Count Five’s John Byrne Dies

Count Five frontman John “Sean” Byrne, 61, who wrote and sang the band’s most noteworthy song, “Psychotic Reaction,” died after a lengthy battle with cirrhosis in a San Jose, Calif., hospital Dec. 15.

Byrne emigrated from Ireland to the U.S. at the age of 14 after his mother died, and met his bandmates during high school in San Jose, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

While Count Five found a hit and introduced a quintessential guitar riff with “Psychotic Reaction” in 1966, the band was never able to repeat the success with subsequent releases. Byrne eventually went back to school and became an accountant.

“Maybe I made some mistakes,” Byrne told the paper in 2002. “I was determined to get through college. Maybe I was wrong, but I’m glad I’m an educated man. At least when people talk to me, they know I’m not an idiot.”