Rest in peace. John Berry, an original member of the Beastie Boys, died at a hospice center in Danvers, Massachusetts, on Thursday, May 19. He was 52.
The guitarist, who was credited by the band as the originator of their name, suffered from frontal lobe dementia, which had worsened in recent months, his father, John Berry III, told Rolling Stone.
Berry and Mike “Mike D” Diamond, who were previously classmates at the Walden School in New York, formed the Beastie Boys in July 1981 with Adam “MCA” Yauch and Kate Schellenbach.
The group’s first show took place at Berry’s old loft at the corner of West 100th St. and Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Berry and Schellenbach, 50, left the band shortly after the November 1982 release of their first EP, Polly Wog Stew. They were replaced by Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz.
In 2012, the Beastie Boys became the third rap group — after Run-D.M.C. and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five — to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Later that year, Yauch died at age 47 after a long battle with cancer. In 2014, Diamond, 50, confirmed that the Beastie Boys would not continue out of respect for Yauch.
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