The Red Hot Benefit Comedy & Quinceanera

chad-smith-will-ferrell-comedy-music-show-poster

Last night (April 29th 2016) saw the Red Hot Benefit Comedy, Music & Quinceanera take place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Beneficiaries from the event included Cancer for College and The Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

The evening centered around the drumming talents of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ own Chad Smith and actor Will Ferrell returning to the theme of their drum-off on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ back in 2014 for a re-match.

The Drum-Off Between Chad Smith & Will Ferrell @ the Red Hot Benefit Comedy, Music & Quinceanera, April 29th 2016

 

This video starts with some of the pre-show warm up trivia, some interviews and then swaps to footage of the actual 2016 show (about 11 minutes in) which begins with a clip from the original drum off with Jimmy Fallon. The new drum off them takes place with guest appearances by drummers including Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Tommy Lee (from the late, great Motley Crue but who only clapped rather than play the drums). It concluded with Mick Fleetwood playing a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ accompanied by a marching band, the USC Trojans (who looked more like Roman centurions than anything Troy related but what does this English girl know?!).

There was also other entertainment including Devo and a brief set by RHCP…

The Red Hot Chili Peppers @ the Red Hot Benefit Comedy, Music & Quinceanera, April 29th 2016

d-ratsound-set-list-april-20160will-ferrell-chad-smith

Credit: Dave Rat

 

Set List:

Can’t Stop

Snow

Otherside

Californication

By The Way

Encore: Higher Ground

UPDATE: This video shows the whole show; some from back stage and there are clips of the person who took it and side views too but it gives those of us who weren’t there a better idea of what happened!

 

Please note: Videos and photos are only really starting to come out now. I will update if there’s anything else :)

Many thanks to Angra who was my LA reporter once again! And Shalhevet for extra information.

Rockinfreakapotamus Magazines

Scan: cover

Scan: cover

For people who don’t know, the Rockinfreakapotamus magazines are the ones Blackie Dammett was behind during his time as Head Honcho of the RHCP fan club. They were sent out to members (four per year?) as part of their fan club subscription. I’ve managed to get six of these magazines myself and all six are now copied and online:

Rockinfreakpotamus Magazine index

If anyone can help out with any of the others, I’d love to hear from you- whether you can scan them, photograph them or want to sell them. I’d love to get as many of these online as I can as a record of all that Blackie did for the Chili Peppers’ fans and so those of us who weren’t members of the fan club at that time get to enjoy them too.

Smokin’ Hot Chili Peppers!

smoke-summer-1996-rhcp-cover

As you probably know by now, I collect magazines featuring RHCP. I have my list of ones I’d really like and there were two magazines on the ‘holy grail’ list for me… I saw one of them for sale for the first time about a month ago but the postage was a rip-off and I reluctantly let it go; but then a week ago, I saw another posting for it which was a lot cheaper and I had to get it!

It arrived this morning so I’ve just scanned and uploaded it – there’s also a full transcript. I don’t think many people will have seen it before as it is pretty rare.

Smoke: Don’t let the magazine title put you off; I really wanted it as it’s so rare and one of those iconic magazine covers but I thought the content would be very limited given the publication- I was very wrong! There are a few photos of the band with cigars and a few references to smoking them but it’s mostly a lengthy article talking about working with, then new boy, Dave Navarro and One Hot Minute.

Smoke Summer 1996

RHCP Mentioned in Michael Beinhorn Interview

Ultimate Guitar are running a lengthy interview with Michael Beinhorn about his career as a music producer and obviously RHCP are mentioned. Here are the extracts from the interview concerning the Chili Peppers:

In 1987, you went in the studio with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to do the “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” album. Was that your first significant production?

I’d done a couple on my own after I left Material but they weren’t really any major things to speak of. I feel like they were more my fledgling attempt to strike out on my own as a producer.

What was that like being in there with the Chili Peppers? Certainly you knew their background and the music they’d made previously?

I didn’t really, hahaha. I remember hearing them one time on the radio and going, “Oh, this is kind of interesting.” But then I later realized I had been listening to the wrong song. I thought I had been listening to a Chili Peppers song when it was actually a Jim Foetus song, hahaha. I had no idea what the Chili Peppers sounded like until sometime played the demo.

What did you think when you finally heard the band?

At that point I was kind of like, “OK. It’s messy but it could be worthwhile.”

Anthony Kiedis was going through a heavy heroin addiction at the time so that must have made those sessions pretty hard, right?

It was interesting because it was really what I needed more than anything at that point in time. It was a true baptism by fire. I went from being someone with very, very little experience as a record producer [into a project like this]. I remember going around to people and trying to get them to hire me. One guy said, “To hire you on a record right now, Michael, would be a crapshoot.” I was like, “What?” but in hindsight the guy was not wrong. I didn’t really know what I was doing.

What were those sessions like?

Here I am with this band that basically their record label can’t stand. On top of that, the minute I land to go to work with these guys – I can’t remember who it was who picked me up and I think actually Jack Irons picked me up at the airport – someone along the way casually mentioned, “By the way, two of the guys have got little drug problems.”

That must have freaked you out?

I was kinda like, “Oh.” I was a naive, innocent young man and I’m not sure what this means. I figured, “Well, maybe they’re smoking a little too much pot or they’re doing a little too much coke.” It turns out I’m smack dab in the middle of dealing with a semi-functional and a completely non-functional heroin addict, hahahaha.

There were two guys on heroin?

One of the guys was Hillel [Slovak] who was shooting dope. I think he did it to the extent where he was able to kind of go to work and at least show up and do stuff. But Anthony was absolutely AWOL. He wouldn’t show up for weeks at a time.

Yeah, it was bad. When he did, he would come into the studio and his face would be green. He was all pockmarked from scratching and stuff. He’d have a bag of candy with him and be there for like 20 minutes and go into the bathroom and get sick and leave.

How did you get through that?

It was really tough. It was really tough and it really kind of put me in a high, high stress environment very, very fast. I don’t really recommend that to most people but to paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, “No man winds up in situations he can’t handle.

At the end of the day, “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” album would become the band’s first record to break into the Top 200 and would represent an important step in their career.

Thank you. Again, I wasn’t expecting miracles out of the thing. I was like, “If we can just get through this and everyone is alive at the end of it.” I was like, “I have to make it as good as possible.” I wanted to get them as far away from being too self-indulgent.

What do you mean?

I felt that was one of the things that had plagued them in the past. That they really were not focused on account they used all their influences in a very diffuse kind of way. There wasn’t a focused band sound to them. I thought it was really important to try and find ways to distill what they were doing.

You did push them into different areas to try different musical ideas?

Just in some ways simplify it more and focus it as much as possible.

They must have liked what you did because they bring you back two years later to do the “Mother’s Milk” album.

All of a sudden the band dynamic had changed considerably. You’ve eliminated two key people in the band [Slovak died of a heroin overdose and close friend Jack Irons left because he couldn't deal with his friend's death] who are part of this network of friends and some of whom have known each other since before high school. I’m pretty sure most of them went to high school together [Fairfax High School]. They all knew each other from the time they were pretty young so that creates a really, really profound dynamic amongst people. Sometimes it’s a dynamic that keeps people in a really good place and sometimes you might be able to do better.

When John Frusciante and Chad Smith came in on the “Mother’s Milk” album, that really changed the dynamic in the band?

Chad was very experienced as a drummer and he was extremely good. It’s so funny because I had to twist those guy’s arms to hire him too.

Is that right?

They wouldn’t do it, hahahah. They were just hemming and hawing because he was too rock ‘n’ roll for them. I was like, “You’ve gotta be joking. This is the absolute best drummer that’s been into audition and probably the best you’ve played with in the last two years. You’re crazy if you don’t hire this person. Someone is gonna snatch him up in a heartbeat.”

That’s amazing the band didn’t recognize Chad Smith’s talents from the beginning.

He looked all silly and he had a headband on. After a week, they were like, “OK.”

What was it like working with John Frusciante?

John is a different story. He was like this little kid. He was like 17-years old when he joined the Chili Peppers and he spent a lot of his time in his room at home with his mom. I’m pretty sure he’d taken lessons but he apparently sat around transcribing Steve Vai guitar solos for hours. He was a real muso.

Was Anthony Kiedis still doing heroin?

A lot of things had changed. Anthony had straightened out and there was a lot of animosity between him and Flea.

Why?

It didn’t help things at all. Yeah, it was really bad actually. They never dealt with it at all. They never went to one another and sat down and were like, “Look, dude. We’ve known each other too long for this to affect what we’re doing.” I really kind of had to keep the show going especially since the two principals, the two original guys in the band and one of whom was the singer, didn’t come to the studio ever.

Anthony and Flea wouldn’t come to the studio?

Hahaha. It was an interesting thing but it was funny because all of a sudden they were the cause célèbre at the record company. All of a sudden the president of the record company is going down to visit us at Ocean Way Studios and it’s like, “Oh, sh-t. He only does this for the really big artists. I guess he’s got a lot riding on these guys all of a sudden.” Through EMI Manhattan and they were expecting great things from them.

 

Full interview can be read HERE

 

Jim Leatherman Photographic Exhibition Featuring RHCP

The City Arts Factory in Orlando, Florida, is hosting an exhibition of photographs spanning a thirty year period by photographer Jim Leatherman. The exhibition includes photos Leatherman took of the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Jim-Leatherman-Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers-Orlando-exhibition

In the front row, sweat-soaked victims braced themselves against stage-diving kicks to the face that caused noses and gums to gush. On stage, the Red Hot Chili Peppers tore shirtless through songs off recently released The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. It was 1987, Flea had maybe one tattoo, Hillel Slovak was still alive and Orlando photographer Jim Leatherman drove six hours to plant himself in this seedy part of Atlanta to watch the Chili Peppers’ bloody blossom. From the second story of the venue where Leatherman perched, his shutter snapped an overhead perspective of an intense shared experience – a memory that three years later, when the Chili Peppers played Visage Nightclub in Orlando, brought singer Anthony Kiedis to tears when Leatherman showed up with the photos.

“Timing is the most important thing for me,” Leatherman says. “I’m not just there to take a picture. I want to wait for the exact moment. I’m always looking through the viewfinder, always looking through the screen. Waiting, waiting, waiting.”

Leatherman approached the rock star and shyly gifted him the photos, planning to simply pass them on and then back off. (Note that while his camera intrudes fearlessly to catch intimate moments during pivotal performances, Leatherman’s social demeanor is humbly unobtrusive.) Instead, Kiedis barked for him to come closer, and the pair sat for nearly half an hour while Kiedis went through the photos and reflected on his friendship with original Chili Peppers guitarist Slovak, who had died between the Atlanta show and the Orlando date. According to Leatherman, Kiedis cried off and on during the exchange.

“At the time, Mother’s Milk had just come out, so [Red Hot Chili Peppers] were starting to get really big,” Leatherman says. “I just thought he would be this kind of weird, scary party dude that really wouldn’t give me the time of day, and he turned out to be the sweetest, most emotional guy that I’ll never forget. It was cool, and just to have somebody appreciate my pictures was even more cool.”

The exhibition runs from its opening today (April 16th 2015; exhibition opens at 6 p.m) until May 15th at the  City Arts Factory, 29 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida.

Full story and source: Orlando Weekly

 

 

Jim Leatherman Photographic Exhibition Featuring RHCP

The City Arts Factory in Orlando, Florida, is hosting an exhibition of photographs by Jim Leatherman spanning a thirty year period. The exhibition includes photos Leatherman took of the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Jim-Leatherman-Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers-Orlando-exhibition

In the front row, sweat-soaked victims braced themselves against stage-diving kicks to the face that caused noses and gums to gush. On stage, the Red Hot Chili Peppers tore shirtless through songs off recently released The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. It was 1987, Flea had maybe one tattoo, Hillel Slovak was still alive and Orlando photographer Jim Leatherman drove six hours to plant himself in this seedy part of Atlanta to watch the Chili Peppers’ bloody blossom. From the second story of the venue where Leatherman perched, his shutter snapped an overhead perspective of an intense shared experience – a memory that three years later, when the Chili Peppers played Visage Nightclub in Orlando, brought singer Anthony Kiedis to tears when Leatherman showed up with the photos.

“Timing is the most important thing for me,” Leatherman says. “I’m not just there to take a picture. I want to wait for the exact moment. I’m always looking through the viewfinder, always looking through the screen. Waiting, waiting, waiting.”

Leatherman approached the rock star and shyly gifted him the photos, planning to simply pass them on and then back off. (Note that while his camera intrudes fearlessly to catch intimate moments during pivotal performances, Leatherman’s social demeanor is humbly unobtrusive.) Instead, Kiedis barked for him to come closer, and the pair sat for nearly half an hour while Kiedis went through the photos and reflected on his friendship with original Chili Peppers guitarist Slovak, who had died between the Atlanta show and the Orlando date. According to Leatherman, Kiedis cried off and on during the exchange.

“At the time, Mother’s Milk had just come out, so [Red Hot Chili Peppers] were starting to get really big,” Leatherman says. “I just thought he would be this kind of weird, scary party dude that really wouldn’t give me the time of day, and he turned out to be the sweetest, most emotional guy that I’ll never forget. It was cool, and just to have somebody appreciate my pictures was even more cool.”

The exhibition runs from its opening today (April 16th 2015; exhibition opens at 6 p.m) until May 15th at the City Arts Factory, 29 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida.

Full story and source: Orlando Weekly

 

 

December News Update

Catching up on things that the chaos of Christmas has meant I haven’t got round to posting before…

Chad Smith News

There was an interesting interview with Chad Smith on Rolling Stone. He was answering questions sent in by fans on Twitter and the replies cover everything from the new RHCP album, to socks, to Will Ferrell& drum-offs/ cow bells to Chickenfoot.

new-rhcp-album-chad-smith-rolling-stone

Full Rolling Stone interview HERE

 

Chad Smith is also scheduled to appear as a guest on the  “Fireside Sessions with Nancy Atlas” which is returning to Bay Street Theater and the Sag Harbor Center for the Arts in 2015. The weekly music sessions will once again feature a different special guest at each show in January and March with Chad due to appear on the debut show on Friday, January 2nd, 2015. General admission seating is $20 per session. Source

Pearl have  announced the release of two new limited edition Chad Smith signature snare drums. Full details on Music Radar

pearl-chad-smith-new-limited-edtion-snare-drums

Dave Navarro Interview

Dave Navarro has about his mother’s murder.

Dave-Navarro-mother-death-huffington-post

Source and full interview HERE

Abbey Road RHCP Photo

september-1989-chris-clunn-rhcp-abbey-road

A slightly different photo to the one most of us are used to from the Abbey Road shoot by photographer Chris Clunn. Enjoy :)

I’ve just uploaded the article HERE (it’s a feature on the work of Chris Clunn and doesn’t seem to mention the Chilis other than include this photo- the article is in German) but I thought the photo was worthy of adding to the front page.

 

Edit: Thanks to Robert for confirming that the article is about the photographer- about how he started off in this career and what he thinks about the American music industry. He also mentioned that he only takes pics of artists he likes.