John Berry, guitarist and originator of the name Beastie Boys, died Thursday morning.
John Berry, original member of the Beastie Boys, died Thursday morning at a hospice center outside Boston. He was 52.
Berry came up with the name "Beastie Boys" shortly after the band formed in 1981. Then it was a quartet comprised of Berry, Mike Diamond, Adam Yauch, and Kate Schellenbach. The band's first shows took place at his old loft on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He played guitar on Beastie Boys' first EP Polly Wog Stew (see the project's back cover in the image gallery) and left the band shortly thereafter, in 1983. He was replaced by current member Ad-Rock.
According to his father, Berry suffered from frontal lobe dementia and his condition had worsened in recent months.