When I was 16, I was on my own and living downtown in Toronto, Canada. Like so many other young, rebellious souls back then, I spent a lot of my time roaming the indie record shops, looking for companionship and conversation I guess. I think it was Betty’s in Kensington Market that I met jon free (He would never allow you to capitalize his name because capitals implied a title. “My name isn’t my title, man, it’s just my label.” he’d say.) jon free made me one of the most important mixed tapes of my life, he labeled it “44 Good Reasons to Burn Your Green Day Albums”. New Day Rising, Fugazi, The Stooges, this tape was loaded with musical inspiration that would carry me through the next decade of my life, including tracks from the Beastie Boys E.P, Polly Wog Stew.
The Beastie Boys were already a mainstream success at this point. It was that point in history when Sabotage was on heavy rotation and everyone you knew owned Ill Communication. I liked them but it wasn’t until I discovered that their roots were as raw, gritty and punk rock as I wanted to be that I truly learned to love them.
Earlier today, news dropped that Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA, of the Beastie Boys had passed away after a nearly-three year battle with cancer of the parotid gland.
To remember the truly original, iconic work of the now late MCA, I made a Beastie Boys-inspired meal for dinner tonight. Tempted to pay respect to the vegan diet that MCA has practiced for the past decade, since working with Tibetan monks to liberate themselves from China, I still felt the need to throw it back to the days of Ill Communication with something the Heart Attack Man would call a snack. Some inspiration from their final album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, felt necessary as well. I came up with bacon-wrapped tofu tossed in sriracha sauce.
Sriracha-Soaked Bacon-Wrapped Tofu
A Hot Pink Apron Original
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- Several strips of bacon (about 1/2 a pound)
- About 1/2 cup Sriracha sauce
- dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt (optional, but it helps to tone down the spice)
- Whatever you want to serve it with – fresh greens, rice, quinoa salad… get funky (sorry, it’s stuck in my head now)
- Drain the tofu, and wrap in several layers of paper towels. Place on a plate and put a board or another plate on top. Leave for a few minutes to drain some water out of the tofu. Unwrap and cut into bite sized pieces that are about the width of your bacon.
- Wrap each piece in bacon, going around at least once so the ends overlap. You may need to cut the bacon.
- Heat up a cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Put the bacon wrapped tofu pieces with the overlapping edges side down. Cook until crisp, then turn. Keep cooking and turning until done on all sides.
- Once crispy on all sides, place pieces in a large bowl, and coat with sriracha sauce. Toss and serve.
Once I started DJ’ing, around 18, I could always rely on ‘Girls‘, ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)’, ‘Intergalatic’ and ‘Body Movin’ to get the party started and the people on the floor. If I ever needed a reliable transition between two tracks, I always grabbed the sound bite from ‘Hey Ladies‘ -“Hey Ladies! Get funky.” with that awesome cowbell ring. You can cut that with nearly any track and bleed it into anything with a decent bass line to create a seamless flow.
Pulp’s ‘Common People’ – “Get Funky” sequence spun into Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition‘ was a midnight staple at DJ Raw Dana’s Thursday night dance parties at Lee’s Palace.
References and reminiscing aside, this news really knocked me down today. It has been almost 2 weeks since my own surgery, dealing with a milder dose of glandular cancer. I have made a great recovery from surgery, done all I can to stay positive, and am feeling pretty good (in the grand scheme of things). News of a vibrant 47 year-old being taken down by a similar cancer is a core shaker though, a giant reminder that this ordeal is a serious one.
Many thanks to these 3 MCs and 1 DJ for nearly a lifetime of great memories. MCA Adam, you will be missed. R.I.P.
Alright, now that you’re fed, it wouldn’t be a musical tribute without some dang music. Hit it.
Before they re-invented hip-hop, these 3 white kids started a punk band.
Fight For Your Right (Revisted) Full Length – directed by Adam Yauch
Yes, all glorious, star-studded 29 minutes and 55 seconds of it. The Will Ferrell cowbell scene at 11:50 cracks me up – everytime. For the record, I LOVE this album.