Original Beastie Boys Member John Berry Dead at 52
Beastie Boys credit guitarist for coming up with the band’s name
John Berry III, Berry’s father, confirmed his death Thursday afternoon to Rolling Stone. He said his son suffered from frontal lobe dementia, which had worsened in recent months.
Berry played on the Beastie Boys’ first seven-inch EP Polly Wog Stew, which was recordedÂ at 171A studiosÂ in November 1982. He left the group shortly after, followed by Schellenbach in 1983. Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) replaced both members.Â Berry was a member ofÂ several other bands, including Even Worse, Big Fat Love, Highway Stars and Bourbon Deluxe.
The Beastie Boys did not neglect Berry’s role in the band. When they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Horowitz read a speech by Adam Yauch, who died later that year at age 47 of cancer. Yauch’s speech mentioned John as a formative member of the band’s early years.
Additional reporting by Jerry Portwood
Hear Horowitz mention Berry in Yauch’s speech at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony below: