Beastie Boy and Tibet Activist Adam Yauch Diagnosed with Salivary Gland Cancer

Via Reverend Danny Fisher
on Jul 21, 2009
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This via Josh Modell at the A.V. Club: Beastie Boy, movie producer, and Tibet activist Adam Yauch (A.K.A. “MCA”) has been diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland and lymph node.

    The prognosis seems positive–he refers to having surgery next week, and localized radiation treatments after that, but also notes that he had a full-body scan and that the cancer has not spread anywhere else in his body.

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Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories is the distributor of two new films that have made a lot of noise in the Buddhist world recently: Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country and Unmistaken Child.

In addition, the Beastie Boys were the organizers of the immensely popular and influential Tibetan Freedom Concerts, and some of their Buddhist-inspired songs appear in Gary Gach’s absolutely wonderful anthology What Book?!: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop. Yauch, who identifies as a Buddhist, is also married to Dechen Wangdu, who was active in Students for a Free Tibet. His Buddhist faith has been the subject of substantial articles in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Shambhala Sun, and Interview.

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Though active mostly in film distribution, Yauch directs as well: he helmed the experimental Beastie Boys concert film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! (2006) under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hörnblowér.

You can watch the announcement Yauch posted online this morning here. He is joined in the studio by Adam Horowitz (A.K.A. “Ad-Rock”).

In addition, the folks at Shambhala Sun Space offer their best wishes for a speedy recovery. One City also offers a reflection on Mr. Yauch.

Get well soon, MCA! You’re in our thoughts, prayers, and practice.

[Image via Wikipedia.]

Bonus round:

Tibetan Freedom Concerts:


About Reverend Danny Fisher

Rev. Danny Fisher, M.Div., D.B.S. (Cand.), is a professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, CA. He was ordained as a lay Buddhist minister by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California in 2008. In addition, he is certified as a mindfulness meditation instructor by Naropa University in association with Shambhala International. A member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, he serves on the advisory council for the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program. In addition to his work for elephant journal, he is a blogger for Shambhala Sun. He has also written for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Religion Dispatches, The Journal of Buddhist Ethics, The Journal of Religion & Film, Eastern Horizon, New York Spirit, Alternet's Wiretap Magazine, and other publications. His award-winning website is


4 Responses to “Beastie Boy and Tibet Activist Adam Yauch Diagnosed with Salivary Gland Cancer”

  1. Joe says:

    "MCA" and the Beastie Boys are a musical and artistic INSPIRATION. My thoughts and prayers go out to him for a quick and speedy recovery, and many more years of positive and influential work to come.

  2. alex says:

    Sad news. I hope he keeps up the fight. I would expect no less.

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  4. […] 47 years old. We’d reported on his cancer previously, but had no idea it was so […]