May 20, 2016


Founding Member of Beastie Boys John Berry is Dead at 52

When the Beastie Boys were an upstart punk band that played sparsely attended house shows on Manhattan's Upper West Side, John Berry was their guitarist. Rolling Stone reports that Berry died Thursday (May 19) after battling severe frontal lobe dementia for many years. 

In the video above, Ad Rock—real name Adam Horovitz—delivers the infamous "Adam Yauch note" during the Beastie Boys' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2012, and cites Berry's early contributions to the group as formative and enduring. 

Berry is credited with originally naming the group, in addition to hosting many of the band's first shows in his New York City loft during the early '80s. He features on the Beastie Boys' first record, the Polly Wog Stew EP, and was a former schoolmate of group member Mike Diamond.  

Fellow Beastie Boy Adam Yauch also passed away in 2012 after a bout with cancer. He was 47.