Friday, December 2, 2011

Beastie Boys: No sleep 'til ... Cleveland?

Whether it was the shift to guitars on albums like "Ill Communication," the so-called "trail-blazing" efforts of these "white rappers" (thanks for the Vanilla Ice, guys) or the oh-so-socially-conscious efforts of Adam "MCA" Yauch (yes, the guy who crushed a beer can over his head in the "Fight For Your Right To Party" vid), the Rock Hall considers the Beastie Boys viable candidates for their Prestigious Palace of Ignorance.


Say what you will: They had rhymes like Abe Vigoda.
First things first: 1986's "Licensed To Ill" was a staple of my youth - the tape was one of my first and it sat nicely on my desk in a stack that also included Genesis' "Invisible Touch," Cinderella's "Night Songs" and the Huey Lewis & the News classic "Fore!"

Somehow, my parents never bothered to check in as the boys were rambling on about "skeezin' with a whore" or "gun hidin' on the go" or "ball-slapping" or drinking "def ale." No one in the house held the album's cover up to a mirror to reveal the Holy Grail for teen boys in the 1980s: "eat me" written on the side of the plane. So I went around reciting "Paul Revere" and "Posse In Effect." Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D. were dumb kids doing dumb things, and it was awesome.
Some people call him robo.
But that's the point. The "Licensed To Ill" Era Beastie Boys are THE Beastie Boys. It lasted through "Paul's Boutique" and that was it.

It's like The Hold Steady - they'll always be 2004's "Almost Killed Me" - a campy, timeless romp that will never grow old. That's that band. Serious Craig Finn pretending to be Bruce Springsteen? That's something else, and that cannot be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And neither can the Beastie Boys, and not because they're rappers.

It's because they're three dudes who sing silly songs and make funny videos. That's it. They never pushed the proverbial envelope, so how could the Beastie Boys be in and not Devo? They never dominated the charts, so how could the Beastie Boys be in and not the B-52s?

Mainly, it's because they're this:

And this:

And of course this:

Thankfully, according to an exhaustive examination of the 2012 nominees, the amazing Rock Hall blog Future Rock Legends determined that the Beasties won't be getting in.

And that's good. Because what would be sadder - thinking about dirt bags with 5 o'clock shadows and car pendant necklaces entering the hallowed halls, or the thought of this trio getting on stage, right now,  to perform "No Sleep Til Brooklyn," "Intergalactic," "Hey Ladies" or "So Whatcha Want"?

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