A sideman is a professional musician who is hired to perform or record with a group of which he is not a regular member. Sidemen are generally required to be adaptable to many different styles of music, and so able to fit smoothly into the group in which they are currently playing. Many sidemen are famous in their own right, however, and may be highly sought-after by bands. Often sidemen go on to form their own groups and/or solo careers; for instance, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best acted as sidemen to Tony Sheridan before becoming famous as The Beatles. Other musicians may take time from their own bands to tour or record as a sideman for another artist, such as Mike Watt with J Mascis and the Fog or Iggy and the Stooges.
Some notable sidemen include
- Eric Clapton, blues/rock guitarist, for Delaney & Bonnie and Friends
- Rodney Crowell, guitarist
- Sonny Clark, hard bop, pianist
- Jesse Ed Davis, guitarist
- Johnny Dodds, jazz clarinetist
- Bill Evans, jazz pianist
- Robin Finck, guitar player for Guns & Roses and formerly, Nine Inch Nails.
- Bradley Joseph, keyboardist
- Chuck Leavell, keyboardist
- James Burton, guitarist for Elvis Presley and Emmylou Harris
- Stan Munsey, keyboardist
- Fred Wesley, jazz and funk trombonist and author of the book Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman ISBN 0-8223-2909-3
- Jason White, punk rock guitarist, sideman of Green Day
- Phil Woods, jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist
Side Man also is the name of a Tony Award-winning play by Warren Leight, about the life and career of Gene, a fictional trumpet-playing sideman.
sideman in German: Sideman
sideman in French: Sideman
sideman in Italian: Sideman
sideman in Polish: Sideman
sideman in Portuguese: Sideman