Published in the March 29, 2017 edition
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Former Boston drummer and Cortland Lane resident John “Sib” Hashian was remembered as a dedicated family man, friend and musician after passing away unexpectedly while performing on a cruise ship March 22.
Hashian, 67, was performing on the Legends of Rock Cruise when he collapsed and died. His son, Adam, said last Thursday a cause of death has yet to be determined.
According to The Associated Press, Hashian played on Boston’s first two hit records, their self-titled debut album in 1976, featuring the hit song “More Than a Feeling,” and the 1978 follow-up, “Don’t Look Back.” The original band, made up of Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan and Hashian, had one of the most successful debut records in history, selling over 17 million copies, with the singles “Long Time” and “Peace of Mind.”
Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Boston’s debut as the 41st greatest debut record of all-time. Rolling Stone commended Hashian’s “climatic drum fills in the final fade-out” of “More Than a Feeling.”
Hashian’s obituary is on page 13 of this week’s Villager. In addition to his son Adam, Hashian leaves behind his wife, Suzanne, and his two daughters, Aja and Lauren.
Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has a daughter with Lauren, called Hashian his “second dad” in a Facebook post. “
(I) don’t know why things have to happen the way they do sometimes,” said Johnson. “When loved ones leave us so suddenly without having a chance to say goodbye. Perhaps the lesson here is the reminder to live our lives as full and as present as we possibly can. What a full and exciting life this man lived. What an amazing family he created, loved, watched over and protected. Being on stage, in front of adoring fans, friends and family. Keeping the beat one last time. Your passing in this manner is extremely poetic and somehow beautiful. Thank you for the many life lessons you’ve taught over the years. Grateful. We love you Sib. We miss you.”
Boston’s founder, Scholz, selected Hashian to replace the band’s original drummer, Jim Masdea, in 1975. Hashian was working on Boston’s “Third Stage” record when he left the band.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Sib Hashian,” Boston wrote on the band’s Facebook page. “Sib’s high-energy drumming on the early Boston albums and tours leaves a legacy on that will be remembered by millions.”
According to the online music magazine Pitchfork, Hashian played on Goudreau’s 1980 self-titled solo record. Goudreau was performing with Hashian when he collapsed. “Sib was one in a million, never to be replaced,” said Goudreau in a Facebook post.
Hashian provided back-up vocals on Sammy Hagar’s cover of Otis Redding’s classic “Sittin’ On (The Dock of the Bay)” in 1979. In 2003, Hashian appeared on Hagar’s “Live: Hallelujah” record as an unofficial member of The Waboritas.
Lynnfield guitarist Charles “Kook” Lawry said Hashian and a group of his friends used to jam in Lawry’s Main Street barn on Monday nights.
“Sib and his friends played in a pick-up band that practiced in my barn on Main Street,” said Lawry in an interview with the Villager. “They weren’t interested in playing out. They were much more interested in writing songs and having fun.”
Lawry said Hashian was a “top notch rock drummer” who was incredibly down to earth.
“I never saw Sib without a smile on his face,” said Lawry. “He always treated everyone great. He never pulled rank even though he was technically a superstar. He was always happy to give advice, take a picture or sign an autograph. He was a fantastic father, a great husband and raised a family that should go down as one of the greatest in the history books in Lynnfield. He was loved by his neighbors and friends.”
Haverhill-based photographer Kamal Asar said Hashian was his “closest friend.”
“We were close, close friends going back 30 years,” said Asar in an interview with the Villager. “I met him in the 80s when I was in college, and we hung out ever since.”
Asar said Hashian used to buy used instruments and would do demonstrations for students at schools.
“Sib would give the instruments away at the end of the demonstration,” said Asar. “He used to do it to raise music awareness for kids.”
Additionally, Asar used to take photos of Hashian’s bands, and frequently hung with him and his family in town.
“Sib lived his entire adult life in Lynnfield in the house he bought while he was in Boston,” said Asar.
Hashian played with Ernie and the Automatics from 2004-2011, which included Goudreau, Brian Maes and Boch Enterprises CEO Ernie Boch Jr. Boch called Hashian a “dear friend” in a Facebook post. “
(Hashian) was a phenomenal person, son, husband, father and grandfather,” said Boch. “Although his life was short, he lived it to the fullest. No matter the day or the circumstances, he always had a positive outlook on life. From his upbeat personality to his infectious smile, his sheer presence had the power to light up an entire room. All those who knew Sib couldn’t help but love him. Those who didn’t know him were drawn to him.”
Boch continued: “As a drummer, Sib was like a machine — his timing was impeccable. His love of music was passionate and pure. For Sib, it didn’t matter whether he was playing for one person or a crowd of thousands — he always gave his best performance. On stage, he was more than a performer — he was also an entertainer. All who listened to him play were completely captivated. The world has truly lost an incredible person. Sib Hashian was one in a million; a gem; an all-around wonderful guy. Sib, I’m a better person simply for knowing you. May you continue to shine your bright light on us from above. Rest in the sweetest peace, my dear friend.”
Maes echoed Boch’s sentiment in a Facebook post.
“Our hearts go out to Sib’s family and friends,” said Maes. “Sib was a great friend, a very kind and generous man and he will be sorely missed.”
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.