Ohio guitarist, John Erhardt, passed away this past Monday. Erhardt was 58 years old and played in bands Wussy and Ass Ponys. Wussy announced his death in a Facebook post on Thursday and the cause of death is currently unknown.
“There’s no easy way to say this but our friend and band mate John Erhardt has left us,” the band said in a Facebook post. “He died this past Monday. The details aren’t ours to know or share so as a courtesy please don’t inquire.”
Erhardt had been a famed guitar and pedal steel player in Ohio’s alt-rock scene for the past 30 years. He first began in Ass Ponys from 1988 to 1995, then rejoined the band in 2003. Erhardt joined Wussy in 2012 with Ass Ponys founder Chuck Cleaver.
“John and I have been in and out of bands together for the last thirty years or better,” Cleaver said in the Facebook statement. “We started Ass Ponys without ever discussing what we wanted to be or do. We just came up with stuff, played it the best we could and eventually made records.”
Cleaver went on to explain the future of the band, stating they will continue but will not be replacing Erhardt.
“To say we’ll miss him is an understatement,” Cleaver said. “It’s not gonna be the same from here on out nor should it be. Death’s like that. We’ll continue 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.”
Ass Ponys went on hiatus in 2005 after Cleaver began focusing more of his attention on Wussy. Wussy has since released eight albums and is a favorite of rock critics. Erhardt participated on three of the band’s albums, 2014’s Attica!, 2016’s Forever Sounds and 2018’s What Heaven Is Like.