Family, friends, and fans of the Beastie Boys are dealing with founding member Adam “MCA” Yauch’s death in all sorts of ways. Many have gone out to buy (or re-buy) their favorite Beasties albums; some New Yorkers are even petitioning to rename a Brooklyn park in Yauch’s honor.
But Yauch’s comrade Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz is still only coping with the loss. “I’m walking the dog and I’ll start crying on the street,” he told Rolling Stone. “It’s pretty f—ing crazy.”
Horovitz opened up in his first interview since his friend and bandmate’s May 4 death, fondly remembering him as both an artist and as a person.
“Yauch was in charge,” he says of MCA’s position in the Beastie Boys. “He was smarter, more organized.”
“He had that extra drive to see things through,” he continued. ” We each had our roles. One of his was the make-it-happen person.”
Horovitz also outlined the give-and-take process that made the group the enduring collaborative effort it became.
“Everything was split three ways,” he explained. “Except we had veto power. If you really hated something, you could be [like], ‘That can’t happen.’”
One example he offers is was when Yauch wanted the cover of their hit album Ill Communication to be a painting of a tree, an idea swiftly vetoed by Horovitz and Mike D. “I said, ‘Anything is better than that tree.’” The painting, Alex Grey’s “Gaia,” wound up finding a home in the album’s liner notes instead; see it below:
Horovitz goes on to discuss Yauch’s life after his cancer diagnosis. “We spent more time making fart jokes and ordering food, which was true to form,” he says, of his sick bandmate’s continued positivity. “I don’t believe Adam was afraid. Bummed out, yeah. But I can’t think when I ever saw him afraid.”
“He hadn’t been afraid in a long time,” he added. “That gives me peace.”
You can read the rest of the interview over at Rolling Stone.