1985/05 SPIN



The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the greatest rock band in the world. You can tell by watching them perform or you can guess by listening to their forceful, natty and sly album: Real Men Don’t Kill Coyotes (EMI Receded.).

The Chili Peppers’ music is an unprecedented blend of styles, mixing Hank Williams with rap, Led Zeppelinoid arpeggios with R & B chicken-scratch guitar; producing a sort of seamless fusion of hard core, Delta Blues, hip hop and straight-ahead rock. They are very black, very white and never gray. On stage, bare chests, arms and legs smeared with day-glo paint, wearing weird hats and masks, moving like pinballs or witch docs or barefoot on hot asphalt, they’re as wild as Iggy and the Stooges or P-Funk or Zulus or Mardi Gras Injuns.


Being the greatest band is no easy task. For one thing, everyone wants to interview you, so I decided so ask the Chili Peppers some questions that Record Planet or Guitar Slave Magazine might forget or never think of. Flea plays bass, Jack plays guitar, Cliff drums, and Anthony sings.

SPIN: Do you remember your first memories?

FLEA: The earliest memory I have. I was in Australia. I’m from Australia. I was about three years old and we had a cat and I was holding the tail and my friend was holding the cat and we both wanted the cat. That’s my firm memory.

SPIN: Did the cat survive?

FLEA: I don’t remember.

ANTHONY: My earliest memory is my little tiger that I used to have on my tricycle. You’d pull the trigger and the tiger would roar and because my name is Tony they called me Tony the Tiger.

JACK: My earliest memory is when I was about four years old me and this really rough-hewn little blonde girl were around the side of the house and we had the neighbor kid and we were putting little red berries in his butt. Then we went over to his house and his mom went to wipe him or something and she came out and yelled, “ You are in trouble!” I remember walking home and my mom saying “Hi” and I never knew to this day if that lady busted me for putting berries in her kid’s butt.

CLIFF: I remember slithering out of my mother. It was nice and warm and cozy and I came out and I thought the lights were really harsh. Then the doctor spanked me. Life isn’t worth living some- times.

SPIN: I remember not wanting to come out in the first place.

CLIFF: Me too. I was shy. I resisted.

JACK: Are you in therapy?


JACK: Because in therapy you’re supposed to get in touch with that stuff.

SPIN: What’s your most memorable dream?

FLEA: About three nights ago I had a dream that our manager was eaten by a shark. I woke up crying.

SPIN: Usually sharks won’t eat managers out of professional courtesy.

JACK: When I was five I lived in Lake Hiawatha. New Jersey, and I used to come up to New York to visit relatives and we we’d to watch “Million Dollar Movie” over and over again. Remember they used to show the same film over and over ?

SPIN: Yeah, once when I was sick, I saw The Thing nine times in one week.

JACK: This was The Beast from 20,000 fathoms and the cops legs dangle from the tyrannosaurus’ mouth. Well, the day before the first day of kindergarten I dreamed I was walking through the woods and my mom and my older sister were saying. ‘Oh, let’s go see the monster’ and I was saying, “No, I don’t want to see the monster and we ended up in this room under a table; it was just about to bite my head off and I woke up screaming and I had to go to school. II was really horrible. It’s still horrible. I figured out that the monster is my dad.

CLIFF: My favorite dream is I’m watching “Leave It To Beaver.” with a friend of mine who I’m no longer friends with because he got into drugs really heavily and we had a ‘falling out. We’re watching the show and Wally put heroin in Beaver’s orange juice and killed him. I thought. ‘This is really weird. I’ve never wen a Beaver episode that’s so heavy. Isn’t it a little unusual for the Beaver to die?”

ANTHONY: Dreams are for wimps.

FLEA The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a dream. I’d Ike to talk about actuality. I’d also like to talk about verisimilitude: I’d Up to expound on dichotomy.

SPIN: Do you believe in reincarnation?

ANTHONY: That’s a question for Jack.

JACK: I’m not sane enough to give a technical answer, but I do think things move on from here and that it’s real important to take cared your body.

SPIN: Any clues about what you might have been before?

JACK: A girl? I want to go on record as saying I was a girl in my past life.

SPIN: Do my have American Express Cards?

CLIFF: I have an AT&T Calling Card.

IACK: I’m highly against credit cards. I believe that someday. Like it says in Revelations, they’re going to print a number on your head with infrared light. But if I could get an American Express Card I would.

ANTHONY: I have a serious feeling that I might have been Napoleon in a past fife. Seriously. When I went back to France last summer I was standing on a ship out in the ocean and I fell the rotate Spirit of Napoleon come over me.

JACK: How about … a friend of Napoleon.

ANTHONY: No. I think I was Napoleon.

CLIFF: Flea used to be Hitler.

FLEA: But I’m not Hitler now. Jack calls me Hitler all the time.

CLIFF: We don’t think he’s Hitler. but we salute him.

FLEA: Before we play everyone bow down and kisses my feet.

CLIFF: And that’s quite a feat, if you’d seen his feet.

SPIN: Who would you like to meet? You never know who might be reading this.

FLEA: I’d Ike to meet Charles Bukowski

SPIN: That shouldn’t be too hard. He lives in California.

FLEA: Yeah, but how do I get in touch with the slob?

SPIN: Maybe he’ll read this and get touch with you. How can he get in touch with you?

FLEA: My phone number is 213-463-6379.

SPIN: What are your favorite Black English expressions?

CLIFF: “Kiss my ass.” It’s always been one of my favourites.

JACK: Kith ath, thpot o’ tea.

ANTHONY: Keep it comin’ from the bottom of the bootie.

CLIFF: Put your hands down mother*cker so I can jack your chest

JACK: That’s beautiful. I’d like to talk about nylon socks with high tops.

CLIFF: Yeah.,. black Converse hi-tops We’re from the Midwest.

FLEA: My favorite Black English expression Is “Rock the spot.”

JACK: I don’t like “fresh” I don’t like “chill”.

FLEA: Chill? I love “chill.”

SPIN: Do you have any hobbies?

FLEA: I read, jack off, play basketball and play music.  l read Charles Bukowski, Sara Shepard and Ernst Hemmingway. And comic books.

CLIFF: I jack off and read. I like Ramon Chandler, Wyndham Lewis, comic books.

JACK: I read Dune Last year. I like Musician and Cream.

SPIN: Is there a fifth Chili Pepper?

FLEA: Our manager, Lindy Goetz.

JACK: We call hem Dad.

FLEA: He has a butt nuzzler.

SPIN: What’s a butt nuzzler?

CLIFF: A butt nuzzler is basically a San Francisco style mustache. It has to be worn with a Pendleton shift and work boots.

SPIN: What do you think of your producer, Andy Gill?

CLIFF: Great guitar player. He was in the Gang of Four.

ANTHONY: Not as great as Leadbelly.

FLEA: We picked him for a producer because he was uncircumcised.

SPIN: Do you have a motto or anything similar?

CLIFF: Captain Beefheart has the best quote about playing music and it mean a lot to me. He always said “Hit it to he(?) in the breadbasket and fingerfuck the devil.” I think what he meant was always play every note like it was going to your last.

FLEA: And that’s how we play everything whenever we play live. We: Play ever show like it’s the Iast show.

ANTHONY: It’s the truth.