So drugged up they couldn't even spell their name right...
Question: What do you do when you're a childhood actor, but your dad gets too jealous of your success?
Kiedis: DRUGS!!! Also, boning my dad's girlfriends.
John Kiedis, Anthony's drug-dealer/actor father actually provided his own eighteen-year-old girlfriend Kimberley for his young son to pop his cherry with. Now that, along with the excessive drug intake, is parenting. Did I mention that Kiedis once broke his back partaking in his non-drug hobby - jumping off of apartment buildings into pools up to five stories below (hint: he missed the pool)?
Eventually, Kiedis would begin hanging around the punk scene in downtown L.A, leading to the discovery of his amazing vocal 'talent' whilst filling in for his high school chum's band, at some dive bar or other.
His fellow bandmates thought he was the bomb (presumably) and kept him full time despite three crucial facts:
He can't rap.
He can't dance.
And he can't sing.
Seriously, Kiedis' usual delivery makes him sound like he's a smurf on Quaaludes deep-throating a sock full of marbles. I googled that phrase and came up with nothing, unsurprisingly.
Kiedis' two closest amigos at that time were Flea (Micheal Balzary) and Hillel Slovak, who just happened to be somewhat talented musicians (what luck!) so he hitched himself to their funktastic spaceship of funky sex, and they took off for Funk City USA - New York.
Not pictured: Star-shaped Bass and Pimp Hat.
Like the song says: 'if I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere'. And soon enough, the Chilis were offered a recording deal with those almighty purveyors of all that is funkadelic, EMI.
Their self-titled debut album was released in August 1984. As a direct result of their producer reigning in their carnal and narcotic appetites, the album is considered to be a bit rubbish by Kiedis and Flea (the only two members remaining from that original lineup). This is a fair assesment, really, as the album is shite.
The 'Chilis, determined not to make the same mistake twice, employed a producer who would let them take as many drugs and screw as many crack whores as they liked between takes: Enter George Clinton, former Funkship Commander of the funkingest band in the whole funking world - Parliament.
George Clinton: Doin' his funky thang since 1970.
'Freaky Styley' was recorded inbetween visits from irate coke dealers ( one dealer can be heard on the song 'Yertle The Turtle' as a payoff for him not shooting them) and tripped out druggie parties. The album confirmed what the Chili's suspected - on drugs, they made some pretty bitchin' tunes.
Afterwards The Chillis released 'The Uplift Mofo Party Plan' and dived headlong into crippling drug addictions. You know, the usual rock star shit... Except these guys were doing the usual rock star shit before they were rock stars. So the Chili's, as you would expect, turned up to 11. Then blew up the dial with a mortar full of gear.
Kiedis smoked his first spliff at eleven years old, when most other kids were too busy pretending to be the blonde one out of Charlie's Angels or thinking that boobs are disgusting.
To say that The Red Hot Chili Peppers like drugs is like saying Jesus was kind of a nice guy with a thing for sandals; these dudes are motherfucking experts in the narcotics field. If Morpheus offered them the choice between the red pill and the blue pill, they'd take them both. With a tab of acid and a shot of Jack for good measure.
On June 25th, 1988, guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin 'speedball' overdose. This tragic death caused Kiedis to temporarily flee LA calling the whole thing 'surreal and dream-like'. Jack Irons, the drummer, would quit RHCP altogether stating that he "didn't want to be in a band where friends were dying".
Eventually, The Chili's recruited Chad Smith (drums) and John Frusciante (guitar) to fill the vacant spots, and embarked on writing what would become their breakthrough album - 'Mother's Milk'.
Mother's Milk would eventually go gold.
The album cover featured the band cradled in a topless woman's embrace. Her nipples had to be hidden in later releases of the album because it was considered an obscenity. There is an irony in this, as the future single 'Around the World' features Kiedis performing various graphic sexual acts on a woman made of purple light - a video that can be seen uncensored on most music channels with regularity.
I blame the drugs for the haircut, by the way.
Produced by Rick Rubin (who had previously turned down the opportunity to work with the band), this is the full length with all the hits.
Give It Away is perhaps the most simultaneously awesome-yet-annoying song of all time. Lyrically, it orders you to 'give it' to your 'momma', 'poppa', and then - even more worryingly - your 'dog'. Just your everyday song about incest and bestiality, then.
Also: Drug-fuelled video.
Under The Bridge, consistently showing up in people's "favourite song ever" lists, is a cheery little ditty about being abandoned by everyone because you take fucktons of heroin.
Breaking The Girl is also about being abandoned by everyone because you take fucktons of heroin. Notice a theme there?
Also: Drug-fuelled Princess Leia impression.
Daunted by the prospect of actual success, John Frusciante would quit the band and get on with the serious business of becoming utterly dependant on heroin. Basically a continuation of the theme to a degree - he abandoned everyone and took a fuckton of heroin. Good times.
Enter this man:
"This is how many chicks I've fucked today! It would be more, but it's only 10AM!"
Let me get this clear out there: I hate Dave Navarro.
This is why:
"I'm really hot, but I have terrible taste in men, which means you have a slightly higher chance of boning me!"
Navarro (formerly, and then subsequently, of Jane's Addiction fame) managed to stick around for one album - One Hot Minute - before departing the Chili's camp. In a colossal 'What the fuck..?' moment, he was sacked for drug use, at a time when Kiedis himself had become dependant on both heroin and cocaine for the nth time. One of the druggiest bands in recent history actually sacked someone for taking too much drugs - scary thought. Still, this is the guy who once wrote Fiona Apple a message on her dressing room wall in his own blood, so we can assume he was pretty fucked up most of the time. Especially when you factor in what it was he wrote - "Fiona, have fun. Love, DN". Was there any reason whatsoever he couldn't have used a pen to get down that 'heartfelt' message?
Newly-reunited with a cleaned-up and surgically reconstructed John Frusciante (who had to have teeth replacements as a result of his herculean Heroin intake), the Chili's released what is widely held to be their finest album, Californication, on June 8th 1999. It would go on to sell 15 million albums worldwide - despite the fact that Kiedis still had a complete inability to sing on-key in a live setting.
The video for the title track would become one of the most played songs on MTV, and in all fairness it's a great tune, netting them several award nominations. Further singles 'Around The World', 'Otherside', 'Scar Tissue' and 'Road Trippin'' would also cement the Chili's superstar status, with the song 'Parallel Universe' breaking into the Top 40 modern rock chart without even being released as a commercial single.
The Chili's would play at the infamous Woodstock '99, where their cover of Hendrix' 'Fire' would lead to riot squads being called in as a result of people setting fire to things. Rock and roll!
Apparently, this is what happens if you listen to The Red Hot Chili Peppers at a music festival.
Californication was followed with 'By The Way' in 2002, showcasing RHCP's move away from their funk-rap-rock roots towards a more melodic sound. It also saw them tone their vulgarity down.
Still, however, Kiedis couldn't bloody sing.
At the climax of their tour in support of the album, the Chili's sold out London's Hyde Park for three consecutive nights - fans paid over 17 million dollars for the chance to see them, making the concert the largest selling one of 2004. That's 258,000 fans over three nights - or one fuckton of people grimacing every time Kiedis missed a note.
Scream for me LAHNDAHN!!!
Stadium Arcadium would be released in 2006, and see them reunited with uber-producer Rick Rubin. A double-album, it would see see the band move further from their drug-fuelled roots and see a new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, join them to help Frusciante play the often multiple guitar tracks on the new songs. They would win 5 Grammy's for the album, perform at Live 8 and also headline the prestigious Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, alongside the newly-reformed Smashing Pumpkins and the utterly execrable Razorlight.
"Hi! My name's Johnny Borrell, and I'm an enormous twat!"
Sorry, I can never resist taking a pop at those purveyors of utter bilge...
Anyway, after a hiatus, it was announced that the Chili's would be re-entering the studio in October 2009 to begin recording their tenth (!) album... without John Frusciante. What comes next, is anyone's guess... but I'm sure we can all point to one certainty at least:
Anthony Kiedis will still be a terrible singer.