Jack Sherman, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, dies at 64

He recorded on the band’s debut album and co-wrote much of its follow-up, Freaky Styley

Jack Sherman

Photo: Jim Steinfeldt / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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Jack Sherman, best known for his work as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second guitarist, has died at the age of 64. News of his death was made known by the band, who paid tribute to Sherman over social media.

“We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed,” wrote the band in an Instagram post made on Saturday (22 August). They continued: “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.”

No cause of death has yet been announced.

Sherman joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983, replacing founding member Hillel Slovak. He recorded on the band’s self-titled debut in 1984, and is credited for co-writing the songs on its follow-up, the George Clinton produced Freaky Styley from 1985. Later on, Sherman would return to contribute backing vocals on the band’s fourth record, 1989’s Mother’s Milk.

Despite his contributions to the band’s early work, Sherman was excluded from the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012. In an interview with Billboard at the time, the guitarist said “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 dishonoured. I’m being dishonoured, and it sucks.”

In Scar Tissue, the autobiography of Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers frontman wrote of Sherman: “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.”

Outside of his work with the Chili Peppers, Sherman was also known for his collaborations with artists such as George Clinton, Peter Case, Feargal Sharkey, and Bob Dylan – who enlisted Sherman among Tom Petty, David A. Stewart and Ronnie Wood to record the guitars on his 24th studio album, Knocked Out Loaded.

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