Los Angeles: Original Beastie Boys member and guitarist John Berry is dead. He was 52.
Berry breathed his last on Thursday morning at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, after suffering from frontal lobe dementia, according to his father, who confirmed Berry’s death to Rolling Stone magazine.
Berry is credited with coming up with the name Beastie Boys when they were teenagers.
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He attended the Walden School in New York with Mike Diamond. The group formed in July 1981, with Berry and Diamond joined by Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach.
The first Beastie Boys show took place at Berry’s old loft at the corner of West 100th Street and Broadway in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where a small crowd gathered to hear the fledgling hardcore/punk band.
Berry played on the Beastie Boys’s first EP “Polly Wog Stew”, which was recorded in November 1982. He left the group shortly after, followed by Schellenbach in 1983.
Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) replaced both members. Berry was a member of several other bands, including Even Worse, Big Fat Love, Highway Stars and Bourbon Deluxe.