John Berry, a founding member of iconic hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died on Thursday in Massachusetts, Rolling Stone magazine reported. He was 52.
Berry’s father told the magazine that his son suffered from dementia, which had recently worsened.
Berry came up with the Beastie Boys name and was one of the group’s first members when it formed in 1981, the magazine said.
He played guitar on the band’s first seven-inch EP, “Polly Wog Stew,” recorded in 1982, but left shortly after, before the group moved from punk to hip hop music, Rolling Stone said.
Berry was a member of several less well-known bands after he left, it added.