If you take a peek at the cover of the Beastie Boys 1989 LP Paul's Boutique, you'll notice a number of items for in the Lower East Side corner store that gives the post-modern masterpiece its name. There's are classic albums like Al Green's 1972 Let's Stay Together, the John Cale produced 1976 album The Modern Lovers and Grover Washington Jr.'s 1974 Mister Magic. And right under the Paul's Boutique sign is a New York Mets shirt is on display.
The Beasties - whose co-founder Adam Yauch a.k.a. MCA died at age 47 on Friday - were high and low culture geeks par excellence, and along with the Chuck Woolery, Vincent Van Gogh and Star Trek references, they've always been up for an apropos sports analogy, including three baseball rhymes I can think of.
On "What Comes Around," they rhymed "Bum cheese on rye with ham and prosciutto, got more Louie than Phil Rizzuto," in a nod to the Yankees shortstop. In "Hey Ladies," Mike D. boasted "there's more to me than you'll ever know / And I've got more hits than Sadahau Oh," name checking the Yomiuri Giants home run king. And on "Sure Shot" he bragged: "I've got more action than my man John Woo / And I've got made hits like I was Rod Carew," in tribute to the Minnesota Twin who amassed 3053 knocks.
There were lots of Beasties tributes from throughout the music worls on Friday night, from the strangeness of Coldplay doing "Fight For Your Right," to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna tipping their caps to Yauch to Eminem stating plainly: "I think it's obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others."
The coolest tribute, hoever, came from the Mets. Most nights, third baseman David Wright comes up to bat to the sound of the Beasties "Sabotage." On Friday, during at 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, he switched to "Brass Monkey" and the entire Mets squad, 1 through 9, stepped to the plate to a Beasties song. Very classy. I still hate the Mets, but now do so with respect.
The nine videos the Mets hitters chose, which neatly serve as a summation of the Beasties career, are below. I threw in "Sure Shot" for good measure to make it an even ten, and if you want to hear "Hey Ladies," go here.