John Berry, original Beastie Boys Member, dies at 52

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John Berry, founding member of Beastie Boys, dead at 52

Original member of the Beastie Boys, John Berry, died on Thursday (May 19) at the age of 52.

Berry passed away at 7:30 a.m. at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, Rolling Stone reports. The outlet confirmed the death with Berry's father John Berry III, who said his son had suffered from frontal frontal lobe dementia that had recently worsened.

Berry began playing guitar in the band when it formed in 1981 with Michael Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch (MCA) and Kate Schellenbach in the New York Hardcore scene. He is credited for coming up with the name Beastie Boys and hosting the group's first practices and performances in front of an audience at his apartment.

See photos of the Beastie Boys through the years:

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John Berry, original Beastie Boys Member, dies at 52
Beastie Boys (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Adam Yauch of rap group The Beastie Boys. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Rap group The Beastie Boys (L-R) Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch, and Mike Diamond w. DJ Hurricane. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JUNE 11: The Beastie Boys performs at the 11th Annual Live 105.3's BFD (Big Friggin Deal) on June 11, 2004 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Rap groups Run DMC and The Beastie Boys (L-R) Mike Diamond (Mike D), Jason Mizell (Jam Master J), Adam Yauch (Mca), Darryl McDaniels (DMC), Joseph Simmons (Run) and Adam Horovitz (Adrock). (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Boys Beastie (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
GERMANY - APRIL 16: Photo of BEASTIE BOYS; THE BEASTIE BOYS live im Zenith, Muenchen 16.12.2004 (Photo by Stefan M. Prager/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 07: Photo of BEASTIE BOYS (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: USA Photo of BEASTIE BOYS (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1987: Photo of Beastie Boys (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of BEASTIE BOYS and Elvis COSTELLO; w/ The Beastie Boys (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: USA Photo of BEASTIE BOYS (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Beastie Boys (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Adam Yauch, center, and members of the group The Beastie Boys accept their Video Vanguard Award during the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, Thursday night, Sept. 10, 1998. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
The street music groups Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys pose atop a restaurant in midtown Manhattan on Monday, May 11, 1987. The two groups held a news conference to announce their 40-city "Together Forever" tour, which kicks off in Hawaii June 12. Posing, in front from left, are, Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, Jospeh "Rappers Run" Simmons, and Davy D; in back from left are, Mike D., Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, King Ad-Rock, and MCA. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Recording artists The Beastie Boys pose for photos at their arrival Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004 at the 2004 MTV Latin Video Music Awards in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Adrock, left, and Mike D, right, of the US band Beastie Boys, perform during the Moon and Stars open air concert on Piazza Grande in Locarno, Switzerland, Wednesday, July 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Keystone/Ti-Press/ Samuel Golay)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Boys Beastie (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Photo of Beastie Boys. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, portrait, Portugal, 1998. (Photo by Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: USA Photo of BEASTIE BOYS (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - FEBRUARY 07: Photo of Beastie Boys. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Photo of Beastie Boys. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Beastie Boys (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01 : The Beastie Boys perform on stage circa 2000. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Photo of Beastie Boys. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(NETHERLANDS OUT) NETHERLANDS - JANUARY 01: Photo of BEASTIE BOYS; Mike D & Ad-Rock (Photo by Lex van Rossen/MAI/Redferns)
The Beastie Boys, portrait, at Roseland in New York City on November 7, 1992. (L-R) Adam Yauch, Adam Horvitz, Mike Diamond. (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
The Beastie Boys during The Beastie Boys MTV Special at MTV Studios - Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
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In a speech written by Adam Yauch and read by Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) at the Beastie Boys' 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Yauch thanked Berry and his loft on 100 Street and Broadway "where John's dad would come busting in during our first performances screaming, 'Will you turn that fucking shit off already?!'"

Berry was the first to leave the Beastie Boys after playing on the band's first seven-inch EP Polly Wog Stew in late 1982, followed soon by Schellenbach. Horowitz came in to replace both members, creating the lineup that's well known today.

Rolling Stone reports Berry was a member of a number of other bands, such as Even Worse, Big Fat Love, Highway Stars and Bourbon Deluxe.

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