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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Carlos Alvarez, Getty Images

You probably know that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had more guitarists than Guitar Center has guitars, but did you know that they recorded one of their best albums in a haunted house? It’s one of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Their first show consisted of Anthony Kiedis reciting a poem over music made up on the spot

 
 

Performing as Tony Flow and the Majestic Masters of Mayhem, an early version of the Peppers played their first show made up of improvisational music and frontman Kiedis reading a poem called 'Out in L.A.'

 
Drive

One of their early drummers scored the movies ‘Traffic’ and ‘Drive’

 
 

During their rocky formative years, Anthony Kiedis and Flea had a hard time keeping permanent members. One of their drummers was Cliff Martinez, who'd go on to compose the soundtracks to movies like 'Drive.'

 
Gang of Four

Their first album was produced by a member of post-punk icons Gang of Four

 
 

The Peppers' self-titled first album from 1984 was produced by Andy Gill, the guitarist for post-punk pioneers Gang of Four, whose 1979 debut 'Entertainment!' is one of the all-time essentials.

 
Chris Weeks, Getty Images
Chris Weeks, Getty Images

Their second album was produced by P-Funk mastermind George Clinton

 
 

'Freaky Styley' was produced by the funk pioneer who's led P-Funk through four decades of slippery-grooved R&B. He was there when the Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

 
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Almost half of the budget for their third album was reserved for drugs

 
 

In 1986, the Peppers' record company gave them $5,000 to make a new record. They spent $2,000 of it on heroin and cocaine, which was becoming a huge problem for original guitarist Hillel Slovak.

 
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Anthony Kiedis and Flea were in a side group called Three Little Butt Hairs

 
 

The Peppers' two mainstays once played in a joke band called Three Little Butt Hairs with D.H. Peligro, who filled in on drums with the Peppers during the period following Hillel Slovak's overdose and death.

 
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

They recorded their breakthrough album in a haunted mansion

 
 

'Blood Sugar Sex Magik,' their hit 1991 album, was recorded in a mansion once owned by magician Harry Houdini and rumored to be haunted. 'Magik' producer Rick Rubin has since made it into his home studio.

 
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Dave Navarro’s first gig as a Chili Pepper was at Woodstock ‘94

 
 

Following guitarist John Frusciante's departure, Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro joined the band. His debut performance with them was at Woodstock '94, where they sported giant light-bulb heads.

 
ChinaFotoPress, Getty Images
ChinaFotoPress, Getty Images

Their only concert in 1997 was cut short by a typhoon

 
 

Various drug addictions had once again crippled the Peppers in the mid '90s, to the point where they scheduled only one concert in 1997: at the Fuji Rock Festival. They played eight songs before a typhoon hit.

 
Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium

Their only No. 1 album was supposed to be three separate records

 
 

In 2006, the Peppers recorded 38 songs that were supposed to spread out over three albums to be released six months apart. They decided to make the No. 1 'Stadium Arcadium' a double record instead.

 

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