John Erhardt, guitarist for the Ass Ponys and pedal steel player for Wussy, died on Monday (May 4). A cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
His longtime bandmate Chuck Cleaver took to Instagram to share the news. “John gave us a beauty that we’ll never see again,” the statement reads. “A combination of love, friendship, stability and that amazing swirling sound. Truly a wonder. A backdrop to everything that we are, in the band and in life.”
“To say we’ll miss him is an understatement,” it continues. “It’s not gonna be the same from here on out nor should it. Death’s like that. We’ll continue to keep making up stuff, play it to the best of our abilities and make more records. There will be a hole and we’ll likely leave it that way. You can’t replace some things.”
“Those of you who knew John know that he held certain things ever close to his heart. His friends and his passion for his work in music and film would all be high on that list. But most of all, it was his family, especially his wife Denise and daughter Ivy…his great loves. He would misplace items constantly on the road, but he would never permit himself to be more than a few inches away from his most beloved tour accessory – a keychain holding a photo of him and his daughter from a vacation years ago. It was his good luck charm. It brought him home. Safe travels, bud. We love you.”
Erhardt and Cleaver founded the indie rock group Ass Ponys in the late 1980s, and played in the band until 1995. He then began working on a solo project under his own name, recorded eleven:eleven in late 2000, though it wasn’t released until 2011. In 2012, Erhardt joined Cleaver’s band Wussy as a pedal steel guitarist.
See Cleaver’s full statement below.