John Berry, a founding member of the groundbreaking rap group Beastie Boys, has died. He was just 52 years old.
His father said he had been suffering from frontal lobe dementia, which quickly became worse in recent months.
The hip-hop group became famous, starting in the 1980s, with hits such as “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”, “Intergalactic,” and “Ch-Check It Out.”
This is tragic:
John Berry, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, has died aged 52. The musician’s father told Rolling Stone that Berry had died on Thursday in a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, after his frontal lobe dementia condition had worsened in recent months.
Although the Beastie Boys rose to fame as a hip-hop three-piece, they originated as a hardcore punk band called the Young Aborigines in 1978, featuring Berry, Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Kate Schellenbach. Berry, the band’s guitarist, left shortly after the release of their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, and was replaced by Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz.
Berry’s tenure in the group lasted for less than a year but he was an instrumental part of their formation: Yauch, Diamond, and Horovitz have credited Berry with coming up with the group’s name, while his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side served as the venue for the first Beastie Boys shows.
Berry went on to perform with a number of other bands including Bourbon Deluxe, Highway Stars, Big Fat Love, and Even Worse.
The group mentioned his contribution in a speech during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2012. Horovitz, who read the speech, gave a dedication “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?’”
Via The Guardian
Let us pray for Berry’s family during this difficult time. RIP.