By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Palmetto Playground at Columbia Heights and State Street in southwestern Brooklyn Heights could be renamed as the Adam Yauch Playground, after a founding member of the Beastie Boys rock-hip hop group, as early as this Friday, the Brooklyn Heights Blog reported this week.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported last year about the petition drive to rename the playground for Yauch, who grew up in the Heights and went to Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood. Yauch, who went by the name of “MCA” when he was with the group, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and died last year.
At the time, Kathleen Hanna, the wife of fellow Beastie Boys member Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, confirmed that her husband was working with the city Parks Department to have the playground renamed for Yauch.
Frances Yauch, his mother, who still lives in the Heights, told the Eagle the park would be renamed for Adam and that there would be a ceremony, but declined to give details. “He learned to ride a bike in that playground,” she remembered.
A Parks Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the issue at all, saying that Parks would send out a press release when the time comes.
The Beastie Boys became well known after their album “License to Ill” in 1986 (with its hit single, “Fight for Your Right To Party”). They sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide. They had seven platinum albums from 1986 to 2004.
The group began as a hardcore punk band in 1981, but began to incorporate hip-hop into their act in 1983.
Bandmate Horovitz, in an interview with Rolling Stone, said, “Adam was the Techno Wiz – that’s what me, Mike and Rick [Rubin] called him. I went to his apartment in Brooklyn once. He had a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and he had strung the tape all over the place.”
The playground, near the Riverside Apartments, attracts a multi-ethnic group of children and teens. Built during the Lindsay administration, it was originally named in a somewhat roundabout way after the Cabbage Palmetto, the state tree of South Carolina, whose capital city is Columbia.