Beastie Boys founding member John Berry dies

2016-05-20 13:09

Los Angeles - Beastie Boys founding member John Berry has died at the age of 52.

The guitarist - who was credited by the Sabotage hitmakers for coming up with their band name - passed away on Thursday morning at 07:30 at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts.

His father confirmed the tragic news to Rolling Stone magazine and said his son - who was known as John Berry III - suffered from frontal lobe dementia, which had regressed in the last few months of his life.

Berry - who was with the band briefly from when they formed in 1981 to late 1982 - performed on the band's first EP Polly Wog Stew, which was released in 1982.

Berry started the hip hop group - which previously went by the name The Young Aborigines - with original members the late Adam Yauch, Kate Schellenbach and Michael 'Mike D' Diamond and their first shows were at his loft at a property on West 100th Street on Broadway Manhattan's Upper West Side. 

After Berry left he was replaced by Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz on guitar. 

In 2012, Horovitz read a speech, which was written by Yauch - who sadly passed away at the age of 47 from cancer later in the year - at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when they were inducted, which praised Berry for his time in the group.

He said: "To Kate Schellenback to John Berry. To John's loft on 100th street Broadway where his dad would come busting in during her first practices screaming 'will you turn that fucking shit off already." 

Watch the speech here:

The No Sleep Till Brooklyn stars are yet to comment on their former bandmates death. 

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