John Berry (1963 - 2016)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
John Berry, one of the original members of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died May 19, according to multiple news sources. He was 52.
Berry died while in hospice care in Danvers, Massachusetts. Berry's father, John Berry III, confirmed the death to Rolling Stone magazine. His son had dementia, he said.
John Berry was the band member who thought up the Beastie Boys name when the players were teenagers.
The Beastie Boys hooked up in July 1981. The original members were vocalist Mike Diamond, bassist Adam Yauch, guitarist Berry, and Kate Schellenbach, a drummer who would leave the group in 1983 and later on would be the drummer for the band Luscious Jackson.
Berry played on the Beastie Boys' 1983 EP album, "Polly Wog Stew." He left shortly after that and was replaced by guitarist and vocalist Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. He later went on to play in a number of small bands.
Horovitz, Yauch, and Diamond were the Beastie Boys members who played together for most of the band's career. Together, they became the "biggest-selling rap group," according to Billboard magazine, and sold 50 million albums worldwide.
When the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they paid tribute onstage to Schellenbach and Berry, whose father once barged into the room in a New York City flat where the group was playing and told them, in a not-so-nice way, to turn the music off already.
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