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Formed in the wake of the L.A. punk scene, the Red Hot Chili Peppers combined funk and punk with macho, sexed-up lyrics. (One early track was called "Party on Your Pussy"). The result was a high-octane sound that made the quintet alt-rock favorites in the Eighties, then superstars in the Nineties. But as the Chili Peppers aged, their songs became more laid-back and lyrical, and the band went from flesh-baring firecrackers (a 1992 Rolling Stone cover featured them naked) to respected veterans.

After meeting at L.A.'s Fairfax High School, singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak, and drummer Jack Irons formed Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem before changing their name to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They became a popular attraction up and down the L.A. strip, though the early lineup was short-lived as Irons and the Israeli-born Slovak departed to form What Is This? Kiedis and Flea recruited guitarist Jack Sherman and drummer Cliff Martinez prior to releasing their eponymous debut in 1984. The album stiffed; Slovak returned, and the band took to the road, sometimes appearing onstage wearing only strategically placed tube socks.

The funk-heavy Freaky Styley (1985), the last album featuring Martinez on drums, was produced by P-Funk's George Clinton and featured appearances by funk horn players Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. The record went largely unnoticed at the time. Irons returned to the band in time for the more rock-oriented The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (Number 148, 1987), which sold better than its predecessor. Any optimism was shattered by the 1988 death of Slovak from a heroin overdose. Disturbed by Slovak's death and Kiedis' own heroin problem, Irons quit the band a second time. An interim band with P-Funk guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight and Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro did not take hold. Kiedis recruited a Chili Peppers fan, guitarist John Frusciante, and auditions brought drummer Chad Smith. This version of the band recorded Mother's Milk (Number 52, 1989). With videos for "Knock Me Down" and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" on MTV, it looked like the Peppers were about to break through.

The band's lifestyle came under some attack, though, with Kiedis convicted in 1989 of indecent exposure and sexual battery in an incident following a concert in Virginia. The next year during a taping of an MTV Spring Break special in Florida, Flea and Smith jumped offstage, with Flea grabbing a woman and carrying her on his shoulders, and Smith spanking her. The two were charged, and Flea was found guilty of battery, disorderly conduct, and solicitation to commit an unnatural and lascivious act. Smith was found guilty of battery.

The Chili Peppers scored their first major hit in 1991 with BloodSugarSexMagik (Number 3), which featured the single "Under the Bridge" (Number Two) and "Give It Away" (Number 73). Produced by Rick Rubin, the record was written and recorded in a mansion the band claimed was haunted. It sold more than 4 million copies, leading to their headlining Lollapalooza in 1992. Just prior to the tour, John Frusciante left the band and was replaced by Arik Marshall. Marshall lasted only a year and, after many auditions and one false start with Jesse Tobias, was replaced by former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. The 1995 release One Hot Minute (Number Four) went platinum but failed to generate the unparalleled excitement of BloodSugarSexMagik, precipitating a fallow phase in the band's career. Flea joined Navarro for a 1997 reunion tour of Jane's Addiction, and Navarro and Kiedis slipped back into old drug habits. Navarro quit the group in 1998 to pursue solo ambitions, casting the future of the band in doubt.

Instead of breaking up, however, the Chili Peppers invited Frusciante to return, the guitarist having recovered from a severe drug addiction. The subsequent album, Californication (Number Three, 1999), was a commercial and critical triumph. The Chili Peppers were back on top with hit singles "Scar Tissue" (Number Nine) and "Otherside" (Number 14) and a major tour that included a fateful show at Woodstock '99, where the group had the dubious distinction of performing as a fiery melee erupted.

By The Way (Number Two) was released in 2002 and found Frusciante digging into the complexities of multi-tonal, layered guitar tracking. In 2006, the ambitious double album Stadium Arcadium (Number One) was the first Chili Peppers' record to top the charts and earned the band Grammys for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song ("Dani California," Number Six), Best Rock Performance By a Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best Producer (Rick Rubin).

But for the occasional live appearance, the Chili Peppers spent the next two years on hiatus as Frusciante — with the occasional help from Flea — and Smith embarked on solo careers. Frusciante announced in late 2009 that he was leaving the band a second time to focus on other projects. Credit: Rolling Stone

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Comments

balwin294

Their song is still rockin until today. Love all their music and the way they party. gw2 gold

balwin294 , 12 months ago

Added and shared!!!!

Monica Young , 12 months ago

Too late for contest?

Ben Gonzales , 12 months ago

i wish i could go! why do I live so far away?!

Maureen Ooro , about 1 year ago
emailnatalie

Love Love Love growing up with RHCP!!! Best music ever!!!

emailnatalie , about 1 year ago

Hoping!

Pamela Cveticanin , about 1 year ago

Hoping!

Pamela Cveticanin , about 1 year ago
angie.ishak

Fingers Crossed!!! :)

angie.ishak , about 1 year ago

Done! I can't wait to see you! Got to love living near MI fest!

Andrea Suzanne Moore , about 1 year ago

I love love love RHCP. Their music speaks directly to my soul. Fingers crossed!

JeffandBecca Hodge , about 1 year ago

RHCP till i die!!!

Roberto Levario , about 1 year ago
kk69

I better win

kk69 , about 1 year ago
jazmin.garcia93

I was so bummed out when i didn't meet Josh a couple of weeks ago.Anyhow I would like to see them play again. They're my favorite band ever!!

jazmin.garcia93 , about 1 year ago

<3

Honeybee Meadow , about 1 year ago

I can't wait!

Alison Rodriguez-Kelley , about 1 year ago
hihikelkel

Hoping to win the contest. It will be a nice weekend to spend with my best friend before we travel separate ways.

hihikelkel , about 1 year ago
leslie_rae

My top 2 favorite bands in the world: The Red Hot Chili Peppers & Metallica. My 30th Birthday is on JUNE 9th... it just makes sense that I am there for this...!! :)

leslie_rae , about 1 year ago
jennaalittle

Can't wait to see them for the FIRST TIME!!!! :D :D :D

jennaalittle , about 1 year ago
skorycki

I first saw RHCP at Lollapalooza 1992. They were the last act at the World in Chicago, on a rainy day. My friend and I were on the lawn and idiots in the crowd thought hurling chunks of sod through the air at people would be fun. I ended up watching them from a side lot wet, really dirty and a lifelong fan. I took my 17 year old son to the concert last year. I still love the RHCP and my son is playing their music on guitar.

skorycki , about 1 year ago

Fingers crossed!!!!!

Katie Crawford , about 1 year ago

I would looove to win! Does anyone know if someone has won the contest?

Tashia Norton , about 1 year ago

Hope to win! Wanna go bad!

Kelly Harle , about 1 year ago
trinaforgione

Peppers for life!!!!

trinaforgione , about 1 year ago
trinaforgione

I flew from new York to see u guys! And I saved every dime to go before my dental boards cuz seeing what u guys have overcome with situations and always rose to the top makes me Believe I will too but it's not easy and knock me down is my all time favorite because it's the way it is . Thank you for being the unstoppable band u r and for stayin together and also taping live at slain castle! My wedding song is... Well was from stadium Arcadium song #4 disc 2 .... I hope someone in ur entourage tells u that. Or u get to read this cuz ibL

trinaforgione , about 1 year ago
trinaforgione

I saw peppers in Hollywood, California at the music box and it wassssssss FOSHO the best night ever!!!! I threw my silver bracelet on stage and Kiedis picked it up and put it on! The music they produce is timeless!!!!

trinaforgione , about 1 year ago

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