The Beasties’ tribute performance, with Questlove of The Roots providing the beat, included renditions of all-time classics “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “So What’cha Want,” “Sabotage” and “The New Style” before an audience that knew all too well that Yauch was in the late stages of his battle with cancer. More details below.
Yauch was too ill to attend the event, which was recorded April 14 at the Rock Hall in Cleveland, and sent a letter of gratitude instead. Fellow Beasties Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond attended and collected their trophies, but — unlike other inductees — declined to perform. (Other artists inducted, such as Guns N’ Roses, performed despite missing one or more early members).
Yauch’s Rock Hall letter read:
I’d like to dedicate this award to my brothers, Adam and Mike, who’ve walked the globe with me.
To anyone who’s been touched by our band, who our music has meant something to, this induction is as much ours as it is yours. To Kate Schellenbach. To John Berry. To John Berry’s loft on 100th St. in Brooklyn where John’s dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, “Would you turn that f***ing s*** off already!”…
To my loving and supportive parents, Noel and Frances Yauch, and to our home in Brooklyn where we used to practice on hot Brooklyn days after school, windows wide open to disturb the neighborhood…
But most of all I’d like to thank and dedicate this honor to my smart, beautiful and loving wife Dechen and our sweet, talented, loving daughter Tenzin. Never has a man felt more blessed than I to be able to spend my time with my two soulmates. I love you guys more than you know.
I wish I could name everyone who deserves to be named, but of course there’s too many names to name. You know who you are, and I sent my love out to all of you.
Your friend, Adam Yauch.
Watch Ad-Rock and Mike D’s Rock Hall acceptance speech:
Beastie Boys were officially inducted by hip-hop legends Chuck D and LL Cool J. When the band burst onto the scene in the early ’80s, “they brought a whole new look to hip-hop,” Chuck D said.