Archive | May, 2012

Some Strange

28 May
From the sound of her voice I could tell she was really unhappy with me.
She’d already called twice and I should have already been over at her place
in fact I had no business being out at this hour,
and should have called things off way before it’d gotten to this point.

But have you ever done something knowing
that it was stupid but couldn’t
stop yourself from doing it anyway?

I rushed into my apartment
threw on a different shirt
washed my face
brushed my teeth
and sprayed some cologne in the air.

Checking myself in the mirror
feeling like a cliche,
looking just like one of THOSE guys,
a liar and a cheater.

~Edward Austin Robertson

Western Conference Finals Preview

23 May

OKC’s win over the Lakers on Monday left me feeling pretty euphoric. I remember the disappointment in 2010 when Pau Gasol’s put back on a Kobe Bryant miss did the boys in.  The Lakers of course went on to win the title that year.

And of course Oklahoma City used that experience to help them get to the Western Conference Finals where they learned even more lessons about what it takes to win in the playoffs.

It felt good to see them beat Kobe and the villainous Lakers ( The Lakers are one of the four storied “Sports Dynasties that make me puke with hatred 1) Yankees 2) Lakers 3) Notre Dame and 4) The Duke Blue Devils).  I respect Kobe (especially after his  performance in game 5– that reverse dunk gave me chills) but Ron Artest’s crazy ass needs to be locked up in a mental facility.

Gasol would be one of my favorite players if he played on any other team. Bynum is a head case too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and DeMarcus Cousins were related somehow.

Fuck those guys. It always feels good to see them lose. It felt REAAALLLLLLy fucking good to see them get beat by my favorite team. It felt almost as good as when the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees in the ALCS a couple years ago. As good as it felt to get caught up in the euphoria, I knew that the party was over after Monday.

Down on I-35, the Spurs loomed quite large and there is no way the Thunder can play as badly as they had against L.A. and expect to advance to the NBA Finals. These Okies here think that they know basketball because they have been following it all of 4 years. I walked into my local pub and immediately started baited homers into taking bets with me.

I had found at least 4 suckers willing to bet a substantial amount of money on the Thunder when I realized that it may be bad karma to bet against your favorite team–no matter how sure I am of the outcome.

Its been a weird playoff season and I hated the thought of paying off hundreds of dollars to people because of a fluke injury to one of the Spurs best players. Besides,I’m also really excited about what an exciting series this is going to be and I’d hate to ruin my ability to enjoy it because a few hundred bucks.

I’ve decided to keep the betting to a minimum and just enjoy the series for what will surely be some entertaining series of up and down basketball (and for all intents and purposes the NBA Finals–whoever wins this will win it all).

As much as I like my Oklahoma City Thunder, I still don’t think they are ready to win a championship yet. They played only one complete game last series, and that was game 1.

They played like shit until the very end of games 2-4 and somehow were up 3-1 going into game 5 9and probably should have swept). Kobe was the only player who showed up for the entirety of game 5. Everyone else was hit or miss on offense (though Gasol had a double double).

Now these Okie homers have been accusing me of being a Spurs fan and anti-Thunder(funny how all the fans came out of the woodwork once they started winning–back when they sucked you couldn’t find people who even knew there was NBA in Oklahoma City), but anyone who knows hoops can clearly see that the Spurs are playing on a whole other level than any other team still in the playoffs. OKC can’t fuck around like they have been doing and expect to win more than a couple wins this round.

The margin for error is EXTREMELY small against Tim Duncan and company. That being said, an injury can change the whole dynamic of the series and they still have to play the game. So without further ado, (and the for the first time ever) here’s BMICK’s breakdown of the Western Conference Finals.

First let’s start with the starting lineups:

C- Kendrick Perkins vs. Boris Diaw.

This match-up is a wash. Diaw doesn’t scare anyone on the offensive end, but having a point guard like Tony Parker will make him look better (much like his playing days with Nash in Phoenix).  On the flip side of that Perkins won’t do much on the offensive end either. The Thunder will feel lucky if Perk gets double figures in boards and points.

Hopefully Perk won’t get too crazy and try to do too much. He seems to have at least 2 turnovers a game because he didn’t pass the ball soon enough on a break or he tried to take a defender off the dribble. He should never be handling the rock.

If he sticks to what he is best at ( setting screens and rebounding) he will have done his job. Diaw is a pretty decent defender and rebounder. He will more than likely come off Perkins to help out when Durant and Westbrook penetrate into the paint (which may actually open up Perkins for some easy dunks). Diaw won’t have to work too hard defending Perkins though.

PF- Serge Ibaka vs. Tim Duncan. 

Old man Duncan has turned it on this playoffs, but Serge won’t make it easy on him this round.  The second most vote-getter for Defensive player of the year will have his hands full. Duncan will have his hands full on the offensive end but his creativity will no doubt help.

The man can score in a number of ways and his passing is always on point–especially for a big man. Ibaka will help spread things out if his jumper continues to fall but he’ll get his points off of put backs and easy set ups from Harden, Durant and Westbrook.  Duncan shouldn’t exert too much energy on the defensive end guarding Ibaka.

I almost want to call this a wash but that would be an insult to Duncan. Duncan will get his on occasion but it won’t be exactly easy. Slight Advantage Spurs. It would be a huge advantage if this were 2003, but then again the Spurs would be playing the Sonics and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Moving right along.

SF Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard

Big advantage Thunder. Durant no doubt will feel a bit of relief at not having to deal with the brute strength of “Artest the pest” or Shawn Marion’s length this round. He should be able to just shoot over Leonard or drive right by him. Its obvious that Leonard is going to be a good player in the league but he’s going to be a bit overwhelmed here.

Durant should hit his scoring average pretty easily here and Leonard will need lots of help from his big men on D.  On the other side of the court Durant won’t have to work as hard on D and may get the opportunity to roam a little and help out when Timmy D gets the ball. This match-up does not bode well for San Antonio.

SG  Thabo Sefolosha vs Danny Green

I will certainly admit that I’m a pretty big Danny Green fan. Dude used to tea bag fools back in his Carolina days. He could also shoot the 3-ball. Now he has added defense to his resume and has given himself a chance to stick in the league. I’m very happy for the guy.He was my favorite player on that championship squad.

He and Thabo are actually near mirror images of each other. Green is a better shooter but Thabo is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Thabo can’t create his own shot and won’t score unless he gets an open three or a fast break dunk. They kind of cancel each other out. This match-up is pretty even. I don’t think either player will make much of a difference in the box-scores.

PG- Russell Westbrook vs. Tony Parker

This match-up is the one that gives me goosebumps. We might actually see more of this match-up during the Olympics. You have in Westbrook arguably the best up and coming PG. While Tony Parker is the once prodigy now grizzled veteran. Without all the paparazzi and bullshit baggage from his wife (and the sexcapades with Brent Barry’s old lady) the Frenchman can concentrate on just playing basketball.

*Quick aside, I fucking hate these French cats coming into my country and stealing up all the hot white women. It’s a little unfair. Tony Parker is already good looking, he’s a mad talented baller, and the nigga speaks French? C’mon Tony give us american bruthas  a chance. I bet he Batum, and Diaw clean up whenever they meet up after games. I know how the French get down. I’ve seen Maitresse.*

Westbrook is stronger than Parker and can probably post him up any time he wants. Both point guards are lightening quick. Westbrook has a slightly better jumper with a bit more range and he is a better defender. Parker is a better distributor and takes care of the ball better. Its a close call but I’m gonna give the edge to San Antonio.

Although Westbrook has gotten better about the way he handles the ball, he can just as easily shoot the Thunder out of the game by taking too many jumpers or driving unwisely into traffic. it is still going to be an awesome matchup and probably is the best Point Guard match-up we will see in the playoffs (unless Rondo and the C’s make it out of the Eastern Conference). I’m so excited to see this one go down.

Now let’s talk about the benches of both squads.

Nick Collison, Nazr Mohammed, Derek Fisher, James Harden Daequan Cook 

versus

Dejuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal, Manu Ginoboili, Matt Bonner, and sometimes Patty Mills.

This one favors San Antonio big time. Oklahoma City has some big bodies to help deal with Duncan (with Collison and Mohammed), who is the only legitimate post player for San Antonio. They don’t have anyone who can consistently create their own shot besides James Harden who can’t be guarded by anyone (I was watching him and Royal Ivey goof off during warm ups and Royal was draped all over him in the corner of the 3 point line corner and somehow Harden still swished it. After he made it he yelled “Yeah” right in Ivey’s ear–I started laughing).

Fisher can hit the spot up 3’s and so can Cook, but neither can create their own shots, and both need Harden to set them up for the wide open treys. Collison will get the occasional put back dunk and clean up on the boards and Mohammed as well, but they will only really be called upon to spell Perkins and Ibaka for rest and foul trouble.

Spurs have a really nice bench with dudes who’d be starting on lesser teams. Manu of course is the original version of James Harden (though James is stronger and faster) and will certainly get his coming off the bench. Stephen Jackson though not as quick as he once, is still long and gritty and may come off the bench once Leonard gets into foul trouble. Bro can still shoot the three and may make Durant work a little harder to get his points.

Bonner with his funny release will hit the open jumpers if you let him. Tiago Splitter is an excellent passer from the post, and Gary Neal will make you pay if you leave him open. I repeat big advantage Spurs.

Coaches- Scott Brooks vs. Gregg Popovich

Do I even need to go into this one? Pop is the best NBA coach alive not named Phil Jackson and showed his clear superiority against Vinny Del Negro during the Clippers series. His attention to detail is immense and the guy never misses a beat. A few years ago against the Hornets during a round 2 series, there was an overtime classic in a pivotal game (either game 3 or 5).

There was some kind of clock malfunction and the refs were dealing with it for a few minutes. While Byron Scott was kind of hanging out, looking ahead, and some of the New Orleans players were milling around and getting ready to restart the game, Popovich had his troops rounded up, drawing up extra plays for when the game recommenced. My thought at the time was “Damn, that’s genius. Popovich is using this as an extra time-out. ”

Now this might not like such a big deal to some people. It may even seem obvious to those who really follow the game. But my question is that if this was the obvious thing to do, then why wasn’t Byron Scott doing it?

It’s little things like that which separate Pop from the average NBA coach. The dude is the NBA equivalent to Bill Belichick (except he is much better at making draft picks).

What can I say? Scotty Brooks is a bit over matched on this one. Some of the Thunder troubles on offense I do blame on Brooks. When the team is settling for too many ill-timed jumpers instead of taking the ball to the rack, Brooks is the guy I blame for not being on top of them.

In game 5, they should have been attacking the rim with vengeance once Andrew “nutbag” Bynum picked up his fourth foul. Instead Durant, Westbrook, and Sefolosha just kept shooting jumper after jumper. I feel this is where Brooks has to remind them about what worked.

If the Thunder have these long stretches of basketball amnesia it will be a short series for them. San Antonio will run them out of AT&T, and Chesapeake Arena.

Brooks is certainly a good coach, but when it comes to X’s and O’s he’s a bit over matched in this series.

So what does OKC have to do in order to win this series?

I just said it. Attack the rim repeatedly. If Duncan is the only legit post presence, get him into foul trouble. As good as the  San Antonio Bench is they don’t have anyone who can score in the post other than Duncan.

He is their offensive front line. If he is on the bench the Spurs will be relegated to jump shots. Parker and Ginobili will get theirs, for sure they can get in the paint, but those are the only guys that can create their own shots.

They cannot simply settle for jump shots, and they cannot expect to win by going 1 on 5 with isolation sets. They will need to pass the ball as well as they did during their regular season drubbing of the Bulls (one of the best and most complete games they played all year).

On defense their success will depend on how well each player can defend one on one. This current Spurs team is designed to have one post player surrounded by four spot up shooters. Any kind of double team can result in an open 3 ball for San Antonio if OKC doesn’t rotate fast enough.

Fast break points won’t be enough to get them 4 wins. It is going to take the perfect storm for them to accomplish this. Everyone is going to have to be on their A game because San Antonio will definitely be on theirs.

Oklahoma City has the horses  to beat San Antonio but do they have the focus and discipline to execute a game plan for a full 48 minutes, four times in a series? Maybe they will, but judging from the last 2 rounds they look suspect.

Let’s face it, the Mavs were done the minute they let Caron “tough juice”Butler, Tyson Chandler, Stevenson, and Barea run off. The Lakers overachieved this year and sorely missed the stability of Phil Jackson during the end-game periods of last round.

San Antonio will be their toughest opponent yet and possibly the toughest test they will have  all playoffs. If they win, this it will be the equivalent of the ’92 Cowboys beating the 49ers in San Francisco. It’d be a surprise but not necessarily an upset.

It’s a fascinating match- up. I think every game will be extremely close with at least two of them going into overtime. At that it will come down to clutch shooting, timely coaching, and a deep bench. I’m going with the Spurs in six games.

I hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I am. I think OKC is still one more playoff heartbreak away from being ready for an NBA championship.

Its San Antonio’s crown to lose (barring major injury of course)

Krispy Kreme

23 May

Someone at work showed this to me.  It has a strange hypnotic quality to it.

 

My Man Rasheed

13 May

Great article on one of my favorite basketball players of all time.

There are also some great you tube links embedded within, including one of the best all-time MTV Cribs I’ve seen. I think it was filmed when he lived in the PDX.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7651790/a-los-angeles-lakers-rumor-spurs-writer-look-back-rasheed-wallace-nba-career

Video

A Flurry of Dunks

13 May

Final Shout out to MCA

10 May

I was sweating it out in Lawrence when I got the text: “MCA SON!” “Adam Yauch?” I responded. “Yep. Sad day buddy.” Damn. I was still processing Junior Seau’s suicide. I ended up hanging with my friend’s neighbor’s drinking Brass Monkeys (Mickey’s and Orange Juice) in their upstairs apartment.

I was too shocked to feel anything. We jammed a little and listened to drum breaks and by the time it got dark my feelings were starting to settle.

It seemed fitting to go to a punk show that night, and I halfway expected one of the bands to bust out “Tough Guy” as a tribute to the Beastie Boys. It never came, not even a mention Adam Yauch and I left the club feeling a bit disappointed that many didn’t seem to share my grief (and how could these kids they were probably six when Intergalactic played on the airwaves).

But it was obvious who knew what was up. I happened by a jazz bar to hear them playing Paul’s Boutique and so I went inside and bought shots for the bar staff. This was probably the closest I felt to bonding with the universal middle aged white guy.

The next day I overheard various conversations from cohorts in my age range. These servers at the restaurant were talking when I was in line. “ Man you hear about MCA from the Beastie Boys?” “Yea man. 47.”

“He was so young.”

“ I didn’t even know he still had it man. I thought he’d beaten the cancer.”

“So did I. Everyone had done such a good job of downplaying it. I guess that’s why it’s so shocking.”

I remember when various pop figures had met their demise Tupac, Biggie, Jam Master Jay, Michael Jackson, even George Harrison. This one hit me differently. This felt personal. Those deaths didn’t hit the same nerve that Adam Yauch’s touched.

I grew up on the Beasties. I had the Licensed to Ill on cassette and my little brother bumped it incessantly on his toy boombox player. I myself was 7 or 8 when that album came out. I missed the bus on Paul’s Boutique (My older cousins listened to Easy E and Ice-T, MC Shan and Boogie Down Productions).

But I could remember when Whatcha’ want? Debuted on BET and my aunt’s husband saying “Damn Beastie Boys coming hard with it.” The video was trippy and the clothes they were wearing were the standard white kid’s apparel at the time. I was about to be a sophomore in high school when Sabotage played non-stop on MTV.

I remember kind of hating on the B-Boys because all the white girls I was trying to fuck back then loved them (especially AD-Rock). By this point I wasn’t sure about them. I didn’t have many white friends and I just wasn’t getting them at that time.

And I knew that when the “Licensed to ill” album was playing at any high school party I was attending, then that was the signal to split; because some white boys were about to get rowdy (meaning that something stupid was about go down which would result in the police getting called).

But I was fresh on my own when Hello Nasty came out. I remember when the album dropped. I was at what was then Warehouse Music, listening to shit and saw the cover.

I figured I’d give it a listen. The beats were fresh and hard and dope. So I bought that shit and the first six tracks justified the purchase alone (it would be many years later before I’d learn to appreciate their instrumental joints). But that was the moment that they cemented themselves into my heart. I was 19. I had my own car.

I was finally getting pussy, and I had realized that white boys weren’t all that bad to kick it with—in fact they really knew how to party. I was getting loose—real loose. I traded in my collar shirts for ringed Tees with Speed Racer and Curious George on the front, and long sleeves underneath them. I was doing any drug that was offered to me and expanding my mind.

By the time the B-boys came to Fort Worth I was ready. I went to funky town in my tear away Adidas pants and fresh T-shirt. I got drunk on Corona and tequila and puked in the parking lot of the Tarrant County Convention center. I had a fucking ball (though my second level seat seemed rather far away from the action).

Rancid and Rammstein opened up for them (Tribe called Quest had just broken up at this point–and were no longer on the tour—which was a real bummer because I had just been introduced to them via MTV and The Source magazine).

People lost their minds when they played Intergalactic, people really fucking lost it when they closed with Sabotage, motherfuckers were moshing all up and down that arena– while the lights went on to expose the impending madness. My life was changed forever that night.

I went out and immediately bought Paul’s Boutique, Ill Communication, and Check Yo Head. I was in on the secret finally. These white boys were pretty fucking cool It seemed like a litmus test of legitimacy if you quoted the “Dick in the Mashed Potatoes” sample and the present company got the reference. Either they were a square or I’d met a friend for life.

A curious thing happened that kind of signaled a change in the winds. In 2000 (before El duderino from the Bush family stole that election) the Beasties had announced a tour with Green Day and Rage Against the Machine. I could give a fuck about Green Day, but I was a hard core Rage Against the Machine fan.

During that time I had five favorite bands: Wu Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, Radiohead, U2 (go ahead and laugh I had EVERYTHING they’d ever recorded), and RATM. The Wu had skipped out on their tour with RATM back in ’98 (opening the door for whites to get exposed to the Roots) so this was surely going to make up for that.

RATM and the B-boys on the same tour? This had the potential to be one of the greatest tours of all time. I bought myself pit tickets for the Dallas show and just waited. It was surely going to be the best summer of my life.

I was already going to get to see Roger Waters and Steely Dan. This was the butter cream icing on the cake. Alas though, misfortune struck. Mike D broke his collarbone riding his (low rider?) bicycle and the tour had to be canceled. A few months later Rage broke up, and sure enough old “shrub” stole the election.

What seemed to be a promising start to the decade became a harbinger for the strangeness to come. When 2004 came I had finally learned the ins and outs of jazz and instrumental music.

I’d finally caught up with the Beastie Boys’ early nineties catalog and was a bit underwhelmed when To the 5 Boroughs came out (You mean they don’t play instruments on this one? WTF!!!)

My girlfriend at the time was a complete pop culture whore and I remember getting snarky with her when she said she bought their album. I snickered and told her I preferred when they played their own shit (I was such a pretentious douche).

She was the kind of girl who liked Jimmy Eat World and Save Ferris, and Bowling For Soup. One time she played me an album by Guster, and halfway through the album I decided that this was reason enough to break up with her. She was a gorgeous red head chick but she had terrible taste in music, and this always led to criticism from me in some form or other.

Finally she grew tired of my stale act and ended things for good.

That fall the Beasties went down to Austin and newly single I decided to meet this older woman down there to go to the show. It was off the chain. I was front row down in the pit and they played everything. The rapping was on point (even if they did look a little goofy as three older gentleman in green warm up suits dancing around) and they sounded great during their three instrumental breaks (the first time I saw them I would use these moments to sit down or go pee—this time I was ALL IN).

I moshed with the hard core geeks and tossed my share of crowd surfers. I even got a little head that night from the lady who took me to the show. All in all a great night for 38 US dollars.

When the Mix-Up came out I was living in California as a (literally) starving writer. I had just had my car stolen at the Arcade Fire show in Berkeley. I was living off of 20 bucks a week for groceries. My diet consisted of granola cereal, soy milk, and Amy’s canned soup. My weight was down to 145 lbs. I had graduated high school at a 165 clip. I had quit my restaurant gig in Berkeley and hadn’t yet found a gig in San Francisco.

One particular Friday I was in the city goofing around when I came across this huge line in front of the Warfield theatre. Young folks were dressed to the nines heading to what looked like the party of the century. Prom gear galore, powder blue tuxes and funny wigs.

Make up, long multi-colored stockings, and a festive atmosphere directed me to look on the bill and see that sure enough the Beasties were back. At the time I had the money for the show. But it would cost me for sure. I was looking at some lean weeks ahead if I dropped coin on the show. I found out that they were doing two gigs in the Bay.

The next day they’d be at the Greek. At least there I could stand outside the venue and listen. I kept walking to whatever destination I was heading—probably some booty assed open mic. I didn’t go to Berkeley the next day, and whatever I did instead I can’t tell you (I’ve blocked out most of those embarrassing, unnecessarily lean years out in Cali from my memory). I did eventually look at the set list from that San Francisco show a few years later.

My stomach dropped too when I peeped it. The show looked incredible. They had opened up with one of my favorite tunes from Ill Communication, Transitions. It was mostly instrumentals and very little rapping (that would be the Berkeley show). This particular show seemed special.

The boys were all threaded out in green suits looking suave and dapper. From everything I’ve heard and seen this was an unforgettable show (and of course I chose to fucking miss it). I can easily say this is one of my biggest regrets as an adult (that and trying to fuck every good looking female comic on the open mic circuit).

For whatever reason, I found myself getting back into the Beasties over the last 10 months—right before the Hot Sauce Committee had come out. This may possibly coincide with the fact that I’ve recently started jamming with a dude across town (I realized how much I like Mike D’s drumming—he’s good but not intimidating).

Maybe it is because my responsibilities have increased and the need to feel as free as I should have felt in my late teens, has surfaced. All I know is that I spent many an off day last summer and fall blowing some serious dank and listening to Beastie grooves.

It felt good. Especially as a newly single dude. Swimming, playing board games, reading National Geographic, and learning music, seemed more important than getting laid. I found myself examining the ’91-’94 period for the B-boys, wondering how cool it must have been to play in a band with your best friends.

They were so ahead of the curve, taking their record budget and building a studio with it. Instead of sweating out the budgeted hours for studio time, they were free to record at their own pace, setting up a skate ramp and basketball court at their newly built G-son studios.

I mean can you imagine being in your EARLY twenties, and have nothing to worry about but getting high, recording music, playing basketball, and skating—but getting paid to do so (and occasionally touring the world) with your two best friends? It feels me with awe and envy to see them living the life I could only dream of.

And perhaps this is why I’ve in some ways regressed to the boyish attributes of my teens. I never got to skateboard when I was young. I didn’t get a chance to grow up with my schoolyard buds because we moved around so much when I was a kid. I can’t imagine how cool it must be to live the life that Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA got to experience during their 20’s. I had some good ass times in college. I had experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.

In fact I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s out there. But boy oh boy I know that it must have felt fucking good to wake up as those guys ( By the way that time period in the 90’s is documented by a photographer named Ari Marcopoulos in a book called Pass the Mic—its a great coffee table item).

I have never had a favorite Beastie Boy. I have liked them all for different reasons. Mike D’s lyrics in Whatcha want? always seemed dope to me (and that badass Knicks t-shirt he wears in the video). Professor Booty was another tune that got kicked off right by the king Ad-Rock, I always liked his on stage energy, he was always crazy and spastic (and a ladies’ man—I mean really Ione Skye and Molly Ringwald?). I always liked MCA’s voice and he seemed to have the most serious and focused lyrics.

But all three were legitimate badasses in their own rights, funny, goofy but also serious musicians (something I never quite appreciated until I got serious about actually picking up an instrument)with some serious swagger. What was always so cool to me though was the dynamic. It was obvious how close they were.

They always seemed to be sharing some inside joke or another. Interviews with them could be highly entertaining (there is a really good one in Michael Rappaport’s Tribe Called Quest documentary where they are just cutting up—sharing about 30 years of inside jokes by this time).

This is what makes MCA’s death so sad to me. Rarely do you see a band last longer than 5 years. These guys had been together since they were teenagers and were still just as close (probably even closer now) as they were then.

Imagine how difficult it is to lose a friend you’ve known for 30 years. Now imagine how equally difficult it must be on a psychic/spiritual level it would be to lose a band member (especially a bass player in a trio).

Its a double loss for Mike D and Adam Horovitz. They lose a guy they’ve shared intimacy on and off stage with. It is a pretty heartbreaking thing to imagine (Bill Evans said he never got over losing bass player Scott LaFaro in a New York City car accident—he played with other guys and continued to make albums but he never quite recovered saying it just wasn’t the same magical intensity that he and LaFaro shared).

This is on par with Clifford Brown and Richie Powell dying in a car wreck in the midwest. It is on par with John Bonham or Keith Moon dying in their sleep. The Beastie trip (as we have known it) is over. But it was a damn good ride.

I’m glad I was able to taste a little bit of the goodness. All they ever did was spread good natured fun, and laughter, and creativity. I will always admire and envy the things they accomplished. I can’t believe I am at the point in my life where the adults from my childhood are now old and gray, with wrinkles under their eyes and in their faces.

I never felt old listening to the Beasties even as a 33 year old man skateboarding the streets of Tulsa, getting high and geeking out over video games and basketball. Now with MCA’s passing I am forced to examine my life(AGAIN) and determine how much longer I can be the boy I never got to be in my teen’s. Reading the various tweets, eulogies, and obituaries on Mr. Adam Yauch quickly brings up the fact that it’s no longer 1994.

Those Beasties are well gone. Those guys grew up to start families and branch out as human beings. That clubhouse they shared in Los Angeles is no longer there. They all are in Manhatten now going to film openings and DJ-ing at Museums, and hanging out backstage at concerts and getting interviewed for tv shows and documentaries.

There is still so much for me to do. Adam Yauch (and the Beastie Boys themselves) has touched so many people. His death has reverberated across the globe, revealing just how much he and his band have affected people out there.

I’m only one of millions of people that have been influenced and affected by the energy that was put out there by them. More than anything Adam Yauch’s life (and death) has shown me that there are no limits as to how far one’s imagination can stretch.

And though I am far from the person I was when I was 19 (I’m only now realizing how much my perspective was shaped by those guys—from political awareness to sense of style, and musical tastes) there is a greater self within reach if only I access my faith and creativity.

Thank you Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz for teaching me that you don’t have to meet someone in order to have a positive affect on someone. You only have to do positive things and then the ripple effect takes care of everything else. Most importantly, (a lesson I continually learn over and over again) they taught me that I wasn’t nearly as cool as I thought I was. Namaste fellas.

Longboarding is not a crime (dedicated to the memory of Adam Yauch)

10 May

How does one grow old gracefully?

I don’t know.

But I do know that I look ridiculous with long hair

that I can’t party like I once did at 24

without feeling the ill effects.

That there is no such thing as lack of consequence

that I’m much different than I was

when I walked these very same streets

long ago.

I learned to develop a healthy sense of paranoia

in my youth

that is only now wearing off

So why start longboarding at my age?

Call it healthy regression

or a mid-life crisis

or blame it on the safe existence

of a protected cocoon

shattered by the unforgiving reality

of asphalt and pavement.

Maybe I do wear my cuts

bruises and scrapes as

proudly adorned medals,

battle scars

much like the Fight Club participants carry.

(My board is Tyler Durden)

Coasting in empty parking lots

around town

carving down the hills

turning up

ramped sidewalks and driveways

Why do I long board at my age?

Because its fun

and possibly preparation

for surfing;

a lesson in centripetal force

the ground running

beneath the wheels

and wood

precariously

navigating through maniac drivers

and the idiot drunks.

Am I too old to be just now learning to long board?

I probably am but that’s not going to stop me from doing it.

Besides I finally have health insurance.

~Edward Austin Robertson~