John "Sean" Byrne

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John "Sean" Byrne (November 16, 1947 – December 15, 2008) was an Irish-born American musician, best known for his work with the Count Five.


Byrne immigrated to San Jose, California and joined his brother's group, which changed its name to the Count Five to capitalize on the British Invasion, wearing Count Dracula-style capes when playing live. Byrne took the stage name Sean to accentuate the foreign mystique. As guitarist for the group, Byrne wrote the band's one hit wonder song "Psychotic Reaction" in a Health Education class at San Jose City College. The song rose to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1966 and is still one of the top garage band tunes of all time.

Byrne died on December 15, 2008 as a result of a long battle with diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver.