Red Hot Chili Peppers
1983
United States
Music group
Red Hot Chili Peppers were conceived in 1983 in a living room in Hollywood where four close buddies from Fairfax High School (Anthony Kiedis, Hillel Slovak, flea and Jack Irons) performed an acappella rehearsal for a performance to take place at the legendary Rhythm Lounge. It was at this point that Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons decided to continue their prior commitment in their former band, What Is This?, while Flea and Anthony Kiedis recruited Jack Sherman (guitar) and Cliff Martinez (drums). The band recorded their second album, Freaky Styley, in Detroit with funk god George Clinton acting as producer. In 1986 Cliff Martinez was replaced by Jack Irons, reuniting the original line-up.

They began their careers playing at bars and clubs but at this stage, they were just stage boys that worked weekends for little pay. It was in one of these bars that they met their future member and vocalist Anthony Kiedis, and there's a story behind it.

It was probably the early 1980's, and they were playing at this bar, and Anthony just happened to be there, that’s fate for you, and he was loving what he was hearing, so he decided to return the next week. This went on for a while, until the four of them became good friends. Flea (Michael Balzary) noticed that Anthony had a very unique and interesting voice, and later asked him over for a jam. The chemistry was dangerous. They didn't know it then, but these four would soon become one of the world's sweetest bands.

In 1984, thanks to the wonderful people EMI records, they produced their first self-titled album, obviously known as 'Red Hot Chili Peppers'. This included songs like' Get Up and Jump', True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes', as well as one of my favourites 'Soul to Squeeze'. From here, They produced another album, and by 1985, Freaky Styley was out with the same setup in Kiedis, Martinez, Balzary and Sherman. This album produces songs like 'Catholic School Girls Rule', 'Jungle Man' and Hollywood'.

Between 1985 and 1987, Sherman and Martinez had left the band due to drug problems which made way for Jack Irons (drummer) and Hillel Slovak (guitarist). They would turn out to be one of the best setups ever in the history of this world.

In 1987, they created the 'Uplift Mofo Party Plan' which included classics like "Fight Like a Brave', Me and My Friends and Backwoods. But on June 25th 1987, Hillel Slovak die of a Heroin overdose which forced Jack Irons, their drummer to quit. But they would still fight on!

This tragedy would bring John Frusciante and Chad Smith whom Flea (who change his name from Michael Balzary permanently) said: "This guy eats drum for breakfast." John Frusciante brought with him to the band and new and totally awsome brand of funk to the scene. He would complement Flea's bass with such charisma and with the deep symbolic lyrics that only Anthony could conjure, they produced the funkiest band ever to bless Earth's surface.

In 1989 EMI records brought to the public a evolutionary brand of music. The album was called 'Mothers Milk', which included sounds like, 'Knock Me down', 'Magic Johnson' and a Stevie Wonder cover 'Higher Ground' which has the best bass line ever!

Anthony and Flea made the choice to continue on. Anthony says "Flea and I realized that we couldn't stop because of the death of our best friend. It was going to be a permanent source of sadness in our lives, but we wanted to keep the Red Hots going because, after five years, it had become our lives."

Anthony and Flea then set out to find two partners who would not only be top of the line musicians, but lifelong friends as well.

Enter John Frusciante, a then 18-year old guitarist who Flea knew from impromptu jams in those recent months. Anthony happened to be present while John was trying out with another Hollywood band, Thelonius Monster. It was via this try-out the John joined the Peppers. John recalls, "Anthony heard me that day and went home to tell Flea that I should be a Pepper, not a Monster. Anthony then called me and told me the same thing and that I was now an equal member of the Red Hots."

"They were my favorite band in the world. I knew every lyric, every guitar part, every solo, and bass part, and had always felt their music to be a source of peace and beauty in my life. I always felt very spiritually and philosophically connected with the band's ideals and way of life. The moment I joined the band was probably the most intense rush of pure happiness I will ever experience in my life."

Finding a drummer was more difficult. After auditioning, and playing with about 40 drummers, none of whom had the mind, body, spirit, and cock that was necessary to be a Pepper, the threesome found Chad Smith. "Chad is a human power plant behind the drums" says Anthony. "He gives it all he has and looks hysterical doing it." As Flea so eloquently puts it, "He has the soul of ten thousand soul monkeys from outer space."

Anthony, John, Flea and Chad jumped right into recording their most recent album, MOTHER'S MILK and, following it's release, began a nine month tour of the world and elsewhere.

MOTHER'S MILK was a success, both artistically and financially, bringing the band their first Gold Album.

On June 16, 1990, the band was introduced at the Greak Theater, (in L.A.) by none other than David St. Hubbins of the legendary group Spinal Tap, which the band apparently feels is the greatest honor a group could receive, in this day and age.

Now that this current line-up is, as Flea puts it, "Tighter than a mosquito's asshole," they are putting their bodies, brains and sexual organs to work to write and record the best music that GOD and the cosmic forces that be will allow them to make. About their direction John claims, "The funky stuff will be funkier, the heavy stuff will be heavier, and the melodic stuff will be more beautiful. Some of it will just be out. Our lives are based on our music and vice-versa and we just want to keep expanding while retaining the energy and flame of cosmicity that this band has had from day one."
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