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R.I.P. Jack Sherman, One-Time Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist Dies at 64

on August 21, 2020, 10:41pm

Jack Sherman, one-time guitarist for Red Hot Chili Peppers, has died at the age of 64.

Red Hot Chili Peppers confirmed Sherman’s passing in a statement posted to Instagram. “We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed. 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.”

Sherman joined Chili Peppers in 1983, replacing the band’s founding guitarist Hillel Slovak. He played on the band’s 1984 self-titled debit and co-wrote a majority of the songs on their 1985 follow-up Freaky Styley. However, prior to the release of Freaky Styley, Sherman was fired so that Slovak could re-join the band. Sherman briefly reunited with Chili Peppers in 1988 to provide backing vocals on the Mother’s Milk tracks “Higher Ground” and “Good Time Boys”.

Despite his brief tenure in Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sherman’s contributions should not be overlooked. Gang of Four’s Andy Gill, who produced the band’s debut album, told Billboard that Sherman was “significant to the band’s history, very much part of getting the funk guitar in there.” Meanwhile, frontman Anthony Kiedis credited Sherman for “keep[ing] the band afloat for a year, and if he hadn’t, the years to follow probably wouldn’t have.”

Nevertheless, Sherman was not among the Chili Peppers members inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Sherman described the snubbing as “really painful,” telling Billboard at the time, “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.”

Following his exit from Chili Peppers, Sherman provided session work for Bob Dylan, Tonio K, Bill Madden, and Gerry Goffin.