Jack Sherman, the guitarist who appeared on the debut album of American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, has died at the age of 64. However, no cause of death has been determined.
“He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad and in between”
The band announced Sherman’s passing on Friday in an Instagram post, calling the musician ‘unique.’
“We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed,” the group said on Instagram. “Jack played on our debut album as well as our first tour of the USA. He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad and in between. Peace on the boogie platform.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ current lineup features singer, Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith.
Sherman’s journey with the band
Sherman was born in Miami, Florida, on January 18, 1956. Sherman’s stint in the band was not a long-lasting one. Sherman replaced on-again, off-again guitarist, Hillel Slovak. Just in time to play on their 1983 debut and co-wrote much of the follow-up, “Freaky Styley,” released in 1985. However, by the time that album came out, Sherman was out of the group and Slovak was back in, for one of many stints to come.
The guitarist played on the band’s debut self-titled album and contributed to their albums Freaky Styley, Mother’s Milk and The Abbey Road EP.
“I’m being dishonored, and it sucks”
Though his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers is often considered essential by fans, he was not included when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, eight years ago in 2012. The Hall of Fame stated that this was because only original members, current members and those who played on multiple albums were eligible for induction.
However, at the time, Sherman blamed the band’s members. Telling Billboard, “It appeared to be a politically correct way of omitting Dave Navarro and I for whatever reasons they have that are probably the band’s and not the Hall’s.”
‘It’s really painful to see all this celebrating going on and be excluded. I’m not claiming that I’ve brought anything other to the band… but to have soldiered on under arduous conditions to try to make the thing work. And I think that’s what you do in a job, looking back. And that’s been dishonored. I’m being dishonored, and it sucks.’
“I knew that our relationship with Jack wasn’t meant to be”
In his autobiography titled Scar Tissue, front-man Anthony Kiedis wrote that although Sherman excelled in his audition, he didn’t have a “punk-rock pedigree. “I knew that our relationship with Jack wasn’t meant to be,” Billboard transcribed. Kiedis went on to write, “God bless Jack, he did keep the band afloat for a year, and if he hadn’t, the years to follow probably wouldn’t have.” Similarly, Andy Gill, who produced the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ debut album, said Sherman was “significant to the band’s history, very much part of getting the funk guitar in there.”
After leaving the Chili Peppers, Sherman found himself in demand as a session player in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Taking the lead role on Tonio K.’s critically hailed “Notes from the Lost Civilization.” As well as Bob Dylan’s “Knocked Out Loaded” and albums by George Clinton and Feargal Sharkey.
Many people took to social media to post tributes to the late guitarist and share their appreciation for his music and talent.