Original Beastie Boy John Berry died May 19 at a hospice center in Danvers, Massachusetts at the age of 52. Berry’s father stated that his son had frontal lobe dementia – a rare form of dementia not related to Alzheimer’s that attacks the frontal lobe of the brain when it begins to shrink; the disease affects people earlier in life – normally between the ages of 45 to 65.
While Berry is credited as having helped to create the band, he had left the group before the Beastie Boys became a big success and later members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Berry and Walden School mate Michael Diamond formed the Beastie Boys back in 1981 as a punk rock group with Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach. The band used Berry’s father’s loft on the upper West Side of Manhattan as a rehearsal space.
Barry left the band shortly after the group’s debut album “Polly Wog Stew”. His father said that young John, “was not amenable to authority.”
Berry was also a member of Bourbon Deluxe, Highway Stars, Big Fat Love, and Even Worse.
Berry is predeceased by fellow Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch (who died of cancer four years ago) and is survived by his father and a son.
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