Tributes to Adam “MCA” Yauch are pouring in online today, as the world learns of his death. Yauch was an activist and humanitarian, fighting to free Tibet, and of course one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys. For many the Beastie Boys were an introduction to rap, bringing a genre to commercial rock radio that never had much of a place there before. The legendary group created the first rap album to hit number one on the Billboard charts. They were a band that had the ability to change the way people looked at, and listened to, music.
For a lot of teenagers at the time, the only chance to experience the Beastie Boys live was on TV, and if you were lucky enough to be allowed to stay up late, on Saturday Night Live.
Since the launch of YouTube we have access to so much, but back in the ’80s and ’90s, an appearance on Saturday Night Live was not only a huge opportunity for a band, but treated by fans almost as a live event. You didn’t want to miss it. And as far as the Beastie Boys, you never knew what to expect.
Below are clips from three of the Beastie Boys’ SNL appearances in the ’90s. And yes, they sure did perform “Radio Radio” with Elvis Costello.
Beastie Boys perform “Sure Shot,” “Ricky’s Theme” and “Heart Attack Man,” 1995.
Beastie Boys perform “Three MCs and One DJ” and “Sabotage,” 1998.
Elvis Costello and Beastie Boys perform “Radio Radio,” 1999.
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Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys changed the world, by CBC Music's Hip-Hop community producer Vish Khanna
on May 04, 2012