Jack Sherman, Early Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist, Dies at 64

Jack Sherman, the guitarist who joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their debut album and contributed to much of the followup, has died at age 64.

“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 its Instagram page  “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’s stint in the band was not a long-lasting one: He replaced on-again, off-again guitarist Hillel Slovak 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. Sherman was nonetheless heard in lesser roles on two more Chili Peppers albums, “Mother’s Milk” and “The Abbey Road EP.”

Although many fans and associates considered Sherman’s contributions seminal and essential, Sherman was not among those named for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors when the group was inducted eight years ago. He was unhappy about being left out by the hall and blamed the band for influencing the decision to leave him and Dave Navarro out. “I’m being dishonored, and it sucks,” he told Billboard in 2012.

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.

No cause of death has been cited.