Jack Sherman, Formative Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist, Dead at 64

Photo: Getty Images/2020

Jack Sherman, an early Red Hot Chili Peppers member who played guitar on the band’s first album, has died at the age of 64. The band’s official social-media pages confirmed Sherman’s passing without disclosing a cause. “We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed,” a statement read. “He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad, and in between. Peace on the boogie platform.” Sherman, who joined Red Hot Chili Peppers in late 1983, was a replacement for founding member Hillel Slovak, who departed in pursuit of a different project. Sherman would go on to tour with the band for their debut album, and he also co-wrote several songs for their follow-up record, Freaky Styley. When Slovak asked to return in 1985, the band effectively fired Sherman.

In the subsequent decades, Sherman maintained an active yet quiet career as a studio guitarist, assisting other artists such as Bob Dylan and George Clinton. Sherman publicly reemerged when Red Hot Chili Peppers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, as he was omitted from the band’s induction list. “It’s really painful to see all this celebrating going on and be excluded,” he explained at the time, saying that he personally appealed to his former members for inclusion. “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.” Anthony Kiedis later remarked in his memoir that Sherman “did keep the band afloat for a year, and if he hadn’t, the years to follow probably wouldn’t have.”

Jack Sherman, Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist, Dead at 64