Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers are a Grammy Award-winning, California-based, four-piece rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983.

Even though they have experienced numerous line-up changes and personal problems, the band has successfully created a fusion sound that combines elements of punk, funk, heavy metal, and psychedelic rock.

Since 1984, they have sold approximately 60 million copies of their records to date.

They also hold the records for most #1 modern rock hits with 10, and most weeks spent atop that chart, with 76.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (originally Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem) were formed after what was supposed to be a one-time performance in 1984 by Fairfax High School alumni Michael "Flea" Balzary, Jack Irons, Anthony Kiedis, and Hillel Slovak. Later in that same year, they secured a record deal with EMI.

Irons and Slovak were committed to their original band, What Is This?, so the sessions for their self titled debut, Red Hot Chili Peppers were recorded with Jack Sherman on guitar and Cliff Martinez on drums. Produced by Gang of Four's Andy Gill, the album did not achieve commercial success. The ensuing tour did not fare much better, with internal fighting resulting in Sherman leaving the band, at which point Slovak returned.

Parliament-Funkadelic's George Clinton was hired to produce their second album, 1985's Freaky Styley. Martinéz left the band soon after the release of the album, allowing the return of original drummer Jack Irons in early 1986.

Their first album to enter the Billboard Top 200, 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, was produced by Michael Beinhorn. This would be the only album to feature the four original high school friends. Its first single, "Fight Like a Brave", would later be featured on the soundtrack to the video game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 in 2001.

During the supporting tour, drug problems came to public light when Slovak relapsed; resulting in erratic behaviour and botched performances. Shortly after the band returned from some performances in Europe on June 27, 1988, Slovak was found dead of a heroin overdose. Jack Irons left the band because of Slovak's death, going on to drum with Pearl Jam and with former bandmate Alain Johannes in Eleven.

The band temporarily employed Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro and former P-Funk guitarist DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight, later replacing them with Chad Smith and John Frusciante. Mother's Milk was released in August 1989, providing the band with their first top modern rock hits with their tribute ballad to Slovak, "Knock Me Down", and their cover of Stevie Wonder's hit "Higher Ground". The album reached #52 on the album charts, the best chart position yet for the band at that point. Contributing to the ascending to success was Kiedis' girlfriend at the time, Ione Skye, having a lead role in the movie "Say anything", from which the hit "Taste the Pain" was included in the soundtrack. Frusciante proved to be a prodigious and talented guitarist, and that contributed to that album being their breakthrough album. Although it is thought to have been their breakthrough album to the mainstream, the band usually refrains from playing it in live concerts due to John's dislike of the "macho" way he used to play on it. In an 2002 interview, John Fruiscante stated that it was largely the producers decision rather, than his own, to have multi-layered guitar parts, and the "weird experience" he had with layering on 'Mother's Milk' was the reason that he did not layer so much on later albums with the band.

The group soon moved on to Warner Brothers Records, and in the early months of 1990 Rick Rubin was hired in 1991 to produce their fifth album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which would go on to sell seven million copies in the United States alone. The album contained the singles "Give it Away" which won a Grammy award in 1992 for "Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal", "Breaking the Girl", "Suck My Kiss", and "Under the Bridge", a melodic ballad that propelled the band to mainstream popularity.

Blood Sugar Sex Magik was listed at number 310 on the Rolling Stone magazine list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and in 1992 it climbed all the way to # 3 on the U.S. album charts almost a year after its release.

Success and drug addiction were taking their toll on Frusciante, who abruptly quit the band during the BSSM tour in May of 1992. After the band headlined Lollapalooza festival in 1992 with replacement guitarist Arik Marshall, and briefly with Jesse Tobias of the California based band Mother Tongue in 1993, former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro joined in 1993.

Dave Navarro first appeared with the band at Woodstock 1994, and a year later appeared on the album One Hot Minute. The album, featuring "My Friends", featured the familiar blend of funk, metal, and jazz, but this time showed increased hard rock and psychedelic influences. Although critically dismissed compared to their previous work, mostly due to the lack of Frusciante's more familiar style, the album was a commercial success, selling five million copies internationally and reaching double-platinum status in the USA. It remained on the chart for 55 weeks thereafter. The band parted ways with Navarro in 1998.

Frusciante rejoined the band in 1998 after spending time in rehab for drug problems and releasing two solo albums. The refreshed, refocused, and re-energized guitarist was on board for the band's 1999 release, Californication. Unexpectedly, it became a massive success, outselling Blood Sugar Sex Magik and introducing them to a new generation of fans. It is the band's bestseller to date with 15 millions units sold.

The album peaked at #3 in USA and produced three more modern rock hits: the Grammy-winning "Scar Tissue", "Otherside" and "Californication". It also made it onto the modern rock charts with "Around the World", "Road Trippin'" (UK single), and "Parallel Universe", which broke the Top 40 modern rock charts despite not being released as a single. Compared to their previous albums, Californication contains few rap-driven songs. The band went on a tour which lasted nearly two years and featured some of their largest shows, including a Moscow performance in front of 200,000 people and a performance at the controversial Woodstock 1999 festival. At Woodstock 99, the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed Fire by Jimi Hendrix as a tribute to the late rocker who performed at the original Woodstock. In 2001, they released their first concert DVD, Off The Map which was directed by longtime friend, Dick Rude, who also directed the music videos for "Catholic School Girls Rule" and "Universally Speaking".

The band returned to the studio in early 2001 and released By the Way more than a year later, on July 9, 2002. The album, at the time, was their biggest chart debut (with over 700,000 copies in first week), entering at #2 and produced the hit singles "By the Way", "The Zephyr Song" , "Can't Stop", "Dosed", and "Universally Speaking" which was only released in Europe as a single and video. It is the most subdued album they have ever done, focusing primarily on ballads as opposed to their classic style of rap-driven funk.

The Chili Peppers recorded two new songs, "Fortune Faded" and "Save the Population", for their Greatest Hits album released later that year. To the surprise of many fans, only two songs from By the Way included on the compilation, Universally Speaking and By the Way. Much criticism was drawn from the absence of Can't Stop, considered one of the band's most popular songs. Band member Flea reportedly said that a lot of tension was going on between him and John during the recording process. So much so, that, following their "By the Way" tour, he was planning on leaving the band. The events that took place during that tour, however, forced him to change his mind.

In 2004, the group released their first ever full-length live album, Live in Hyde Park; recorded during their 2004 performances in Hyde Park, London, due to the high attendance rate. In the three nights they performed there, the band took in an estimated 17 million dollars, making it the highest grossing concert at a single venue in history. Two new songs were featured on the Album: "Rolling Sly Stone" and "Leverage of Space".

In 2006, they completed their ninth studio album, Stadium Arcadium. Although 38 songs were created with the intention to be released as 3 mini-albums spaced six months apart it was released in May 2006 as a 28-track double album. It was their first album to debut at #1 on the US charts, where it stayed for two weeks, and debuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart and 25 other countries as well. In the album's first week, it sold 442,000 units in the United States alone, and over 1,000,000 worldwide, setting a personal record for one week sales. The record's first single "Dani California," was the band's fastest-selling single, topping the Modern Rock chart in the US, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reaching #2 in the UK.In addition to "Dani California", "Tell Me Baby" reached Billboard's hot modern rock tracks in early July. The songs Storm in a Teacup, Snow (Hey Oh), Tell Me Baby, Stadium Arcadium, If and Especially in Michigan have been featured on ABC commercials for the 2006 X-Games and Super Bowl.

In 2009, The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be eligible to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Flea's bass style is an amalgamation of funk and blues, borrowing from artists such as Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. The groove-heavy, low-tuned melodies, composed through either normal finger style or slapping, have contributed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' signature style. While Flea's slap bass style was prominent in earlier albums, later albums (post "Blood Sugar Sex Magik") have more melodic basslines.

The guitar styles of the guitarists that have recorded albums with the group share common traits, featuring a sharp, distorted sound with strong range. Replacement players appear to have tried to stay as close as possible to original guitarist Hillel Slovak's style with its heavy blues and funk elements. However, Dave Navarro focused on a style rooted in heavy metal, progressive, and psychedelic rock. Current guitarist John Frusciante brought a more melodic, textured, and deep sound.

Kiedis provides a range of vocal styles for RHCP songs, with his style of rapping and spoken verse (the latter being the primary characteristic of his vocals up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik) complemented with more traditional vocals have helped the band maintain a relatively consistent style.

* The Red Hot Chili Peppers have written several songs addressing political topics. The song "Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky" from Mother's Milk is about the plight and affliction of the Native Americans, and this particular song made the public see Kiedis as of native-american heritage, "I was born in a land, I don't think you understand god damn what I am. I'm a native of this place, Please don't slap me in my face, My race has been disgraced."

* The song "Green Heaven" from the eponymous album Red Hot Chili Peppers discusses police brutality and racism in America.

* The song "The Power of Equality" also speaks out against racism, and the lyrics are very similar in style to those of rap group Public Enemy, who are referenced in the song.

* "Californication" is critical of Hollywood's perceived superficiality.

* The song "Pea", from the album One Hot Minute, is about a personal experience Flea had being harassed by rednecks.

* The songs "I Could Die for You", "Dosed" and "This is the Place", off of the album By the Way, deal with issues related to drugs (as well as "Under the Bridge" and many other Chili Pepper songs). In "This is the Place", several street names are mentioned, possibly where Kiedis previously found heroin.

* The last track on Stadium Arcadium, "Death of a Martian", details about the death of Flea's dog, Martian.

* In the songs Dani California, By the Way, and Californication a character named Dani California is mentioned. Kiedis has explained that the character of Dani California embodies all the women from his past relationships.

* The song Emit Remmus from Californication is the phrase "Summer Time," backwards. The song refers to Kiedis' former relationship to Spice Girls member Mel C.

Current Members

* Anthony Kiedis – Lead vocals (1983–present)
* Flea – bass, backing vocals, trumpet (1983–present)
* John Frusciante – Lead guitar and backing vocals(1988–92; 1998–present)
* Chad Smith – drums (1989–present)

Former Members

* Cliff Martinez – drums (1984–86)
* Arik Marshall – guitar (1992–93)
* Jack Irons – drums (1983-1984; 1986–88)
* DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight – guitar (1988)
* Dave Navarro – guitar (1993–98)
* D.H. Peligro – drums (1988)
* Jack Sherman – guitar (1984–85)
* Hillel Slovak – guitar (1983–84; 1985–88)
* Jesse Tobias – guitar (1993)
* Sam McNulty- guitar for two shows in 1987

Former touring backing musicians

* Keith "Tree" Barry – saxophone (1987–90)
* Rain Phoenix – backing vocals (1995–96)
* Rob Rule – backing vocals, guitar (1995–96)
* Acacia Ludwig – backing vocals (1995–96)
* Rene Molina - Drums (1989-2006)
* Greg Bianchini- egg shaker (1989-89)


* Red Hot Skate Rock (1989) - live
* Positive Mental Octopus (1989) - music videos
* Psychedelic Sexfunk Live from Heaven (1990) - live
* Funky Monks (1991) - making of Blood Sugar Sex Magik album
* Best Of The Cutting Edge Volume II (1991) - music videos
* What Hits!? (1992) - music videos
* Woodstock 1994 (1994) - live
* Free Tibet (1998) - live
* Woodstock 1999 (1999) - live
* Off the Map (2001) - live
* Rock Your Socks Off (Unauthorized) (2001) - documentary
* By the Way (2002) - music video single/making of By the Way video
* Rockthology 1: Hard N Heavy (2002) - music videos/interviews
* Greatest Hits and Videos (2003) - music videos/behind the scenes
* Live at Slane Castle (2003) - live
* Rock Odyssey 2004 (2004) - live
* The Last Gang In Town (2004) - documentary
* The Red Hot Chili Peppers Phenomenon (2006) - documentary
* Dani California (2006) - making of music video/interviews/behind the scenes
* Tell Me Baby (2006) - music videos

TV, film and other media

* Band members Flea and Anthony Kiedis have been featured individually and together in many movies and television shows.

* Both Kiedis and Flea appeared in the film "The Chase" starring Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson.

* Kiedis and Flea were also featured in the music video for Wicked by rapper Ice Cube.

* The group has been featured on many movie soundtracks, most notably "Show Me Your Soul" from the Pretty Woman soundtrack; "Soul to Squeeze" from the Coneheads; "Love Rollercoaster", a cover of The Ohio Players hit song and "Search and Destroy" from the Beavis and Butthead Do America soundtrack; "Taste the Pain" on the Mother's Milk album from the film Say Anything; "Sikamikanico" from Wayne's World; "Dani California" featured in the Japanese motion picture Death Note and Snow also features in Death Note the second movie; "Higher Ground" from the movies Center Stage and The Power Rangers Movie.

* The band played themselves performing Set It Straight in the 1986 movie Tough Guys starring Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, & Dana Carvey.

* They performed 'Black-Eyed Blonde' in the 80's skateboard film 'Thrashin.

* The 1992 version of the band, with Arik Marshall standing in for Frusciante, appeared in an episode of The Simpsons titled "Krusty Gets Kancelled", in which Bart and Lisa helped Krusty save his career by showing a 'Krusty Komeback Special' featuring many celebrities. They performed their song "Give it Away", although Krusty suggested that they change the song's lyric "What I got you gotta get it put it in you" to "What I'd like is I'd like to hug and kiss you", to which Flea and Marshall enthusiastically agree while Anthony Kiedis merely smiles at the suggestion.

* According to The New York Times, Red Hot Chili Peppers', along with other bands' music has been used at high volumes to pressure captured Al Qaeda members.

* The band was ranked #30 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

* The band was referenced in the video game Tekken 4. In the Tekken force mini game, there are 5 ninjas that are harder to beat than the average ninja near the end of the game. They are named after the members (and former members) of the band; Anthony (Anthony Kiedis); Flea (Michael "Flea" Balzary); John (John Frusciante); Chad (Chad Smith) and Dave (Dave Navarro).

* Red Hot Chili Peppers' version of the song Higher Ground was covered in the 2005 game Guitar Hero.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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