John Erhardt of Wussy & Ass Ponys, RIP
John Erhardt of Cincinnati, OH bands Wussy and Ass Ponys passed away on Monday (5/4). His Wussy bandmate Chuck Cleaver confirmed the news in a post on Facebook, writing, "There’s no easy way to say this but our friend and band mate John Erhardt has left us. He died this past Monday. The details aren’t ours to know or share so as a courtesy please don’t inquire."
The message continues:
John and I have been in and out of bands together for the last thirty years or better. 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. We put the first two out and then by some minor miracle got signed to a major label in that weird mid 90s Afghan Whigs feeding frenzy.
Because we had some problems with the band name before, we debated changing it to something more commercially palatable. I remember getting home from a practice one night where we’d discussed it and getting a call from John, who let me know that “we’re not changing our name...it’s chicken shit” so we kept Ass Ponys and drifted through major label land for a couple of albums.
Flash forward a few years. John had been out of and back in Ass Ponys and I was starting a new band called Wussy. AP was dissolving and I got another call from John. “Wussy huh? You picked another winner”. A few more years went by and through some sort of osmosis John joined Wussy. He just showed up at a practice one night and never left.
John gave us a beauty that we’ll never see again. 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’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 was a founding member of Ass Ponys (whose discography included two albums for A&M Records), and he played with them through 1995. He also recorded a solo album, eleven:eleven, which was released in 2011.