Jack Sherman, the second guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a contributor to the band’s early work, has died at the age of 64. His death was confirmed on the group’s official Instagram page: “We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed.”
The statement continues, “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.” His cause of death was not immediately provided.
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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 Was the Second Guitarist for the Band, Contributing to Their Early Sound Between Hillel Slovak’s Stints in the Group
Sherman was born in Miami, Florida, on January 18, 1956. On-and-off guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers Hillel Slovak was replaced by Jack Sherman in 1983 before they recorded their debut album. As such, Sherman appeared on the self-titled debut album, released in 1984, and helped co-write a big part of the band’s follow-up album, “Freaky Styley,” which came out in 1985.
Slovak returned to the group by the time their sophomore album was released, however, so Sherman was out of the group. He made a few appearances on follow-up albums, “Mother’s Milk” and “The Abbey Road EP.” As Variety reports, many fans of the band consider Sherman’s role in the early days of the band to be influential and important, but the former guitarist, along with Dave Navarro, was controversially left out of the group’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors when they were inducted in 2012.
At the time, Sherman told Billboard in an interview, “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.”
In his autobiography titled Scar Tissue, frontman 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 Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sherman became a well-respected session player in the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing on Bob Dylan’s “Knocked Out Loaded,” Tonio K.’s “Notes from the Lost Civilization” and George Clinton and Feargal Sharkey albums, Variety reported.
The Tributes to Sherman Came Pouring In on Social Media After News of His Death Broke
Many people took to social media to post tributes to the late guitarist and share their appreciation for his music and talent:
well it was hard to take it all in but i just wanna say rip jack sherman you were a legend🖤 pic.twitter.com/3BG9QAFe8Z
— rhcp out of context (@AnthonyTheSwan1) August 22, 2020
An essential, yet forgotten, member of @ChiliPeppers history.
Rest in peace, Jack ❤️ pic.twitter.com/HHZbf0sPbj
— RHCP Live Archive (@rhcplivearchive) August 22, 2020
Jack Sherman. Fuck. RIP. 😢💔 RHCP were my first real band love. My heart breaks for his family and friends.
— Diary of Always (@jennrhcp) August 22, 2020
Jack Sherman, the guitarist who was with the RHCP for one album (their 1984 debut album), sadly passed away. He was 63 years young. Thank you for the licks and riffs, Jack. #RHCP #JackSherman 🌶🎸🤟🏼 pic.twitter.com/tak2GMITFg
— Charles-John Fontillas (@geetarcharlie17) August 22, 2020