Red Hot Chili Peppers (formed 1983)
Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band, consisting of Anthony Kiedis (vocals), John Frusciante (guitar), Flea (a.k.a. Michael Balzary) (bass) and Chad Smith (drums)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Formation / Previous Line-ups
Red Hot Chili Peppers were originally named Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem and the original band members were Anthony Kiedis, Hillel Slovak, Flea and Jack Irons, all of whom had attended Fairfax High School.
The band's first performance involved Kiedis rapping a poem over the band's improvisations. Slovak and Irons left the band to concentrate on another band, What Is This? so Flea and Anthony recruited Cliff Martinez and Jack Sherman. Slovak returned to the band after the release of RHCP's first album.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Debut Album & Departures
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band's debut album, was produced by Andy Gill (of British band Gang of Four) and released in 1984. Initially the album sold 25,000 copies and the supporting tour was a fiasco, which ended with Jack Sherman being fired.
The second album, Freaky Styley (1985) was produced by George Clinton and recorded in Detroit. The release failed to reach the charts and the following year, Kiedis fired Cliff Martinez from the band. He was eventually replaced when Jack Irons rejoined the group.
In 1987, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was released and reached 148 on the Billboard Hot 200. This period of the band's history, though it saw their gradual ascent to commercial success, was marred by Kiedis and Slovak's serious drug addictions. Slovak's addiction caused his death in 1988, shortly after their promotional tour for the album. Kiedis failed to attend the funeral and Irons left the group once again.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Mother's Milk and onwards
Following Slovak's death, D.H. Peligro, Dead Kennedys' drummer briefly joined the band, as did DeWayne 'Blackbyrd' McKnight, former guitarist of P-Funk. Neither stayed long in the band, but Peligro's friend John Frusciante auditioned for the guitarist's role. With three weeks until the recording of their next album was due to begin, the band was still without a permanent drummer. A friend of the band introduced them to Chad Smith, whose drumming capabilities swiftly earned him a place in the band.
Mother's Milk was released in 1989. The album reached 52 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was their first to achieve 'gold record' status. The album's singles included a cover of 'Higher Ground' by Stevie Wonder and 'Knock Me Down', a tribute to Slovak.
In 1990, now signed to Warner Bros. Records, Red Hot Chili Peppers finally had their wishes granted and Rick Rubin produced their fifth album and has produced each of its successors. Blood Sugar Sex Magik was recorded in a disused mansion and Chad Smith was the only member of the band not to live in the house during the recording period, as he believed it to be haunted. The debut single from the album, 'Give It Away', won a Grammy Award in 1992 and its follow-up 'Under The Bridge' went to number two in the US charts.
In May 1992, John Frusciante quit the band during their Japanese tour. He was suffering at the time with a drug addiction. His brief replacements were Arik Marshall and Jesse Tobias, with the band eventually settling on Dave Navarro, formerly of Jane's Addiction. Navarro's first live performance with the band was at Woodstock '94 but his musical background meant that he never really settled in the band and only appeared on one album. One Hot Minute (1995) was a commercial success, despite mixed reviews, and spawned the singles 'Aeroplane' and 'Warped'.
In 1998, Navarro left the band. It has been reported that he was asked to leave by Kiedis, after he turned up to a band rehearsal under the influence of drugs. Since leaving the band, John Frusciante's drug addiction had spiralled, leaving him with no money and in very poor health. In April 1998, however, Flea visited Frusciante and extended him a lifeline, inviting him to rejoin the band, after he had attended a rehabilitation programme. The band was reunited and the following year, they began recording the songs that would become Californication.
Californication was a huge success, selling over 15 million copies worldwide. The single 'Scar Tissue' won the 'Best Rock Song' Grammy in 2000. Along with 'Californication' and 'Otherside', it was a number one hit single.
In 2002, Red Hot Chili Peppers released By The Way. The album sold over 700,000 copies in its first week and reached number two on the Billboard 200. Five singles, 'By the Way', 'the Zephyr Song' 'Can't Stop', 'Dosed' and 'Universally Speaking' were all hits for the band.
Capitalising on their popularity, Red Hot Chili Peppers released a Greatest Hits album in 2003. They also released a live DVD, Live at Slane Castle and a live album, Live in Hyde Park, recorded in London. The band's three-night run in Hyde Park drew ticket sales of over $17 million.
In 2006, Stadium Arcadium was released as a 28-track double album. The album debuted at number one in both the UK and the US. Over one million copies of the album were sold in the first week of release. 'Dani California', the first single from the album, was the fastest-selling single of the band's career. 'Tell Me Baby' and 'Snow (Hey Oh)' were also chart-toppers. In July 2007, Red Hot Chili Peppers featured on the Live Earth bill at London's Wembley Stadium. Stadium Arcadium won six Grammy awards in 2007 and the band performed 'Snow (Hey Oh)', live at the awards ceremony, surrounded by confetti snow.