RIP MCA • 4Q Conditioning
If you have a second, read Max’s Beastie Boys story:
“about 14 years ago i went on a skate trip to austraila. It was my first time there, and i was really stoked to get to go. it was longer trip. i think about month. It was me and ethan fowler, ed templeton, tobin yelland and some other folks. we had our normal skate demo’s we were doing but we also got linked up with this big music tour….i guess you could say it was kind of like the warp tour, but way less corny and more about the music. Sonic youth,beastie boys, beck, rancid, and jaw breaker are the bands that come to mind. It was pretty fucking cool cause our demo’s were pretty flexible so when we weren’t skating we could go watch the bands…. and like right on stage as close as any non band member could get. watching sonic youth play a set was unbelievable. the energy between thurston and kim and the constant guitar changes and just how their sound rang through these giant speakers was really something. I’m not a fan of really huge shows, but it is amazing to watch thousands of people move to a band and be hypnotized by their sound.
There was many a chills down the spine watching these bands so closely. So we were the “skaters” on the tour. Not so VIP as the bands. Which was more than fine, and the way it should of been. I remember seeing kim gordon getting in the elevator and i was so nervous to get in there with her… as we walked up i heard her say “her comes the skaters”….. not in a judgemental way but just as like… oh here they come. So day after day we would bump into the bands at breakfast, in the elevator, or in the shuttle to the show. Beck told me he knew mark gonzales and that their parents were friends at one time. Yes random but really rad. This was in the beginning of his popularity and he was way humble and i remember heart broken missing a girlfriend. So it was these little interactions that would happen that would be so abstract in one of my normal days, but on this tour we all started to get used to each other.
Make no mistake non of these people would really remember me…. aside from Blake from jawbreaker because i skated 5 miles to see him play a small show at a club that had nothing to do with the festival. “this song goes out to max, the only person in the room that probably gets what it is about” yea… more chills. then he strummed heavy into -condition oakland-. Hence 4Q conditioning. Condition Oakland. Oakland conditioning.
So one of the last nights of the trip, were in the elevator and mike d. from the beastie boys looked at us “the skaters” and said….. “hey were having a party on the top floor. you’ll should come on up”….. fuck ok. twist my arm. there was a pecking order on this trip and we were right near the bottom. So i personally was stoked. And let me say…Beastie Boy’s in 7-8th grade was a big part of what i listened to. So i’ve always had a special place for those guys. But now “come to our party” I was trippin a bit. Cocaine? strippers? midgets? hot tub?…… none of the above. we rolled in and it kind of had the record needle scratch feeling…. but not totally. So then Adam Yuach say’s “you guys wanna beer?” and that broke that ice. Things loosened up, the music got turned up, more folks show up, and it was fun! but chill.
So here is my beastie boys story…. I’m out on the balcony on the top floor, and i’m taking it all. Deep breath…i’m in Australia, it’s late night, warm, cold beer in my hand, oh yea… and I’m just hanging out with the beastie boys and all these other band people. So I’m on the balcony and mike-d hands me a bottle and says… ” you think you could throw that bottle over that road and into that field?” we’re on like the 20th floor of this hotel, there is parking lot under us and a wide two lane road and then the field. I give him my pattened shrug “i dunno” combo and reach for the bottle….i look around, get a comfortable grip on the bottle and let it rip. You could hear that flying bottle noise whoot whoot whoot whistling…and it looked promising, good height, nice distance. I’m thinking “i fucking got this” and then blam/smash right in the fucking street about 6 feet shy of the field. Dude kind of looked at me cray then, kind of like… good job shit head, now your getting kicked out. But i read it wrong and he laughed and then i nervously laughed and then all those beastie boys grabbed bottles and started chucking them… once someone made it to the field it was on. we all had to do it. trust me the street was littered with broken glass by the time we got them to the field. Amazing night to say the least.
My take on that situation was… they were famous as fuck at the time… on that trip, i’d seen them coming in out of multiple fancy restaurants and buying nice things… but i think at that moment, with some dirt skaters on their penthouse balcony they just reverted to being beastie boys. Who knows…. but Adam Yuach where ever you are now..thanks for that and thanks for being an inspiration.”