Original Beastie Boys Member John Berry Died in Danvers
One of the original members of the rap rock group the Beastie Boys has died.
According to Rolling Stone, guitarist John Berry passed away at the age of 52 at a hospice in Danvers on Thursday morning. His father, John Berry III, told the magazine that his son had been suffering from frontal lobe dementia.
Fans took to social media to express their sadness over Berry’s passing.
— Wilson (@WilsonsWorld) May 20, 2016
#BestPartOfThe90sWas All of the Beastie Boys were alive (RIP John Berry and Adam Yauch)
— Tony the Home Cook (@Celertony) May 20, 2016
Play some Beastie Boys today. RIP John Berry!!.
— Danny Asfar (@DannyAsfar) May 20, 2016
While Berry ended up leaving the band in 1982, he is credited with coming up with the name the Beastie Boys. According to Variety, the group was originally a punk rock band called the Young Aborigines before switching monikers in 1981.
Berry, who went to school with fellow founding member Mike Diamond in New York, also hosted the band’s first show in front of a small audience at his apartment. He also performed on the Beastie Boys’ first EP, “Polly Wog Stew,” which was recorded in November of 1982.
Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz replaced Berry when he left the group following their first record. The guitarist went on to perform with numerous other groups, including Even Worse and Big Fat Love.
The Beastie Boys paid tribute to Berry during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech in 2012 where Horovitz read a speech written by original member Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died at the age of 47 that year from cancer. The speech included an anecdote about the band practicing in Berry’s loft while his dad yelled at them to turn the music down.
You can check out the band reading Yauch’s speech below.