Walking away with seven separate Grammys in 2007 cemented Red Hot Chili Peppers place in rock history. It was the jewel in the crown after 20 years of hard work, an ever-changing group line up and deaths from addiction. They could be described as the quintessential rock band. Heavy guitar riffs, rampant drug use and a rotating lineup it’s surprising that the Chilies were able to come together at all.
The band was formed in 1983 when the two founding members, Flea(Michael Balzary) and Anthony Kleidis formed a one off support act to support a friend. The band was named Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. They went over so well with the crowd that they went back the following week and they called themselves the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Soon Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons joined the band and they began to more gigs in the LA area. They didn’t achieve instant success. In fact the first two albums they released flopped…even though one of the albums was produced by the Funk master himself…George Clinton. Nothing seemed to be able to get this band off the ground. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the group lineup changed so much as well as the rampant drug addictions that many in the group were battling. In 1988 Slovak died from a drug overdose and the his spot as guitarist was taken by a very young John Frusciante. However the pressure of being the youngest member (The others nicknamed him greenie) overwhelmed him and he soon became a drug addict. He quit the band in 1992. He was replaced by Arik Marshall and then Dave Navarro. Navarro was fired due to his drug use and he was replaced by none other than Frusciante who has remained in the band ever since.
The band reached its first mainstream success with the CD Mothers Milk. After than Blood Sugar Sex Magic was another smash to be followed by the classic CD Californication. The band won four Grammys in 2007 for their studio album Stadium Arcadium.
In May 2008 the band announced that they would disband, for a year, in order to pursue their own individual pursuits. After 24 years of heartbreak, hard work and sheer perseverance…the Chilies (As they are affectionately known) definitely deserve a break…but it may not be too long before we hear from them…Kleidis says it best, “"I'm just home, hanging out with this really cool little kid, learning how to surf. But I'm starting to get just a little bit of a tingle that it would be nice to start thinking about songs and pieces of music. But just pieces."