Check Your Head and the Summer of ’92

19 08 2012

 

We heard the murmurs in the music media: Beastie Boys are coming out with a new album and they’re playing their own instruments. “What instruments?” we asked with a giant collective head scratch. I distinctly remember thinking, “Nice gimmick but this is gonna suck. They’re gonna embarrass themselves.” Man was I wrong.

Check Your Head came out in April. By that time my friends and I knew the Beasties were coming to our school, Michigan State, for our Spring Concert in May. I was lucky enough to be part of the group to bring them to MSU, but I personally wasn’t in the part of the organization that put together the show. Knowing I’d be at the show, I knew I had to first get the CD and give these new Beasties a chance. I loved the disk the first time I spun it. 20 years later, despite practically wearing the clear coating off the disk, it’s my favorite Beasties album.

The Spring Concert was great. Besides the Beasties I only remember being amazed by the energy of Firehose and being annoyed by the piss-poor, half-assed performance of Eek-a-Mouse. luckily for my ears he stormed off the stage in a snit over the “shit” microphone, which he slammed on the stage. More than the concert was the summer that followed. What Sgt. Pepper was to the so-called “Summer of Love” Check Your Head was to my friends. We disbursed across the State of Michigan in June, and Check Your Head went with us to our parties, bonfires and camping trips. We cranked it in our cars and had it played in the bars. 20 years, 19 Summers later, Check Your Head is no longer the soundtrack to the great times we have now. But it will forever be the soundtrack to some of the best times of our waning youth.

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