John Berry, a founding member of the Beastie Boys, died on Thursday at age 52. His father, John Berry III confirmed the details to Rolling Stone, and added that John had been suffering frontal lobe dementia. He died at approximately 7:30 AM at a Massachusetts hospice.
The original Beastie Boys was founded when Berry met Mike Diamond at the Walden School in New York in 1981. Their initial band members also included Adam Yauch (MCA) and Kate Schellenabach. Berry is credited it with coming up with the band’s name and played guitar on the band’s 1982 EP Polly Wog Stew but eventually left the band after a release on Rat Cage Records.
Longtime fans have taken to social media, reminiscing and discussing the band’s impact on their lives.