Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman has passed away, the band announced on Friday night. So far, Sherman's cause of death has not been revealed. The acclaimed musician was 64 years old.
Sherman was the second guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, joining the band shortly after its formation in 1983. He played on their debut self-titled album, went on their first tour, and contributed some material to the group's second album, Freaky Styley, before parting ways. Still, the Red Hot Chili Peppers issued a statement on social media, making it clear how much Sherman meant to them. It read: "We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed."
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. pic.twitter.com/2vpZ3wrYRN— Red Hot ChiliPeppers (@ChiliPeppers) August 22, 2020
"He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad and in between," the statement concluded.
Born on Jan. 18, 1956, in Miami, Florida, Sherman was recruited into the Red Hot Chili Peppers from his previous band, Weirdos. Weirdos drummer Cliff Martinez was recruited as well, approached by Flea and Anthony Keidis. The two of them were called in to replace founding RHCP members Hillel Slovak on guitar and Jack Irons on drums.
Slovak and Irons were in another group called What Is This? at the time that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were getting started. When What Is This? got a record deal with MCA, they left to focus on that. However, they returned to RHCP shortly after, as they were high school friends with Flea and Kiedis.
The dismissal of Sherman and Martinez was controversial following the success of the self-titled debut album. According to Kiedis' autobiography, Scar Tissue, this had a lot to do with tensions between himself and Sherman during their first tour. Still, it was even more controversial in 2012, when both Sherman and ex-guitarist Dave Navarro were left out of RHCP's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"It appeared to be a politically correct way of omitting Dave Navarro and I for whatever reasons they have that are probably the band's and not the Hall's," Sherman told Billboard at the time. "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."