m probably most familiar with. It seems like a lot of football players have been dying young over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, it supports my theory that these super strong oversized athletes need to have football as their profession, otherwise they would be out terrorizing the general population of normal people to make a living. But careers are so short, these guys have to live the rest of their lives without being able to play the game they spent their young lives focused on. It’s sad to see these unwanted heroes collecting the dust of middle age and seemingly without purpose. Now of course the real story that is coming to light is how much concussions are affecting their brains, and who but the players themselves can truly understand the suffering that they must deal with on a daily basis from that fallout. I just remember it wasn’t that long ago I would watch Junior Seau terrorize running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks on the field with devastating hits. To hear of his apparent suicide is sad, and I hope he is in a better place.
I was a little late to the whole rap/hip hop thing. I’ve been a rocker since I was young, usually comes with the territory of being a guitar player. I resisted liking the Beastie Boys at first, when everybody in my high school was into them. They were just ripping off Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath riffs I claimed. Yes, and doing a little more too, but at least they admitted to it.
I played guitar for my high school jazz band, and the whole band, orchestra, marching, jazz, made a trip down to the San Francisco Bay area for a couple of performances. The jazz band had the least performance obligations so I had lots of time to run around the city on my own, and get into trouble with the only cool kids in the band: the drummers, who were a bunch of little skate punks too. One of my performances with the jazz band was at Six Flags, you know the theme park, and we played the old jazz song In the Mood and something else I can’t remember, but I got to play a solo in one of them and people were walking through the park and stopped to check it out and even applauded, how about that?
Later in the day me and a couple others went to these booths where you could make a recording of a song. Now remember this is back in the ’80s and this thing was a combination karaoke/recording studio and you could sing a popular song to backing tracks. So what did we do? Fight for Your Right to Party. And we got loud!!! We were screaming inside that booth. When we came out, everyone was cracking up, because even from outside, you knew we were going off the hook!
In 2000 I was living in L.A. and got tickets for the Hello Nasty tour. Not just tickets, but limited run floor tickets because the Beastie Boys were playing on a rotating stage. That’s right, Theater in the Round. And they only sold enough tickets for twenty people deep all the way around which means aside from the center, most of the floor was open. So there we were, in the Fabulous Forum, where Kareem and Magic won a few NBA titles, and we were right in front of the Beasties as they rotated around, playing all the hits from over the years and stuff in between, they even switched up and played instruments too, because after all, they were more talented than I initially gave them credit for. I hope this blog doesn’t start to become an obituary page, c’mon people take care of yourselves! When the heroes of your youth go away and you look around, you realize your next.