05/1995 Bikini Magazine



Chili Pepper Dave Navarro and Arty go for the ride of someone else’s life.


by Arty Nelson photos by F. Scott Schafer



The Car: 1995 Porsche 911 Coupe. Sky Blue with custom built Ultima-Suprema-Deluxa Blaupunkt Stereo that fills the whole back seat and trunk.

Price: $61,000 and climbing steadily.

Stereo: Blaupunkt’s highest end. No one even knows how much the stereo would really cost.

The Driver: David Navarro, guitarist, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Terrain: Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to ‘Malibu. City streets in Santa Monica. A parking lot.

The following piece took place on a sunny Thursday in February. A guy named Gary gave us this car to drive. We leave with Dave speeding away.

Dave: Driving a Porsche! I’ve never driven a Porsche before….

Arty: This is such a rock star activity.

 Dave: But the parking brake’s on…Why don’t I take that off…All right so now we’re in the Porsche…It’s definitely got some nice pick up…It’s got a nice feel…My penis has grown 3 inches since we left!

Arty: Just since we’ve left?

Dave: Just since we’ve left! Arty: That’s huge.

Dave: I feel like such a schmuck in this thing.

Arty: Would you ever buy this car?

Dave: Fuck no…I would never buy this car. I don’t care about cars and I don’t care about stereos in cars. Can I get down to PCH this way? That’s what it’s all about…you realize that don’t you. Are you scared?

Arty: I’ve always been scared. It’s my nature to just be afraid of things.

Dave: So what do you wanna know about this…You’re so un:into this…Look at you.

Arty: We gotta test. We gotta ride…Easy…We gotta red still … Are you gonna make a right from the left lane?

Dave: Am I gonna make a right…I’m gonna go straight, right?

Arty: We can go down from there?

Dave: Can we? I don’t know where we’re going?

Arty: OK then….

Dave: Porsche, baby!

Arty: Yeah, this is strictly road test…You wanna make a right, I know that. How do you feel about the handling?

Dave: It handles amazing….

Arty: This car has some nice pick up, doesn’t it?

Dave: Goes where ever I want it to go. Arty: What about that stall? Should I feel the shame?

Dave: No….It happens…Fuck no

Arty: Should I collectively feel the shame?

We speed out.

Arty: Have you been playing music lately?

Dave: Yeah, I did a Joy Division cover with Chad Smith [of Peppers] and Michael Angelos [of Plexi]….

Arty: Just barely Michael Angelos?

Dave: Just barely Michael Angelos…The guy passed out on the floor of the studio….

Some Afghan Whigs is playing. The Blaupunkt suprema:deluxa sound system makes every note ring with Hendrix:like angst. We pull over to try and get the fin up.

Note to myself on tape: We’ve now pulled over…we’re trying to figure out how to pop the fin up. Dave’s stalled twice and we’re trying to figure out what’s going on.

Dave: Don’t make stalling comments while I’m out of the car.

Arty: I didn’t at all.

Dave: Then you have to mention about what a puss you are that you had to wait until I got out of the car to mention that.

Arty: I’d say that in front of you…I was gonna turn off the tape but I figured I’d give an update first.

Note to myself: We’re trying to figure out how to get down to the PCH so that we can truly live that Los Angeles Dream…Getting on to the Pacific Coast Highway in a racy sports car.

Dave: Why are you so bitter about this?

Arty; I’m not…What makes you think I’m bitter?

Now we break free from the pack with some 911 gusto.

Dave: This thing corners amazing…

Arty: We’re totally not listening to this stereo.

Dave: What’s the point? I mean basically all that means to me is that we’d want to get into a car accident…You know?

Arty: The volume like doesn’t even work…You know what I’ll do is get the literature on the stereo and I’ll just fictionalize the whole stereo aspect.

Dave: I mean, it sounds amazing…It looks amazing, you know. It’s just way too much stereo for me, personally.

Arty: It’s more stereo than you could ever want?

Dave: It’s more stereo than is in my home right now…You know?

Arty: You’re using a box at home, right now?

Dave: Yeah, like whatever…

Arty: Does it have neon?

Dave: Yeah, in there. (Dave points into the back seat which is filled with stereo out-lined in neon piping. Looks like a mini:rollercoaster at Magic Mountain]…It’s like great…Really impressive…Am I just so jaded, that the fact that I’m in this car…I just don’t care? Like it’s kind of a hassle. You know what I mean? This is like a big hassle.

Arty: It’s the only way you and I could get together for another interview.

Dave: The only way I was gonna do this was if you wrote it.

Arty: I love having that kind of power in the industry.

Dave: Well, you do…So now you can cancel out that stalling thing you said before…

Arty: We never stalled? We never wanted to stall.

Dave: The car fit him like a glove’.

Arty: I want that…I want you to narrate this journey….

Dave: OK.

Total silence.

Arty: The minute I say that, we both have nothing to say.

Dave: Of course, when you say, ‘I want you to do this’….

Arty: This is kind of a sweet car… but I don’t think I’d ever get a Poracht… I could do like an Alfa maybe.

Dave: If I want to do a sports car, I wanna do an American Muscle car… A Shelby Mustang would be my dream car.

Arty: When were those made?

Dave: I don’t know…the 6o’s and 70’s… I don’t know enough about cars really to care but…like I’m a bike guy.

Arty: How’s your new Harley, by the way?

Dave: Amazing… I’m selling the first one.

Arty: I kind of liked that you had two.

Dave: I liked it too from that over:the:top rock star place but I can’t afford it…Really nice pick up in first…Smooth shifting…Simply the highest technical design.

Arty: We’re so in that cheesy end of town [Santa Monica] … Everyone’s looking at the car.

Dave: I thought about that last night in bed…I was hoping we could drive somewhere where I couldn’t be recognizable…You know, he joins the Peppers and now, he’s in a sky blue Porsche…How bad does that look. Not that I care about what other people think, but you know….

 Arty: But hey…

Dave: But I do…How much does this car run?

Arty: I don’t know…probably like 50 or 60 K…

Dave: You could feed a nation on what this car cost.

Arty: I mean it would be a bland meal but…rice.

Dave: You could benefit somebody’s life…You could spend it on incredible art…That’s what I’d rather do.

Arty: Of course, they want you to love this thing ….

Dave: Well, see I do…I do love driving this car…This is more like a Disneyland thing…l wouldn’t want to go to fucking Disneyland everyday and that’s what this car kind of is…It’s like a ride…I can’t cram this into my own reality…And I would love to say, based on it being a Porsche bothers me…Just the whole thing, I don’t know, fast cars and rock music in Los Angeles is everything I’m afraid of.

Arty: And for good reason, Dammit.

Now we’re gliding up the sun: scorched coast, swerving in and out of traffic.

Arty: Wow.

Dave: This thing is cooking though! I take back everything I said! I want one of these!

Arty: Immediately….It does fucking cruise doesn’t it?

We’re idling at 90.

Dave: This is fucking nice!

Arty: We have to crank the music up.

Dave: But you know what’s nice about this…like it’s nice to be moving fast and stuff…but…look where we are….At the fucking beach.

Arty: Yeah…

Now the photo:guys pull up along side and Dave leans back for instruction. I put in an Italian bootleg of the Peppers at the Reading Festival.

Dave: This is spooky…We’re driving around in a Porsche listening to me…This is all about ego, right here.

Dave loves the car now.

Dave: This thing is amazing. It’s so smooth!

Now stopped at the light at Temescal Canyon. The Photog: Scott : wants to get in front. I like the song [My Lovely Man] and I try to make it louder but hit some button that switches songs instead.

Arty: It’s off now.

Dave: When you peel out, the stereo immediately goes off…That’s a nice feature.

Arty: I want it back…What did you turn to get it on?

Dave: I…ummm…pushed CD.

The music is back. Cranked. Peppers at Reading. Suck My Kiss. We test out wipers. Going 95. Nice. Taking the corners. Relentless action. Dave has a fine feel for the road and I really think that thing’s are evolving in a good way. No problem with this thing. It’s rolling like me in debt. Through Topanga Canyon. Photos. Scott wants us to pull over.

Arty: That kid can shoot a photo.

Dave: Really?

Arty: Apparently

Dave: Oh really?

Arty: He’s good.

Dave: He’s good…The best of the best on this Job.

Arty: If that kid couldn’t shoot his lights out, he wouldn’t be here…Look at him…He’s willing to risk his life for this gig.

Scott’s hanging out of a Honda shooting pictures.

Dave: What’s this song called on the Bootleg?

Arty: I don ‘t know…not Swirly…Is this Swirly?

Dave: We don’t know yet…we think Warped maybe…

Arty: It’s got that Dave Navarro Apocalypse Now feeling…

Dave: That was part of my vibe on this one [Tongue in cheek].

Arty: I got a great book for you to read, it’s called Great Jones Street…written by Don DeLillo. It’s about a rock star named Bucky Wunderlick … All that’s left for him to do is to commit suicide…So instead he goes into hiding in a small room on Great Jones Street…He gets spotted all over the world, buying Twinkies in Dayton, Ohio and stuff, but he never leaves…Becomes a guru.

Dave: Nice … Look at the water. I really miss scuba diving.

Arty: When did you start scuba diving?

Dave: When we were in Hawaii [Writing the new album]…Can you switch tracks. Do you know how to get to the next track?

Arty: Is that Flea? He plays a mean bass.

Dave: He’s familiar with his instrument.

Arty: What tune is this?

Dave: Stone Cold Bush.

Arty: How do you like playing the Peppers music now?

Dave: I love it.

Arty: We’re you always a big fan?

Dave: No. Like I never owned a record before I joined the band.

Arty: It’s growing on you now?

Dave: Yeah, I always liked them but I don’t really buy records…You know what I mean?

Arty: So when I write the piece, I’ll go through the manual and find out all the things the stereo does and I’ll say we did them, ‘Now we tried the senso:round’.

Dave: Dave got chills…I have chills from this stereo.

Doing an easy 1oo between lights.

Dave: Doing 100 … Wow !

Arty: Unbelievable! We just cracked a windshield with this stone.

Dave: Nice machinery….Craftsmanship…We cracked the windshield…. We gotta stop at Pepperdine.

Arty: OK…we’ll let him [Scott] get some pictures…Looking out over the cliffs…That’s good stuff.

Dave: That’s the crux of the story…The cracked windshield…I can’t believe I’m playing that…that Frusciante lick…I would have never written that…It’s weird to hear that.

Arty: So I can grab all this disks. I can play them at home and make up fake comments about them?

Dave: OK…I’d be into that. I don’t wanna play them all,

Arty: I got a weird thing…My kidney hurts. Can guys get bladder infections?

Dave: From rimming.

Arty: Can you?

Dave: Yeah. Arty: You can pretty much get anything from rimming?

Dave: From rimming, yeah…You can get all of it…That’s where the germs all hang. They love it there. It’s warm

We’re looking for Matador Beach I think I know where it is but I’m not sure. We fly through a full on puddled road.

Dave: I think that if I was gonna do a postcard of Malibu, it would have the ghostly image of Rick, Rubin’s face, like over a shot of the coast.

Arty: He sort of is Malibu now…isn’t he?

Dave: He is.

We can’t find it and I’m starting to feel the pressure.

Arty: There’s a sign up here somewhere…Did the fin ever go up on this thing?

Dave: I don’t know….Do you know where we’re going?

Arty: I’m starting to have my doubts.

Dave: I’m really fucking hungry.

Arty: Me too…I’m so hungry I had to forget about it.

We stop at a deli and abandon the whole Matador thing.

Dave: The thing about this Porsche. It’s really amazing. It’s really fun to drive…but it’s just not for me.

We go into the parking lot along the water for shots while doing donuts. Backwards. Forwards. All kinds of skidding while Scott shoots it.

Dave: This is rad, Arty!…Was that rad or what?

Arty: It felt good.

Full donut action.

Dave: Should we do the Risky Business full backwards donuts?

Arty: Do you know how?

Dave: I’m assuming?

Arty: I thought only Tom Cruise knew how…The kids love this Under the Bridge, don’t they?

Dave: They do…They go for it…I know how to handle a vehicle like this. I wanna do like a flooring it thing and then….

Arty: You have to use the parking brake, don’t you.

Dave: Oh, you mean like a peel out thing…Like this. It’s just stinking right now.

Arty: Burnt engine.

Dave: Look at my hand on the wheel. This is killer. Let’s get these shots and blow…


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