John Berry, a founding member of innovative rap/rock band The Beastie Boys, has passed away at the age of 52 in Danvers, Massachusetts.
The original guitar player in the now-legendary New York group, Berry was perhaps best known as the man who came up with the Beastie Boys iconic name, a moniker he developed for the band when they were teenagers.
Formed in July 1981, The Beastie Boys were originally a four-piece punk band featuring Berry, Mike Diamond, Adam Yauch, and Kate Schellenbach.
In fact, some of their first rehearsals took place at his family s apartment in New York — a fact stated publicly during a speech penned by Yauch for the group s Rock Hall of Fame induction.
To John Berry and to John Berry s loft on 100th Street and Broadway, Yauch wrote, Where John s dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, Would you turn that fucking shit off already!?
After leaving the band in the early 80s, Berry went on to continue playing music with various other bands, none of which ever reached the massive success of the one he named in his youth.