Sunday, 1 June 2008

Red Hot Chili Peppers

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. The performance consisted of one song, "Out In L.A." which, traditionally, remained their opening song in every live show to date. [Up to November '89 definitely not for BSSM tour in '91, maybe not for '90 tour - lsh] The band soon developed a strong following in Los Angeles, something unheard of considering the fact that the band had only been in existence for a couple of months and had not yet pressed a single album.

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 (also formerly a member of WHAT IS THIS?) and Anthony Kiedis recruited Jack Sherman (guitar) and Cliff Martinez (drums). After being signed to EMI Records this line-up recorded the band's first and self-titled debut album. In 1985 Hillel Slovak rejoined the group while Sherman pursued a career as a studio musician.

The band recorded their second album, FREAKY STYLEY, in Detroit with the FUNK GOD, George Clinton, acting as producer.

In 1986 Cliff Martinez was replaced by Jack Irons, reuniting the original line-up. The band's third LP entitled THE UPLIFT MOFO PARTY PLAN was released in 1987 and, as always, the "Hardest working band in show business" followed it's release with a ridiculously extensive tour. They maintained as unusually huge (sold out) live audience, considering their record company had chosen to ignore them purely because of their confusion about the band's type of music. Nevertheless, the tour was great success.

In June 1988 Hillel Slovak died, leaving Anthony, Flea and Jack devastated at the loss of a beautiful friend. It was as that time that Jack Irons left the band, unable to continue with a constant reminder of such an intense loss. [He ended up playing with Pearl Jam (Andres Guevara)]

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."

At the time this is being written (August 1990) Anthony is spending the better part of his time with his beautiful girlfriend - Carmen, John with his cigarettes, Flea with his confusion and Chad, in the presence of the Martocci moment. Red Hot Chili Peppers is not four individuals, but one Positive Mental Octopus. It is here to spread love and peace to whoever wants it.

For those of you in search of the meaning of life: find a good burrito place, eat there and be kind to your fellow man.

No comments: