Founding Beastie Boys member John Berry has died aged 52.
He passed away in a hospice in Danver, Massachussetts yesterday. His father says he suffered from frontal lobe dementia, which had worsened in recent months.
Credited with coming up with the name Beastie Boys, the former guitarist for the hardcore-punk outfit appeared on their debut EP Polly Wog Stew in 1982. A year later he was replaced by Adam Horovitz, known as Ad-Rock, when the band began taking their new musical direction.
In their Rock Hall induction in 2012, Horowitz paid tribute to “John Berry and to John Berry’s loft on 100th Street and Broadway – where John’s dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, ‘Would you turn that fucking shit off already?’”
Berry went on to perform with a number of other bands including Bourbon Deluxe, Highway Stars, Big Fat Love, and Even Worse.
Beastie Boys remained a three-piece until Adam Yauch’s death from cancer in 2012. The surviving members confirmed last year that they’d never perform live as a band again without MCA.