During a recent interview with Broken Record, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante talked about how he auditioned for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Frusciante mentioned that Flea initially suggested he should join another band instead of RHCP.
The members of RHCP were struggling with their substance addiction, which caused conflicts among the band members, especially in terms of communication problems. As Hillel Slovak’s condition relapsed in time, they began to have difficulties continuing the band’s shows.
Although Slovak tried to get rid of his addiction many times, he worsened because withdrawal from heroin made him unstable on tour promoting the album ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan.’ As a result, Dewayne McKnight continued the performances replacing Slovak.
Even though Slovak returned to complete the tour, his condition deteriorated. When they came back from the road, Slovak passed away from an overdose on June 25, 1988. After this incident, Dewayne McKnight, also known as Blackbyrd, continued as the band’s guitarist for a short period.
After McKnight had failed to connect musically within the group, Frusciante started working with them and first appeared in the band’s album ‘Mother’s Milk.’ He left the band two times because of addiction and health problems until he became part of the band again for the recently released album entitled ‘Unlimited Love.’
In a recent interview, John Frusciante recalled the times when he was accepted as the guitarist of RHCP. He mentioned that although Flea wanted him to be in the band, he did not call Frusciante for a while because he would feel guilty about BlackByrd’s leaving. Frusciante stated that Flea recommended him to go for the audition of Thelonious Monster. He indicated that Thelonious Monster hired him, but Flea and Anthony called Frusciante, saying they decided to work with him.
Frusciante said how he auditioned for Thelonious Monster as follows:
“For Flea, he was feeling definitely a lot of guilt about the idea of getting rid of Blackbyrd. So I guess, even though I guess I won that contest, or whatever, a couple of weeks went by, and nothing more happened. And then, one day, Flea gives me a call. And he tells me Bob Forrest from Thelonious Monster is looking for guitar players, and things aren’t going super well with Blackbyrd.
But he’s like, I’m not sure where that’s going with Blackbyrd or if it’s working out. And so I told Bob he could have your number. But I also told him that I have first dibs on this guy. If we decide we want them in the Chili Peppers, I’ve got first dibs, and you can’t be angry if I take him.”
“So I talked to Bob, I go down to the Thelonious Monster rehearsal, and I auditioned for them, and they hired me right away. But the thing about that rehearsal was that Anthony Kiedis was there at that rehearsal and Flea and he must have talked. Flea was like, ‘You should go check this guy out.’ And so Anthony was watching the whole time.
So I auditioned, and they hired me. Then Anthony left there and went to Flea. And then they both called me up at like six o’clock in the evening. And they were like, ‘We’ve been talking a lot about it, and we’ve decided we’d like you to be the guitarist to the Chili Peppers. Is this what you want?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I want this more than anything in the world.'”
You can listen to the entire conversation below.