Sure Shot

We were in a Soho pub on Friday, enjoying a quiet, late celebration of Rev Sherlock’s fortyhurhurff birthday. It was a busy night, but the staff were their usual peppy, on-the-ball self. The drinks were flowing smoothly.

All of a sudden, everyone behind the bar stopped what they were doing, and poured out a line of shots. The music was cut. A solemn toast was pronounced, and when the music came back up it was the Beastie Boys, played boneshakingly loud.

I took a moment to lift a glass, as I had just seen the news that the bar staff at the Ship on Wardour Street had needed to mark. Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, had just died of cancer. He was 47. His sandpaper-and-whiskey voice had made him my favourite, and he was a prime mover of the Beastie’s shift to a more conscious, if just as funky, lyrical stance.

His loss is a kick in the nuts. MCA was a richly talented musician, a rapper with a unique flow, a generous and intelligent presence. This shot is for him.



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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

2 thoughts on “Sure Shot”

  1. That’s such a nice way to record this sad event … I was walking around Crouch End waiting for people and checking Twitter when I saw a retweet about his death – technology eh? can’t live with it, pass the beer nuts …. Beastie Boys were the first band that separated me from my parents musically … I remember enjoying a self imposed isolation in the car listening to Licence to Ill over and over on the car stereo… 47 is no age RIP …. Cancer respects no one… we should live our lives to their fullest and not take our foot off the gas

    1. It was a bit of a private moment, weirdly. The bar staff didn’t make a big announcement. They just took the music down for a few seconds, did the toast, then cranked up Paul’s Boutique. I don’t think a lot of the punters in the bar realised what had happened until later…

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