Red Hot Chili Peppers Wallpaper
Few rock groups of the '80s broke down as many musical barriers and were as original as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Creating an intoxicating new musical style by combining funk and punk rock together (with an explosive stage show, to boot), the Chili Peppe
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The roots of the band lay in a friendship forged by three school chums, Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary, and Hillel Slovak, while they attended Fairfax High School in California back in the late '70s/early '80s. While Balzary and Slovak showed great musical promise (on trumpet and guitar, respectively), Kiedis focused on poetry and acting during his high school career. During this time, Slovak taught Balzary how to play bass, while the duo encouraged Kiedis to start putting his poetry to music, which he soon did. Influenced heavily by the burgeoning L.A. punk scene (the Germs, Black Flag, Fear, Minutemen, X, etc.) as well as funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly the Family Stone, etc.), the trio began to rehearse with another friend, drummer Jack Irons, leading to the formation of Tony Flow the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem, a group that played strip bars along the sunset strip during the early '80s. It was during this time that the quartet honed their sound and live act (as they stumbled across a stage gimmick that would soon become their trademark -- performing on-stage completely naked, except for a tube sock covering a certain part of their anatomy). By 1983, Balzary had begun to go by the name "Flea," and the group changed their name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Word spread quickly about the up-and-coming band, resulting in a recording contract with EMI. But before the Chili Peppers could begin work on their debut, Flea and Kiedis were dealt a disappointing blow when both Slovak and Irons announced that they were leaving to focus more on another band they were in, What Is This. With replacement members Jack Sherman (guitar) and Cliff Martinez (drums) filling in, the Peppers released their self-titled debut in 1984. But the absence of the two original members showed, as the album failed to capture the excitement of their live show. While the album didn't set the world on fire sales-wise, the group began to build a dedicated underground following with college radio buffs. By 1985, What Is This was kaput (after issuing a single self-titled album), as Slovak and Irons returned back to the Peppers, resulting in the George Clinton-produced Freaky Styley. While the album was an improvement over its predecessor, it still lacked the fire of the band's in-concert experience, a problem that would finally be solved with their next album, 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. The album was the group's first to make an impression on the charts, and they followed it up a year later with stopgap five-track release, The Abbey Road EP, in 1988. But just as the world was warming up to the Peppers, tragedy struck when Slovak died from a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988.
In the wake of Slovak's death, Irons left the group for the second and final time, while Kiedis (who was also battling drug addiction at the time) and Flea decided to soldier on. After a new lineup consisting of former Parliament guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight and former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro didn't work out, the duo found worthy replacements in newcomers John Frusciante and Chad Smith. The new-look Chili Peppers hit pay dirt straight away, as their first album together, 1989's Mother's Milk, became a surprise hit due to MTV's exposure of their videos for a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" and a song about their fallen friend Slovak, "Knock Me Down," as the album was certified gold by early 1990. The group knew that their next release would be the most important one of their career, so they moved into a mansion-turned-recording studio with producer Rick Rubin to work on what would become their most successful release yet, the stripped-down Blood Sugar Sex Magik (their first for the Warner Bros. label). The album became a monster hit upon its September 1991 release (going on to eventually sell a staggering seven million copies in the U.S. alone), as it spawned such hits as "Give It Away" and the group's first Top Ten single, "Under the Bridge."