The iconic and funky Red Hot Chili Peppers have been rocking fans for decades, but their history is filled with struggles, pain, and even death, as everyone in the group has struggled with their own demons. This is the tragic real-life story of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers that most people know are singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and whoever happens to be their current guitarist. From John Frusciante to Dave Navarro to Frusciante again to Josh Klinghoffer to a revolving door of lesser known names, guitarists have always been the Peppers' equivalent of Spinal Tap drummers.
The reason behind that revolving door, though, is rooted in the tragic loss of the band's original lead guitarist, Hillel Slovak.
In 1988, the 26-year-old Slovak was found lifeless in his apartment. The cause of death was a heroin overdose. Understandably, this shook the rest of the band, since Slovak was not only a founding member, but also a massive influence on the others.
Slovak's signature funk-rock style essentially established the band's sound, and original drummer Jack Irons decided to leave the band shortly after his passing. Flea has even said that he only picked up the bass instrument because Slovak asked him to.
Watch the video for more Tragic Details About The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The death of Hillel Slovak | 0:14 Flea's difficult childhood | 1:14 The story behind "Under the Bridge" | 2:23 A nasty assault arrest | 3:32 Chad Smith, serial dumper | 4:25 A tumultuous year | 5:10 The half-life of John Frusciante | 6:26 Feuding with Mike Patton | 7:32 Interrupted by fire | 8:49 Flea and the opioid crisis | 9:30