R.I.P. John Erhardt of Wussy and Ass Ponys

Music News
Dusty Henry
photo by Amber Knecht

John Erhardt, the guitarist for Ass Ponys and pedal steel player for Wussy, has died. Erhardt passed away on Monday, May 4. The news was confirmed on Wussy’s Facebook page. A cause of death has not been disclosed at this time.

“John gave us a beauty that we’ll never see again,” says bandmate John Cleaver on Wussy’s Facebook page. “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.”

Erhardt was one of the founding members of the indie rock outfit Ass Ponys, playing with the band from 1988 through 1995. Their blend of rock and Americana on albums like 1990's Mr. Superlove and 1992’s Grim landed them supporting spots alongside acts like Pavement and Throwing Muses. After leaving Ass Ponys, Erhardt would start a solo project under his own name and recorded his debut eleven:eleven in late 2000 – though the record would not see a release until 2011.

In 2012, Erhardt teamed up with Cleaver once again to join Cleaver’s band Wussy as a pedal steel guitarist. He’d tour with the band as they supported their Strawberry album but would make his official recorded debut with the band on their 2014 album Attica!. His last album with Wussy before his death was 2018’s What Heaven Is Like.

As our thoughts turn to Erhardt’s surviving family and bandmates, join us in revisiting some of our favorite of his moments in Ass Ponys, Wussy, as well as in our studio.







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