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.

Early RHCP Photos for Sale

John Frusciante own original teeth Anthony Kiedis September 22 1989 West Hollywood Riot

Photo Richard Alan White. ©1989-2013

If anyone is interested, Richard Alan White has contacted me to say he is selling some of his photographs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, including Anthony Kiedis, taken at the Mother’s Milk aftershow party on the top of the West Hollywood Hyatt Hotel on Sunset Blvd, back in September (22nd) 1989.

The photos have been locked in a safe for the past 25 years and were recently uncovered by Richard. A double set prints were originally made (some of the original photos were given to Anthony) and then the negatives were put into a vault and basically forgotten about until recently when they were ‘re-discovered’.

If you are interested in finding out any more details such as prices, sizes, print runs and to see more of the images for sale, further information can be found HERE (Please note; these photos are initially for sale for three days only)

Site Update

I’m trying to play catch up here and one of the things I’ve done is to scan and upload some more back issue magazines featuring the Chili Peppers that I’ve recently added to my collection; so here are the latest offerings :)

During the period when you left the band, you were addicted to heroin. How much do you still think of those times?

“If you’re an artist, I don’t think you ever put anything that’s ever happened behind you. Everything that’s ever happened to me culminates in everything I do thereafter.”

There’s a one page interview with John Frusciante where he talks about the pressures of being in the band and discussed the period when he used heroin as being a valuable experience that he doesn’t regret.

There’s also an in-depth interview in Guitar World with Dave Navarro from 1996 talking about his life, Jane’s Addiction and RHCP’s One Hot Minute, a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ discograpy from 1992, a mention in an article where RHCP came third in a list of the funniest moments in rock for their infamous sock wearing (there is also a full page photo for anyone interested…), a review of RHCP in London togther with a news item about Flea & a brief interview with Flea talking about working on ‘Bust a Move’ track.

Then, in the middle of the posh hotel bar, he stands up turns around and drops his trousers. A lot of fidgety hand movements around his groin area follows. The he swings around, trousers and pants around the knees, his arse smiling to everyone present and both arms open wide in declaration.

There’s a forest of black tangled pubes looking me in the eye as Antwan’s kingsize whopper hangs loosely, snug in its white sock. A few heads turn. I break down in laughter and Antwan scoops them all up and puts ‘em away again.

A couple of articles have also been added over on AnthonyKiedis.net e.g a news item about Anthony breaking his wrist in 1997 and a review of the RHCP tour where they were accompanied by the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam and what happened when AK celebrated his birthday. There is also a very early interview from 1988 when AK is mostly interviewed (with a few additions by Flea) and he is discussing wearing socks and sex.

RHCP & Woolliscroft Photographic Exhibition

Tony Woolliscroft’s photographs of RHCP will be known to every fan of the band as he has captured on film many iconic shots of the Chili Peppers over the years for UK rock magazines such as RAW and Kerrang! And of course, there is his Red Hot Chili Pepper’s ‘Me and My Friends’ photobook.

Rock City Art has now teamed together with Tony Woolliscroft to mount an exhibition of his work featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in Bedworth, England. The exhibition opens today on June 22nd with a launch evening, there’s a seminar tomorrow morning and then the exhibition is open to the public until July 19th 2012.

Address:

Rock City Art; 26 Castle Lane Bedford MK40 3US

tel. 01234 910448

I’ve just spoken to the gallery and apparently the exhibition is usually open daily from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. although they advise you to check before making a purpose journey.

More details on Rock City Art website The collection can also be viewed online and there is an accompanying book that can be purchased.

Many thanks to Altair at RHCP Brazil for the heads up on this