Irons had left the band by the 1989 release of this album, but he does play the drums of their cover of "Fire."

July 18, 1962: Jack Steven Irons is born in Los Angeles. Over the last 60 years, drummer Jack Irons has drummed up quite the discography. Let’s take a look.


Jack Irons wasn’t born too long after the actual Jack Irons. As a youngster, Irons did what lots of kids do: took the pots and pans and utensils out of the kitchen and started banging away. His preferred performances? Playing along with whatever happened to be on the radio. Pretty soon, the budding stickman was pitching his parents on buying him a drum kit. Thankfully, they said yes.


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Being an L.A. kid, Irons attended Bancroft Jr. High School in Hollywood. That’s where he met future Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmates Flea and Hillel Slovak. The trio moved on to Fairfax High School, where they became close with–you guessed it–future RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis. Alain Johannes was also part of their group of budding musical aficionados. More on him in a bit. Irons, Flea, Slovak, and Kiedis would form Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem in 1983, then change the name to Red Hot Chili Peppers shortly thereafter. Irons would leave the band for good after Slovak’s death in 1988.


Joe Strummer and Eleven

Remember Alain Johannes from a few minutes ago? That would be Jack’s next big collaborator. After a short stint with Joe Strummer’s Latino Rockabilly War, Irons joined Johannes in the Seattle-based band Eleven in 1990. He would cut two-and-a-half albums with Eleven, departing the band in 1994. If  you know your rock history, you know where he ended up next.


Pearl Jam

When Pearl Jam fired Dave Abbruzzese during the Vitalogy sessions in 1994, Irons was brought in on drums. Or, shall I say, “finally” brought in on drums. Irons had quite the history with Pearl Jam up until then. When Pearl Jam was first forming as Mookie Blaylock in 1990, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard recruited Irons to be their drummer. He passed, preferring to stay in Eleven. But he did end up acting as the connector, so to speak, that led to Eddie Vedder joining the band as their vocalist.


Irons stayed behind the kit with Pearl Jam until 1998. Since then, he’s collaborated with a number of artists in the rock world under a variety of projects. We’ll get into some of those below. All in all, at age 60, it’s safe to say drummer Jack Irons has left quite a mark on the world of alternative rock. Happy Birthday, Jack!

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