It's probably not a coincidence that the first time John Frusciante quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers was right before "Soul To Squeeze" -- from The Coneheads soundtrack -- dropped as a single. While the Chili Peppers were riding high on Blood Sugar Sex Magik's critical and commercial success, they decided to release a song that features one of the most sonically offensive Anthony Kiedis scat stanzas: "Doo doo doo doo dingle zing a dong bone... Ba-di ba-da ba-zumba crunga cong gone bad." We can picture a frustrated Frusciante saying "Fuck this, I'm out." Before Kiedis even got to "zing a dong bone."
The Chili Peppers' career has been fraught with ups and downs. Needless to say, the saddest moment in their career was the death of wunderkind guitarist Hillel Slovak. Luckily, they found another special genius from outer space in Frusciante. Flea has been funky monks' most prominent virtuoso, but Frusciante's harmonies and sweet guitar playing helped distract from Kiedis's erratic vocal stylings. Frusciante's fill-in, Dave Navarro, made Kiedis's vocal weaknesses all the more obvious. As we prep for their January 20 show at the BankAtlantic Center, we can't help but think of the band's other highs and lows.
High Point: "Freaky Styley"
1985's hot funky mess was produced by George Clinton. Listen to this if you want to hear the young Peppers in their musical and sexual prime.
Low Point: Dave Navarro
Navarro seemed like a perfect fit for RHCP. Hailing straight out of Jane's Addiction, we originally thought his addition would be like throwing gasoline onto a bonfire. Sadly, he acted more like an aeroplane spilling buckets of lukewarm water onto the Red Hot wildfire.
High Point/Low Point: John Frusciante Not Giving A Damn
Check out this clip from SNL in 1992. Frusciante goes above and beyond to make this song radically different than the studio version and a challenge for Kiedis to sing. His guitar work is wild and his backing vocals during the bridge are an obvious insult to the band.
High Point - The Return Of John Frusciante
This performance of "Scar Tissue" erases all memories of the Navarro era. Frusciante's melodies are angelic, in turn Keidis never sounded better. Too bad he left again.
High Point: "Give It Away" On The 1993 MTV Awards
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Kiedis happens to love the ocean and rapping. But, outside of "Give It Away," any time he raps - or scats, or attempts spoken word - we cringe.
Red Hot Chili Peppers. 8 p.m. Friday, January 20 at BankAtlantic
Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. Tickets cost $39 to $59, and go on
sale at 10 a.m. December 10 (presale begins December 8 at 10 a.m.).