Jack Sherman, Early Member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dead at 64

Jack Sherman guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California on June 1, 1998.
Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The band confirmed Sherman's death on Friday.

Rest in peace, Jack Sherman. 

The musician, who was an early member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has died, the band confirmed on Instagram on Friday. He was 64. Sherman was the second guitarist to join the group, replacing founding member Hillel Slovak in 1983. 

"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," the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote on Instagram. "Peace on the boogie platform." 

Sherman's guitar playing can be heard on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1984 self-titled debut album. He toured with the band that year, and co-wrote much of their second album, Freaky Styley, which was released in 1985. 

The guitarist left the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985, following tension with the group's frontman, Anthony Kiedis, and bassist, Flea. Slovak rejoined the band to replace Sherman. 

Sherman still provided backing vocals on later albums Mother's Milk and The Abbey Road E.P., while collaborating with other acts, including Bob Dylan, George Clinton, Feargal Sharkey and Peter Case over the course of his career. 

Both Sherman and guitarist Dave Navarro were not included when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012; in an interview with Billboard at the time, Sherman said it was "painful" to 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," he shared.

Kiedis confessed in his 2004 autobiography, Scar Tissue, that Sherman was critical to the band's early success. "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," he said. 

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