John Berry, the original member of the Beastie Boys, died at the age of 52 on Thursday morning at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts.
Berry was the guitarist of the alternative hip-hop band. According to Rolling Stones, he passed away at 7:30 am.
Confirmation of the musician’s death was received from his father John Berry III. Senior Berry said that said his son had been suffering from frontal lobe dementia.
Berry’s frontal lobe dementia had become worse in the past few months. His father also said that this condition is a form of dementia that takes place when the frontal lobes of the brain start to shrink.
Berry is one of the founding members of the group. He is also credited with coming up with the band’s name.
During its inception, Beastie Boys was originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band. In 1978, it was named The Young Aborigines.
Berry played as the guitarist when the band was formed in 1981. After performing on the band’s first EP Polly Wog Stew, he left in 1982.
Berry was also a member of other bands like Even Worse, Big Fat Love, Highway Stars and Bourbon Deluxe. However, his original bandmates still acknowledge Berry’s early work with them.
This came to public knowledge when the band was taken into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Berry attended the Walden School in New York with Mike Diamond. There, the two were joined by Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach.
According to People, the group’s initial gigs took place at Berry’s old loft. It was located on the corner of West 100th Street and Broadway in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
After Berry, Adam Horovitz also left Beastie Boys after the 1983 EP.
It was in 2012 when Yauch died at the age of 47. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.
When the alternative hip-hop group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012, Horowitz read a letter from Yauch, who was unable to attend.
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In the letter, ‘MCA’ thanked Berry for his contributions and even mentioned John’s father. The letter began with: “To Kate Schellenbach and John Berry.”
“To John Berry’s loft on 100th Street and Broadway, where John’s dad would come in during our first practices screaming ‘will you turn that f***ing s*** off already’.”