2003 December (Foreward date) Kerrang! Legends RHCP Special Edition

Please note: This magazine still appears to be on sale HERE (I bought my copy from this link; it took about a month to arrive but it was a working website) and as such, I’ve only coped a couple of pages for reference and to show people who are interested in buying the book what it looks like.


The magazine features articles published in previous Kerrang! magazines; album reviews, articles and full page photos- the scan of the index shows what’s included.

Physical Graffiti

In their perpetual state of semi-nakedness, RHCP have has ample opportunity to show off their body art.  But what does it all mean?

SPENDING TIME in a tattooist’s chair is a rite of passage for a Red Hot Chili Pepper.  The one piece that is most identifiable as a chili tattoo is Anthony Kiedis’ terrifically detailed tribal eagle which spreads across his back.  The inspiration and meaning behind the tattoo comes from the singer’s fascination with Native American culture and the artist who created it was Dutch tattooist Henk Schiffmacher.

Kiedis first visited him during a trip to Amsterdam in 1985 – on a short promotional tour of Europe in support of ‘Freaky Styley’.  Then, Kiedis opted for the portrait of a Native American on his right arm.

If you drift along upon the sweet aroma of Amsterdam’s myriad coffee shops, brothels and sex shops there is a museum housing artefacts spanning the history of the once primitive artform.  The building – located at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 130 – also doubles as a studio for Schiffmacher and a spiritual second home for the band.

Schiffmacher was born March 22, 1952 the son of a butcher.  He was, worryingly, dismissed from the army on the grounds of mental instability but made a connection with the band who entrusted him to render beautiful, indelible works of art into their arms, legs and backs.  Schiffmacher – more commonly known as Hendy Penky – has also tattooed members of Pearl Jam, Van Halen, the Ramones, the Foo Fighters and many more.

A couple of years after his first visit to Schiffmacher’s studio.  Kiedis chose a design that would cover his entire upper back.  The tattooist warned Kiedis that his tribal design would take many six-hour sessions.  The singer jokingly remarked that, given his own schedule, it would also take several years to complete.

During the preparation for the recording of 1989’s ‘Mother’s Milk’, the band made Schiffmacher’s studio their unofficial base.  The artist concentrated on Kiedis’ extravagant design but while the singer took time to recover from the shock his body went into after hours of continual tattooing, Schiffmacher took time out to drill, among other pieces, a languid, pink octopus onto guitarist Frusciante’s right arm.

Schiffmacher, also a gifted graphic artist, designed the tribal tongue illustration that is central to the Chili Peppers’ breakthrough album ‘BloodSugarSexMagik’, with the inside of Kiedis’ right forming the image for the back.  Upon it is the asterisk which is part of the band’s logo and symbolizes chaos – an apt choice for a band whose personal lives have been anything but peaceful.

I’ve never regretted any of my tattoos, and I still want more,” Kiedis says today.  “It’s beautiful to watch them grow old and fade and become like worn-in jeans.  They’re all representative of times in my life, so I can’t imagine ever wanting to erase any time in my life.”

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