Sure Shot


I can’t think of anything to write from a personal point of view. The reality is, my life is fiction. I know some of you click this page to read the serialized fiction I’ve invested so much of my time. While others tell me that they wait for that one personal post of the week where I detail some level of hijinks with my wife and three daughters. Well, right now those four women are a disappointment. They’ve been boring. They’re doing what they’re supposed to and being great people. How dare they NOT think of My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog?

Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys died Friday after a three-year battle with cancer. He was two months shy of his 48th birthday. That makes him just six years older than I. Mortality in your forties is very daunting. Beastie Boys are my ninth favorite band of all-time but I was even more of a fan of Adam Yauch, the man. Yauch did something I’ve rarely seen among popular musicians. He aged gracefully. After introducing himself to the world as a beer swilling obnoxious gravel-voiced lout in 1986, he evolved. The man who died two days ago was a learned one. He studied eastern philosophy, became a Vegan Buddhist, married, and became a committed father.

 Watching and hearing him perform was a lesson in adult artistry rather than a spectacle in suspended adolescence. I can’t stop listening to my favorite Beastie Boys albums, Paul’s Boutique and Ill Communication, their hip hop masterpiece and great rock record respectively.

Being my age, 41, comes with some rules. I don’t like rules, but I know they’re there. I can’t just leave a stressful day behind with booze or latenights or without obligation. My wife and daughters have me around for many reasons, and being an irresponsible jackass isn’t one. Adam Yauch’s early death and the precipice of finishing my first book have made me very introspective and, quite frankly, scared. I wonder if I can age gracefully and be the kind of man Yauch succeeded in being, someone comfortable in their own skin who gave as much as he received.

To nod to Yauch and his now Rock and Roll Hall of Famed inducted group, I’m “sure shot” about something. I won’t stop writing and it’s a pleasure to share this small corner of the internets with each of you who read.


111 thoughts on “Sure Shot

  1. May I admit that I am one of those who looks forward to your reality posts….

    Also, yeah – being in your 40’s messes with your mind with all that mortality stuff. Totally.

    Have a great weekend making more memories. Tell those girls to give you some good fodder!

  2. I was fortunate to see him at Bonnaroo 2009 with sperk. You are as much of a man as Adam was. I love your writing and it is a pleasure to know a true man and father.


  3. You don’t see it, but you’re already head and shoulders above your peers. You are incredibly introspective. You have clarity of mind at your most trying times. You are brave with your words. You are grounded and have a gratitude for your blessings where others our ages are mired in “I deserve…” and “I want, I want, I want” For every fault you see in yourself, you have 10 pieces of gold in your pocket. And you’re an awesome friend.

    • coming from you, that’s amazing. I volley those words to you. You have shown me the kind of friend I stopped believing in. thank you.

  4. seekingelevation27

    I really liked this post, Lance. I like what you said about suspended adolescence. And I love the Beasties.

  5. Really good post. I have been thinking about him a lot, and not that I was a huge Beastie Boys fan, cuz while I admired them I was never a die hard. But I sure saw the artistry, and as I had read some about him over the past several years, from his religion exploration to his activism, you couldn’t help but admire the guy. I am in my 40s and seeing someone only a few years old than me go is really unsettling. Losing an artist at any age is always tragic.

    • i was sad about hearing Adam die. when I saw that picture, I kinda lost it. Its so easy to relate to someone around your same age with a young daughter.

      thank you Carrie

  6. I know we have different tastes in music, we discovered that a long time ago. I do admire your ability to climb inside your heart and dip your pen for us. Whether you are writing about personal times, or adding to your ongoing stories, your spirit shines through. Angst ridden, serious loving, writer… above all things, you are a writer. I look forward to your posts from any angle. whispers but you know I have my favorites 😉

  7. I grew up on the Beastie Boys. Once I was listening to them when my first husband looked at me and seemed frightened. I should have known then that wasn’t going to work.

    • my current wife doesn’t care for them but she at least has the good sense to know why I dig them. Yeah, you should have put that dude in the road immediately. In many states, anti-Beastieality is grounds for divorce.

  8. Indeed, I think his passing is having such a cultural effect not only because of his artistic talents, but also because of the exceptional person he was in other ways.

    Excellent post.

  9. You know I like the personal posts, but good lord, I can’t think of anything to write lately either. I also don’t write fiction, so I’m totally SOL. However, you just keep going 😉 I also wasn’t a big Beastie Boys fan (don’t hate me.) But I am a big Lance fan, so rock on.

  10. Peace old man! 😉 Sorry…the man you speak of was AMAZING. What he did for music (can’t deny how Fight For Your Right opened up hip hop to poor white dudes!) let alone the change he made in the world. He was an awesome example of evolution and was called forth for bigger and better things. (In my fairy tale world, anyway) Enjoy the slow rolling weekend, btw…if you’re bubble is anything like mine, you will not be long without fodder from your pen! Hug them, love them, and pray the beast we call muse doesn’t use them too roughly 😉

  11. One of the things I’ve always liked about you is that we are the same age. I get this. I didnt follow any of the beastie boys, but then I dont really follow anyone’s life stories much, but just from your words, I feel the loss. Thanks for always putting it out there, Lance.

    There’s never a lack of fodder here, and now with 2 teenage boys taking over my house, there’s even more. I’m just not finding the time to sit and write like I want to. *sigh* My muse is threatening mutiny.

  12. I actually cried when I heard of his passing. I have a most fabulous memory of an all night bus trip from Ontario to NYC at age sweet 16 – and blaring No Sleep Till Brooklyn all the way. I am one week away from age 41…and that just seems far too young to be watching my musical legends die. How often do we have heroes who are incredible visionary artists, as well as being exceptional people of great spirit and compassion? just too rare indeed.

  13. mamamzungu

    I was a huge Beastie Boys fan too – kind of defined my young adulthood. What a perfect tribute to Adam. I love the way he stepped out of his “fighting to party” persona and into a Zen buddhist who apologized for “Girls.” You don’t see that a lot.

  14. What a great tribute to Adam Yauch. The hubby and I are Beastie Boy fans and even our children are learning to love them. We all love doing the dance moves to “Shake your Rump”!!! This week seems to have brought a lot of reflecting with it.

  15. Thank you for writing this! I had no idea that Adam Yauch grew up and stopped being a Beastie Boy! I pictured that the man who died was still drinking 40s.

    PS, I look forward to your personal posts, too.

  16. I liked this bit of reality from you; it was thoughtful and introspective, and I agree with you about Yauch. His death definitely gave me pause.

  17. If you’re self-aware enough to write this, you’re on your way, hon. Yauch was a great guy, and he did set a great example of a rockstar aging with grace.

  18. It was a rough week- Adam and Junior. I’ll be 43 in a few days so I feel like I grew up with these guys.

    So many stories, so many thoughts. He did what we are supposed to do, Adam that is. He grew.

  19. His death has hit me hard. I think because I’ve always considered him a peer and it’s weird when someone our own age dies. It struck a chord of fear in me; especially since cancer is more and more common than ever. The Beastie Boys were my first concert, I own all their cds and my life isn’t going to be the same now that they won’t be putting out music. Can we even call what they do music? It’s pure art. Great post!

    • Hi Melissa. Yeah, obviously i feel the same. The Beasties evolved and became very worthwhile to several genres. Adam was such a good human being that it feels unfair he’s gone. thanks for commenting.

  20. I’m a few (okay – a LOT) years older than you, and most (all?) of those who comment here. I’ve gone through the angst of the members of my fave youth band (dare I say the Beatles here?). Now I am watching and reading about dear friends going through life-altering events and death. It never gets easier. But it is tough to see someone so young – who is so loved – who loves so much go on before us. Thank you for sharing your words and as much of yourself as you do.

    • thanks Barbara, and glad we found each other on the book of faces. Can’t wait to share my new 100 words with you at velvet’s place.

  21. Well said my friend. I was nine years old when I discovered the Beastie Boys, and it shaped much of my music love for years to come. Not because of what they sang, but how they did it. They took risks, and they played with more heart than most bands could ever dream of mustering. When I saw them perform in 2004, they played with as much gusto as they had when I was a child. Because they made music they believed in, and they brought their passion to the stage. But Adam was more than a musician, as you said. He was a good person, and he brought that too. He will be missed. And his music will forever live on in my collection.

  22. I am one of the people that stalks you out for those personal blog entries – maybe it was a blessing that the fam was lame this week –
    It forced you to look inside yourself and think about (and tell us) about your fears;)

  23. What a great tribute to him this was – thanks for writing it. I loved that photo of him as dad with his daughter.
    PS: Time to force an interesting situation onto your girls this week so they can give you some blog-fodder! (-: Surprise them with something. One time my dad set up an elaborate UFO sighting thing – lights, sounds – everything – and came running in the house sweating in the middle of the afternoon – this was totally unlike him. By the time he was finished even my grown up cousin was crying with fear. It was all a hoax, and if my dad had had a blog – would’ve been BLOG FODDER. Catch my drift? (-:

  24. Yes. Definite sadness. I have so much respect for Adam and the other Beasties. They’ve all grown up into men, husbands, and fathers (well, at least two of them are in the Dad’s club). It’s nice to be able to respect a beloved artist, as it is so rare, at least on this level. And don’t worry, you’re already evolving. You don’t need to be a vegan Buddhist to prove it. We see you being responsible and loving every time you share a piece of your life with us.

  25. Nice introspective post. Interesting thing about age. I’m older than you, and while I do think about aging, I didn’t at 42. I wonder if having kids causes you to think about it earlier than you might? It’s not right or wrong, just different. 48 is ridiculously young to die as Adam did. Now that is sad. I enjoyed your thoughts.

    • thank you. yes, having kids does this for me. My oldest is 16. when I was 16, I first got into the Beasties Boys. since I turned 40, age has been on my mind a lot.

  26. SO young.I didn’t know he died. So sad.

    My husband is 40, me 33. (I’ve got a just a few more years to claim my 30’s!), but it is a strange feeling to realize we are in another generation now. It seems like I’m reminded of this more and more. Sometimes I forget the 90s were nearly 25 years ago. Yikes. My 14 year old loves to remind me I’m not cool or funny. Sigh…

    • Hi Adrienne, followed you back on the twitter. I’m almost 42, my wife is 35. We have 3 girls, one of which is 16. she reminds me of how old I am every day.

      adam’s death was sad but also full of perspective

  27. I’m another who looks forward to your reality posts. I can’t believe that you live in a house with so many females and nary a story. That’s got to be some kind of a record. Haha!

  28. What a lovely post, Lance. It’s enlightening. Please continue writing if it makes you, you. I love how passion brings out the best of a person.

  29. I feel the same way about mortality in your forties. I’m 42 and even though the Beastie Boys of late are different than the Beastie Boys of my high school days, I still felt like a part of my youth died. Plus there’s always this voice in your head that says, “no way, that’s way too young” or “he/she was only X years older than I was.” I had this same feeling about the passing of Junior Seau last week, too. He was only a year older than me. Then there is the fact that up until now, when people passed, they were always much, much older and they were born far, far earlier than we were.

    Nice post. You captured what I was thinking. 🙂

  30. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    When I was 15 years old, I never thought I would be using “mourning mortality” and The Beastie Boys in the same sentence. This post hit the mark, but then again, it is something you have a knack for doing, again and again. (And good lord, keep being boring Girls! I feel like I need to throw salt over my shoulder of something.) Ellen

    • thanks for coming by to catch up. Yeah, I think I’ll miss Adam’s example as much as his art. How many musicians or famous people can you say that about? thanks Kat…oh and Go Devils…

  31. mamarific

    “I can’t just leave a stressful day behind with booze or latenights or without obligation. My wife and daughters have me around for many reasons, and being an irresponsible jackass isn’t one.”
    LOVE THIS. You are a good man 😉 Great tribute to MCA.

  32. Lance, you’re already graceful and amazing in the many endeavours you pursue. Be it fiction, non-fiction, sharing your passion for music, sharing your passion for fatherhood. I only know you through your words, but I think I can safely say the man who writes My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog is one awesome guy.

    RIP Adam

  33. My husband loves the Beastie Boys, too. I do too, but I don’t know almost all the lyrics like he does, which I find amusing.
    You are awesome. You know that, right? You’re a good egg. 🙂

  34. It’s sad and frightening when we hear of people dying so young. A guy my age, knew him since kindergarten died 1 day after I turned 34 (12 days after he did). Anniversary is coming up – very scary thoughts… Also, love your personal posts. They are always so honest and real.

  35. justjenannhall

    There’s been a lot of that mortality crap going on around here. Sucks.

    I did not know those things about the dearly departed Beastie Boy. I’m glad I know now. May he rest in peace.

  36. I was hoping you were heading the Beasties way with the “Sure Shot” title linked up with Yeah Write. The evolution of this group truly amazed me, and like Jay, I’ve got to agree, the motivation seemed intrinsic, which made him even more of a role model. RIP MCA

  37. TheKirCorner

    That was quite simply one of the most beautiful things you’ve written. I have NO DOUBT that everything you want to be, you already are…and I feel so lucky to share this small space with you as a reader of your magnificiant words.

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