Red Hot Chili Peppers are definitely one of my favorite rock bands and today I’m sharing some facts about them. I was first introduced to their music in 1996, when I moved to Pretoria to study at Technikon Pretoria (now called the Tshwane University of Technology). Songs like “My Friends”, “Aeroplane”, “Give It Away” and “Under The Bridge” were receiving extended airplay on Tuks FM back then.
I was instantly almost instantly hooked. Since then songs like “Californication”, “Scar Tissue”, “Otherside”, “Can’t Stop” and “By The Way” have forever etched themselves onto parts of my musical soul. My favourite song by them is definitely “Soul To Squeeze” though. That was released way back in 1993 by the way.
Here are 20 Red Hot Chili Peppers facts you might not know
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers were founded in 1983 in Los Angeles, California in the United States.
2. Anthony Kiedis was once developing a series for HBO about his offbeat upbringing in Los Angeles. There were clearly some issues as it never was aired and then it was sold to FX before production was finished.
3. The band have won 6 Grammy Awards over the years. They won their last Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Rock Album (for Stadium Arcadium).
4. Their first big album the 1991 Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik, was recorded in an LA studio called the Mansion. This Mansion was reportedly haunted after a man pushed his lover from its balcony. The band Slipknot says that many strange, inexplicable things happened there while they were recording. If that freaked them out, I don’t want to know how freaky that place is.
5. To date Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide. Their breakthrough 1991 album Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik has sold more than 13 million copies and their 1999 album Californication has sold more than 15 million copies to date.
6. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante are the current members of the band.
7. Chad Smith (the current drummer of the band) has an instrumental funk-rock side project called Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatballs.
8. Former members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers include Hillel Slovak (who died of a heroin overdose in 1988), Jack Irons (who is also a former drummer for Pearl Jam), Cliff Martinez, Jack Sherman, DeWayne, McKnight, D.H. Peligro (a former drummer for Dead Kennedys), Arik Marshall, Jesse Tobias (who has also played guitar for Alanis Morissette and Morrissey) and Dave Navarro.
9. Anthony Kiedis wrote the song “Venice Queen” about a drug counsellor who helped him get though some tough times, Gloria Scott. The song was written after she died of cancer.
10. Kiedis is the actor Blackie Dammett’s son. He had some early acting roles in F.I.S.T. (1978) and Jokes My Folks Never Told Me (1978). He also appeared in 1991’s Point Break. You may not have recognized him because he was billed as Cole Dammett. His mother is part Apache Indian.
11. The songs “Knock Me Down”, “My Lovely Man”, “Otherside” and “Dosed” were written for the band’s original guitarist Hillel Slovak – who died in 1988 from a heroin overdose.
12. Flea has had an acting career. His resume includes: The Big Lebowski (as Nihilist), Back to the Future, Part II and Part III (as Douglas J. Needles), My Own Private Idaho (as Budd), Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (as The Ruined Man).
13. Flea founded the non-profit organization Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, which provides free music lessons and instruments to underprivileged children.
14. The band’s first name, with their original lineup, was Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Their first show consisted of Anthony Kiedis reciting poetry to some improvised instrumentals.
15. Flea was close friends with River Phoenix and was with him at The Viper Room, when the actor went into seizures from his fatal drug overdose. Flea rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Transcending” is about Phoenix.
16. In the early days, they appeared on stage naked (except for sports socks over their genitals).
17. n 1986, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were given $5,000 to make their third album and spend about $2,000 of it on drugs.
18. In 2008 Flea attended the University of Southern California to study music theory, composition, and jazz trumpet. Flea was not classically trained and was quoted saying “There’s stuff that I want to know that I don’t know.”
19. The whole band made an appearance on The Simpsons to play “Give it Away” in their underwear.
20. Chad Smith is often said to look like actor Will Ferrell (they do look strikingly alike). The drummer once attended The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien in 2009 wearing a t-shirt that read, “I am not Will Ferrell”. The two guys have also participated in a “Drum Off”. Chad Smith was clearly the better drummer though.
There you have it, 20 Red Hot Chili Peppers facts you might not have known. If you have another fact that you want to add to this list, please comment on this post, feedback is appreciated and welcome.
For those of you who might not be familiar with the band, this is the music video for their song My Friends (One of my favorite songs by the band):
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