The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest rock bands of all time

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest rock bands of all time

In their twenty-three year history, since 1983, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had twelve different band members. Of the original members, Anthony Kiedes, lead singer and the best known of the RedHot Chili Peppers, and Flea, the bassist, still remain. The band was originally called Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. The band was intended to be a temporary high school performance rock band, but when Flea joined up, they went professional. Their first album, “What is This? Red Hot Chili Peppers”, was not a commercial success, but it did announce the beginning of a new punk rock band that was destined for greatness.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers sound grew out of the influence of the many members that came and went. In the early days, the band was markedly influenced by the talent of Jack Sherman, lead guitarist, who is credited for the initial success of the band. Internal discord caused Sherman to quit the band. Rather than sink into oblivion, the band was able to rejuvenate itself by replacing Sherman with Hillel Slovek

As Sherman’s replacement, Slovak proved as talented a guitarist. His influence is amply demonstrated in the band’s first three platinum albums. Hillel Slovek died of a drug overdose. He was replaced by John Frusciante. Frusciante’s artistry was demonstrated on the band’s fourth platinum album, “Mothers Milk”, which sold two million copies and earned the band a double platinum award. The album that followed, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, sold seven times over platinum.

In large part, the ever changing face of the band has been due to its members use of and addiction to drugs. Kiedes temporarily left the band due to his and other members heroin addiction. Jack Irons quit because of Slovak’s death and went on to joint the bands, Pearl Jam and Eleven.

Despite the drugs, The RedHot Chili Peppers have been characterized by an abundance of talent. Flea, a bassist, was revolutionary. His style, influenced by Led Zeppelin and Bootsy Collins, is described as rock and roll punkadelik blues and embodies the idea of punk freedom.

Much of the Red Hot Chili Peppers songs are political statements. The song, “Johny Kick a Hole in the Sky” addresses the plight and suffering of the Native American. Many Native American themes are found in the band’s works, probably because Anthony Kiedes has a Native American heritage.

With the songs like “Californication”, the band has etched a spot in American culture as one of leading voices in protest against racism, superficiality, and brutality. They continue to be a favorite among punk rockers throughout the world.