Formed in the sin-and-glamour capital of America - Hollywood, California - in 1983, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the most flamboyant, commercially successful and musically influential bands of rock’s last quarter century. Singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Michael Balzary a/k/a Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons were high school pals who combined their passions for Jimi Hendrix, ‘70s R&B and hardcore punk with sexual exuberance and local skateboard culture, immediately becoming famous for their outrageous (often near-naked) live shows and incendiary jamming.
After Slovak’s death in 1988 and other personnel changes, the Chili Peppers - with guitar prodigy John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith - broke through with 1991’s BloodSugarSexMagik, a multi-platinum fusion of metal and rap that was pivotal in bringing modern black street culture and music to the Nirvana generation. The Chili Peppers’ hits have run the melodic and emotional gamut from the fierce hip hop of BloodSugar’s “Give It Away” and the 1992 Number Two ballad “Under The Bridge,” one of the best pop songs ever written about the grip of addiction, to the heavy riffing of “Scar Tissue” and the gorgeous melancholy of “Otherside” on 1999’s Californication.
The Chili Peppers’ 2006 two-CD set, Stadium Arcadium, went right to Number One, an ambitious collection that added ‘60s-pop harmonies, blazing psychedelia and progressive-rock dynamics to their heavy California soul. After their longest hiatus ever, the Chili Peppers returned in the summer of 2011 with a new album, I’m With You (which debuted at Number One in 17 countries), and a new tour that will take them through 2013.