Guitarist John Frusciante rejoins the Red Hot Chili Peppers after 10 years following Josh Klinghoffer's departure
The long-loved prodigal son has returned. In an Instagram post on December 15 afternoon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers revealed that their guitarist of 10 years, Josh Klinghoffer, would be leaving the band, and longtime lead guitarist (and fan favorite) John Frusciante would be returning to the fold.
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers announce that we are parting ways with our guitarist of the past ten years, Josh Klinghoffer,” the post on the band's Instagram stated. “Josh is a beautiful musician who we respect and love. We are deeply grateful for our time with him, and the countless gifts he shared with us. We also announce, with great excitement and full hearts, that John Frusciante is rejoining the group. Thank you.”
This will mark the third time that Frusciante will reunite with longtime bandmates Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Flea (bass) and Chad Smith (drums) of RHCP. He joined the band after their guitarist Hillel Slovak tragically died from a heroin overdose in 1988. Frusciante first played on the 'Mother’s Milk' LP in 1989 and then on their breakout hit album 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' in 1991, which launched the Red Hot Chili Peppers into the public eye and on the road to mainstream success. But by then, the hype and popularity the band was attracting proved too much to handle for the famously reticent, brooding and sensitive guitar artiste - Frusciante decided to quit the band while they were touring in support of the album in 1992. He was replaced by Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction fame.
The overwhelmed Frusciante then proceeded to become a heroin-addicted recluse, during which time he released his solo albums: the underrated 'Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt' (1994) and 'Smile from the Streets You Hold' (1997). In 1998, he reunited with the Red Hot Chili Peppers after dropping the problematic drug habits and this new clean, creative phase of Frusciante's helped propel the band on to their current incarnation of stadium rock icons.
Their next three albums were hugely successful with fans - 1999's 'Californication', 2002’s 'By the Way' and 2006’s 'Stadium Arcadium' cemented Frusciante's worldwide status as a musical shaman and freewheeling guitar legend. The Red Hot Chili Peppers mutually agreed to an indefinite hiatus in 2008, citing fatigue from constant touring.
Frusciante then quit the group for the second time in 2009 and was replaced by their longtime backup touring guitarist, Klinghoffer. The band would release two albums with Klinghoffer, 2011’s 'I’m With You' and 2016’s 'The Getaway' before parting ways with him and welcoming Frusciante back into the mix. Have a look at one of Klinghoffer's last live performances with the band below:
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently slated to play two shows in 2020 - Gulf Shores, Alabama’s Hangout Festival on May 15th and the Boston Calling festival on May 24th. With the news spreading that guitar god Frusciante is back, those dates are sure to be sold out soon. Get your tickets while you can!