Tag Archives: Licensed to Ill

Illin’ wid a Brass Monkey

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image: consequence of sound

Even if I have never met them, when a public figure passes I mourn and reflect a bit, appreciate much. Though they weren’t interwoven into my personal life by way of their presence or a personal relationship to me, there are some that keep finding their way into my everyday. This one is particularly hard.

During the notoriety of Licensed to Ill, I lived with my combined family in the ugliest naval housing to date: Alameda, California. My combined family in a 4 bedroom apartment meant my brothers shared a room, my sisters shared a room, my parents shared a room (obviously), and lucky me, the oldest. I had my own room. Passing my brothers’ room was unavoidable since it was first down the hall. Thank goodness they were adorable and always good for a rib and guffaw.

During this time, 1987, I had just moved back home after living alone in San Diego a bit. My audio preferences were more Tones on Tail, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, and sometimes Madonna. My first experience with the Beasties was while passing my brothers’ room, hearing music and witnessing my brothers goofing off: dancing I think. And then every time I passed, it was the same activity and same music. Something had struck a chord because before that, one of my brothers had never expressed himself that way. This was when I fell in love. With a band. And their sound. For what they did to and for my brothers.

To this day, when I see my brother’s facebook posts or their photos come up when my iPhone rings or their photo icons in skype or photos I often browse through, a tune plays. And I see my brothers again, in their room in that crazy apartment, their new adolescence marked by faint odors of BO. It is 1987, when I moved from San Diego to live with my family again. I hear Brass Monkey. And I am 19 all over again.

Thank you for your musical genius. RIP, MCA.