The significance of the Dalai Lama
to a Beastie Boys fan varies from person to person. For
some he is considered as "His Holiness the Dalai Lama",
yet for others he is considered to be the reason that the
Beastie Boys have not released more albums since 1992. Regardless
of your position or opinion, the Dalai Lama has affected
the Beastie Boys as much or more than any of their other
contemporary influences. Because of this influence he earns
an entry in the Beastiemania.com Who's Who.
"When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back
and try again. All we can do is use the present well."
Today the plight of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people
has become a part of our common knowledge. Movies such as
"Seven Years in Tibet" (with Brad Pitt) and "Free
Tibet" have made the Dalai Lama something of a pop
culture icon. First it was sort of a Hollywood phenomenon;
actors like Harrison Ford and Richard Gere became Dalai
Lama supporters. Soon after that, there were Students for
a Free Tibet chapters popping up on college campuses across
first became interested in Tibetan culture and the Buddhist
faith in 1992; for Beastie Boys fans that would not become
apparent until two years later. In 1994, Ill
Communication was released and two songs from that
album would be some fan's first exposure to Tibetan culture.
The songs "Shambala" and "Bodhisattva Vow"
featured sampled elements of chanting Tibetan monks. From
the money brought in as royalties for these songs, The Milarepa
Fund was started.
In 1996, The Milarepa Fund would
host the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco,
CA. Three more benefit concerts would follow during the
next three years; it was during this period that the Beastie
Boys were criticized for not having spent more time focusing
on their music. Instead of recording, Yauch had put forth
a great deal of energy into the promotion of the Tibetan
Freedom Concert cds and later in developing the Free Tibet
movie. You may recall an interview Yauch conducted with
the Dalai Lama that was printed in Grand Royal Magazine;
it too fell in this period of 1996-1999.
Adam Yauch is the only Beastie Boy who is a practicing
Buddhist. There are many magazine articles about Yauch's
decision to follow that lifestyle and faith, but if you
find yourself curious about his interaction with the Dalai
Lama, the Grand Royal Magazine article is a good place to