Return of Frusciante and new-found popularity (1998

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Posted on Fri, 11/07/2014 - 3:01pm
by John MacMillan

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In the years following his departure from the band, it became public that John Frusciante had developed a heroin addiction, which left him in poverty and near death. Frusciante had lost contact with most of his friends. However, Flea always remained in contact, and he helped talk Frusciante into admitting himself to Las Encinas Drug Rehabilitation Center in January 1998. He concluded the process in February of that year and began renting a small apartment in Silver Lake. He acquired many injuries and problems in the years of his addiction, some requiring surgery, including permanent scarring on his arms, a restructured nose, and new teeth to prevent fatal infection.

After Navarro's departure in early 1998, Red Hot Chili Peppers were on the verge of breaking up. Flea told Kiedis, "the only way I could imagine carrying on [with Red Hot Chili Peppers] is if we got John back in the band." Kiedis was surprised and thought there was no way Frusciante would ever want to work with him as the two still had unresolved personal problems from when Frusciante quit in 1992. With Frusciante free of his addictions and ailments, Kiedis and Flea thought it was an appropriate time to invite him back. In April 1998, when Flea visited him at his home and asked him to rejoin the band, Frusciante began sobbing and said "nothing would make me happier in the world." Flea decided to contact Anthony and have him meet with John to try and resolve any personal problems that the two might have had. Flea was relieved to find out that both had no bad blood towards each other and were once again excited to make music together. Within the week and, for the first time in six years, the reunited foursome jump-started the newly reunited Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis said of the situation:

Despite the band's elation, Frusciante was both mentally and physically torn. Frusciante had not played with the band since his departure and other than his solo albums had not picked up a guitar in years. He had lost his guitars in a house fire from which he barely escaped, and experienced a difficult time resuming his prior life. The group began jamming in Flea's garage and it didn't take long for Frusciante to regain his talent, however, and new songs began to roll out. Frusciante's return restored a key component of the Chili Peppers' sound, as well as a healthy morale. He brought with him his deep devotion to music, which had an impact on the band's recording style during the sessions which produced their next album. Frusciante has frequently stated that his work on Californication was his favorite. On June 8, 1999, after more than a year of production and meticulous practice, Californication was released as the band's seventh studio album. The album ultimately sold over 15 million copies and became the band's most successful recording to date. Californication contained fewer rap-driven songs than its predecessors, instead integrating textured, consistent, and melodic guitar riffs, vocals and bass-lines. The record produced three more number one modern rock hits, "Scar Tissue", "Otherside" and "Californication". Californication gained positive critical acceptance in contrast to its less popular predecessor, One Hot Minute, and was a greater success worldwide. While many critics credited the success of the album to Frusciante's return, they also noted that Kiedis' vocals had also greatly improved. It was later listed at number 399 on the Rolling Stone magazine list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In July 1999, as part of the band's two-year long international world tour in support of their new album, Red Hot Chili Peppers played at Woodstock 1999, which became infamous for the violence that resulted. Some 10 minutes before the show, they were asked by Jimi Hendrix's stepsister to play a cover of her brother's songs. After some hesitation due to not having performed the song in years, the band decided to play his classic "Fire", which they had covered on Mother's Milk. Coincidentally, about two thirds of the way into the band's set, the closing set of the three-day concert, a small fire escalated into full-fledged vandalism and resulted in the intervention of riot control squads. The disruption escalated into violence when nearby property including ATMs and several semi-tractor trailers were looted and destroyed. Kiedis felt that "It was clear that this situation had nothing to do with Woodstock anymore. It wasn't symbolic of peace and love, but of greed and cashing in ... We woke up to papers and radio stations vilifying us for playing 'Fire'." The tour also originated the band's first concert DVD, 2001's Off the Map.

 

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Red Hot Chili Peppers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hot_Chili_Peppers

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