Adam Yauch's (aka MCA) death has resonated deeply in and out of our demographic. The Beastie Boys' impact on music and pop culture is deep and indisputable. Punk,Hip Hop, Rock, Lounge Core, Sampling... they are/were one of the true innovators over the last 30 years.
Even the NY Mets paid tribute to the Beastie Boys (as they should have- after all, the Beastie Boys are as "New York" as the Mets are!
MCA's death from cancer represents perhaps the first of our "Generation X" (or is it "Y")" musical icons to succumb to a "grown up" disease. As such, it resonates a little deeper than the usual celebrity death. We are used to hearing how our rock stars overdose, or die in an accident, or kill themselves, or are murdered. Death from disease is for the "older generation" - even our Punk Heroes that die from disease (i.e.: Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer, Johnny Ramone) seem to be more "expected", as most of us look to them as being from the earlier scene. And the 60's scene seem to be jamming every nite with the Grim Reaper as we seem to hear of a death every month.
Compounding this is how the Beastie Boys represented youth and immaturity. Even as they aged physically and topically... and MCA looked older due to his grey hair probably quicker than anyone, their energy and attitude conceptually placed them in the "lost boys/never aging" aesthetic.
Many of us have had friends and peers our age die from disease or accident already. MCA's premature death is the bell ringer heralding our musical's generation into middle age.
Nazz Junior just asked me as I was typing this, "why is everyone so torn up about this guy dying?". I tried to explain it to him about The Beastie Boys and he replied "wasn't he the old guy that wore a suit?"
And the next generation moves in...
The Mets' "walk-up" songs: 5/4/2012
ps- Coldplay did the following tribute. Their rearranging of "Fight For Your Right" is totally punk rock.