Red Hot Chili Peppers are a funk rock band that is based in Hollywood, California and was formed in 1983, in Los Angeles, California. Since 1998, the band has consisted of founding members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Michael "Flea" Balzary (bass) along with longtime members John Frusciante (guitar) and Chad Smith (drums).
The band initially formed for a once-off support act for a friend's band, calling themselves Tony Flow And The Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem. Upon renaming themselves Red Hot Chili Peppers, they played a handful of small club venues in Los Angeles in 1983, before they were signed to EMI Records.
Vocal: Anthony Kiedis (1983-present).
Guitar: John Frusciante (1998-present).
Bass: Michael Peter "Flea" Balzary (1983-present).
Drums: Chad Smith, (1988-present).
Notable guitarists (in chronological order):
Hillel Slovak (1983-1984),
Jack Sherman (1984),
Hillel Slovak (1985-1988),
John Frusciante (1988-1992),
Arik Marshall (1992-1993),
Jesse Tobias (1993)
Dave Navarro (1993-1998)
Notable drummers (in chronological order):
Jack Irons (1983-1984),
Cliff Martinez (1984-1987),
Jack Irons (1987-1988),
D.H. Peligro (1988),
The Chili Peppers' original guitarist, Slovak, was replaced in 1984 by Jack Sherman, while Slovak and Irons recorded music with their band at the time, What Is This? Upon Slovak's return, Sherman was fired from the band.
Following Slovak's death of a heroin overdose, a young John Frusciante took over as guitarist in 1988. Frusciante, however, quit the band in 1992 due in part to his sadness at the band becoming so successful in such a short time; complex personal issues, involving an addiction to heroin, were also a factor. He was then replaced by Arik Marshall. Approximately a year later, Marshall left the band, to be replaced by former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.
After the release of 1995's One Hot Minute, Navarro's escalating drug habits became a subject of conflict. In 1998, Navarro was fired from the band, to be taken over by none other than former guitarist, Frusciante, who has remained in the band ever since.
Founder and guitarist Hillel Slovak did not actually appear on the self-titled debut album, despite performing and writing the content with the band prior to recording. He was replaced by Jack Sherman for the recording of the album, but returned to the band for second album, Freaky Styley. The third album, Uplift Mofo Party Plan, is in fact the only album to include all four founding members. After this, Slovak overdosed on heroin, and subsequently did not appear on future albums (Mother's Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik - on which Frusciante provides guitars, One Hot Minute - Navarro, Californication and By the Way - Frusciante) Frusciante is also on their latest release Stadium Arcadium.
Bassist flea claims to have nearly quit following the tour for 2002 album By the Way due to feeling sidelined following Frusciante's development as a guitarist. Flea has been quoted as saying that the issue has now been resolved. Flea is also the only member to have been in the band perpetually as Anthony was kicked out for a short time in 1984 due to his drug problems.
Frusciante has also been making solo albums for a number of years. His new album with the band Ataxia came out May 29 2007, and is titled Automatic Writing II.
In 2003 Flea played bass on The Mars Volta's album Deloused In The Comatorium. Frusciante added guitar to tracks on Deloused and 2005's Frances The Mute. He also played rhythm guitar on The Mars Volta's Amputechture. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez, guitarist for The Mars Volta, appeared on Stadium Arcadium, playing the solo on "Especially In Michigan".
Through the years, Kiedis' lyrics have dealt with a variety of topics, which have shifted as time has progressed. Themes within his expansive repertoire include love and friendship, teenage angst and good-time aggression, various sexual topics and the link between sex and music, political and social commentary (Native American issues in particular), romance, drugs, loneliness, globalization and the cons of fame and Hollywood, poverty, alcohol, and dealing with death.