Red Hot Chili Peppers: Why John Frusciante Quit The Band Twice!

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Why John Frusciante Quit The Red Hot Chili Peppers Twice!

Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the reasons why guitarist John Frusciante quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Check it out below!

What’s going on my fellow rock n’ rollers.Don’t  forget to hit the bell notification icon to be
notified every time i pout out a new video on my  channel. By 1992 The Red hot Chili Peppers had
already gone through several guitarists including  Jack Sherman ( Hillel Slovack and of course their
current guitarist John Frusciante whose had three  tenures with the band starting in 1988 to 1992,
1998 to 2009 and most recently when  he rejoined the band late last year..
Frusciante became a member of the Chili  Peppers following the death of guitarist
Hillel Slovack in 1988 who passed away  because of a drug overdose. Up until this
point the chili peppers were relegated to  being an LA Club band who hadn’t had their
huge big break yet. Frusciante appeared  to be the missing piece the band needed
to reach the next level of their career.  Frusciante was a well studied musician
who provided a stark contrast to the current  band’s members. He was the son of a juliard
trained pianist and he studied guitar and showed  a lot of potential by the time he was a teenager.
Frusciante had no prior experience playing  in a band before joining the Chili Peppers,
but that didn’t matter as he was soon attracting  the attention of other musicians as well.
He even auditioned for Frank Zappa, but  as he put it, it was an easy decision
for him to join the Chili Peppers  telling the Guitar Player in 1997
they let him“be a rock star, do drugs and get  girls,” while Frank Zappa expected clean behavior.
Frusciante counted himself huge a fan of the  band prior to joining the group and he had
already befriended Flea. It was Flea who  would ask the guitarist to join the band
following Slovak’s death. He was only  18 when he joined the band. His darker,
metal influenced and more straight forward  rock sound can be heard on the band’s 1989
record Mother’s Milk,which represented his  debut with the group but it really came to
the forefront on their 1991 album Blood  Sugar Sex Magik, their breakout record.
Flea would highlight the guitar’s musical  knowledge and what he brought to the band telling
author Jeff Apter for his 2004 book, Fornication:  The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story saying
“Fruiscante was a really talented and  knowledgeable musician. He knows all the
shit I don’t know. I basically know nothing about  music theory and he’s studied it to death, inside
and out. He’s a very disciplined musician—all he  cares about are his guitar and his cigarettes.”
The tour to support the groups 1991 album soon  became a whose who of alternative rock with
opening acts for the Chili Peppers including  Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins
all of whom would soon be headlining their  own tours and selling millions of records
while altering the landscape of rock n’ roll.
And never one to be a fan of the limelight,  Frusciante became increasingly weary of the
band’s new found fame following the massive  success of their Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
What attracted Frusciante to the band initially  was the gritty nature of their live shows with
the guitarist remembering “The audience  felt no different from the band at all.”
But the band were now touring big arenas, and  that intimacy he initially loved was gone.
That transition from clubs to arenas to  stadiums was too much for the guitarist to handl
as he would tell NY Rock “it was too high, too  far, too soon. Everything happened or better
everything seemed to be happenedat once and  I just couldn’t cope with it.” he’d remember
Vocalist Anthony Kiedis saw the  change in Frusciante’s attitude
explaining in his 2004 autobiography, Scar Tissue,
“John would say, ‘We’re too popular. I  don’t need to be at this level of success.
I would just be proud to be playing this music  in clubs like you guys were doing two years ago.”
Only adding to the tension was the  escalating drug use within the band
and the fact that Frusciante developed  a drug habit And Keidis would remember
“Things deteriorated to the point where  John and I didn’t talk on the bus,
and if we ran into each other in passing,  we wouldn’t even acknowledge each other.”
It was that attitude and tension that would  be front and center during the band’s tour
to support the record and the best example was  the band’s performance on Saturday Night Live.
The band’s final months with Frusciante were a  mess especially when it came to their live shows.
Frusciante often seemed to be on another  planet and would frequently alter the way he
played certain songs, which angered his bandmates.  Saturday night live was a perfect example of this.
The band appeared as musical guests on February  22, 1992 Saturday Night Live. In the lead up to
the performance Frusciante was already in a  sour mood. He almost got into a fight with a
crew member backstage and was angry that Madonna  who was on the set that night had ignored him.
He didn’t hang out with the band for most of the  night and kept to himself. The band performed
two songs including Stone Cold Bush from Mother’s  Milk and then their big hit Under the Bridge from
their current album at the time. The first song  went reasonably well with the exception of one
moment when Kiedis can be seeing kicking Frusciane  who seemed to lack any enthusiasm on stage. It’s
possible that the kick was intentional and led  to what came next when they performed under the
bridge. In his biography Keidis admits that under  the bridge is a difficult song for him to sing
live and that he relies heavily on Frusciante  to cue him in and to provide vocal harmonies.
Keidis was nervous as to what would happen live  on the air. And he was right to be nervous.
As Frusciante started the song it  was obvious things wouldn’t go well
as he played out of place chords and  confused the frontman. Perhaps the
most surprising part of the performance was  when Frusciante provided background vocals
providing a loud howl instead of the  actual lyrics as you can see here.
And throughout the performance you can tell by  Anthony’s body language that he wasn’t impressed.
Kiedis would recall that tension  in his autobiography saying
“I had no idea what song he was playing  or what key he was in. He looked like he
was in a different world. We were on live TV in  front of millions of people, and it was torture.
I started to sing in what I thought was the key,  even if it wasn’t the key he was playing in.
I felt like I was getting stabbed in the  back and hung out to dry in front of all
of America while this guy was off in  a corner in the shadow, playing some
dissonant out-of-tune experiment. I thought he  was doing that on purpose, just to f with me.”
In May of 92 the band were playing dates in Japan  and Frusciante had mostly isolated himself from
the group staying put in his hotel room  with his then girlfriend. . On May 7,
before a scheduled show in Tokyo Frusciante  informed the band’s manager that he was done.
The band was able to convince him to play the  scheduled show that night which they referred
to as one of their worst shows of their  career. The following day he was gone. The
band was scheduled to appear on the front cover  of Rolling Stone Magazine the following month,
something, which they had shot months before  Frusciante’s departure. Since the issue hadn’t
hit newsstands, the magazine had to digitally  remove the guitarist as you can see here.
In the piece rolling stone ran in june of 1992  they described the scene of the band members when
they learned that Frusciante was leaving saying Kiedis was on the phone in his hotel room,
talking to a reporter in New Zealand, when Flea  came in and dropped the bomb. “Flea looked at me
with this completely puzzled and surreal, sad  face,” Kiedis says a few days later. “He said,
‘John wants to quit the band and go home  right now.’ It stunned me and it shattered
me because things had been going so well.” When the whole band sat down to talk it out,
it was apparent that the guitarist was not  playing mind games. “I could tell by the
look in his eye that he was really serious,”  Kiedis says. “He said: ‘I can’t stay in the
band anymore. I’ve reached a state where  I can’t do justice to what we’ve created,
because of stress and fatigue. I can’t give  what it takes to be in this band anymore.’ “
Things only got worse from that point onwards  for the guitarist as he would become hold up
in his Hollywood home where he found solace  in drugs, writing new music and painting.
And the next half a decade would result  in Frusciante almost losing his life.
But thankfully by 1998 Frusciante would  clean up his at and rejoin the Chili Peppers.
And since his departure, the band would put  out 1995’s one hot minute which was not well
received by critics or fans and resulted in  the firing of stand in guitarist Dave Navarro.
the return of Frusciante brought the  band to the forefront of rock n’ roll
with their hit albums, 1999’s Californication.  2002’s By the Way and 2006’s stadium Arcadium.
By 2009 Frusciante would leave the group once  again being replaced by touring guitarist Josh
Klinghoffer. Frusciante would pursue a solo  career and his musical group kimono kult.
But this time around his departure didn’t  appear to be related to drugs or drama
as Frusciante put out a statement saying “I really love the band and what we did,”
“Over the last 12 years, I have  changed, as a person and artist,
to such a degree that to do further  work along the lines I did with the
band would be to go against my own  nature. There was no choice involved
in this decision. I simply have to be what I  am, and have to do what I must do.” he’d say
In December of 2019 it appeared that Frusciante  would rejoin the band and was scheduled to tour
with them this summer but sadly that didn’t  happen because of the situation around were in
right now.Thanks for watching guys let me know  your thoughts in the comments section below.
And as always if you have suggestions  for future topics let me know. Take care.