As I learned this past week at work, great leaders who have died cast a wide shadow even after they leave this small, densely populated sphere of rock limply floating in the sky. Steve Jobs still f*cks with the minds of Adobe and Google from beyond the grave, and departed Beastie Boy Adam Yauch ensures that his legacy will not be sullied by the wayward dollars of the Saatchi & Saatchis of the world.
Pitchfork revealed yesterday that MCA stated in his will that no Beastie Boys songs shall be used for any advertising campaign, no matter how viral any proposed campaign might go. Yauch’s estate filed his will in a Manhattan Surrogate Court, allowing only his wife to manage and/or sell his art. Although the two remaining Beasties could market their collective work, fans shouldn’t expect to see “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” used to shill Absolut Peach any time soon. If MCA was as formidable a leader within the trio as evidence attests, Adam nor Michael will schlock their product to advertisers while they still walk this earth.
And why should they? Each–one assumes–has plenty of dough to pave a paper trail from here to Jerusalem and there’s not much either could gain from seeing their lauded work appear next to smartphones. He didn’t need to be dickish about it, not that the scant details about the arrangement point to some Jobs-ian troll. But here’s a testament to someone who was as in control of his art before he died as he is after, which is what made him great. He dictates the message–advertisers don’t.