Goodbye and Thank you to Dave Rat!

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An end of a RHCP era. Dave Rat took the sound helm for the good ship CP last night for the final time. He began in February 1991 and so many of us have benefited from his expertise at the shows we’ve attended.

We wish him all of the best in his new life and hope he enjoys his time at home and not having to drag himself off on tour buses! Thanks for everything Dave! We appreciate it all (and what the rest of the crew, who frequently go unsung, do).

Photo Credit: Dave Rat 

Cancellation of RHCP shows in Dublin

Rumours were circulating earlier on this morning but several Irish news sites are now running the story so it seems genuine (there is currently nothing on the official website but that updated a lot later than local news following the Montpellier cancellation) e.g. Entertainment.Ie and the Irish Mirror. A statement from the band is also being reported:
 “We are so sorry that we cannot come to Dublin as planned for the next few days. Anthony has been fighting off the flu all week and after the show last night it was clear that he has to stop touring and recover, hence the decision to push back the shows to next year.”
 
I know there are a lot of disappointed fans today and several people I know have already travelled to Dublin for the shows from the UK so massive hugs to everyone affected and especially to Anthony along with best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Update: the official website is now running the details along with the new dates for the postponed shows:

We are so sorry that we cannot come to Dublin as planned for the next few days. Anthony has been fighting off the flu all week and after the show last night it was clear that he has to stop touring and recover, hence the decision to push back the shows to next year.

Both shows have been rescheduled to September 20th and 21st 2017 with tickets valid for the new dates as below.

Tickets for Tuesday, December 20 will be valid for Wednesday, September 20.

Tickets for Wednesday, December 21 will be valid for Thursday, September 21.

Chili Weekend in Brum!

Warning: Sarcastic sense of humour alert! Don’t like my tongue- in-cheek style, read no further. Apparently some people think I’m actually serious when I write… Hahaha! Artistic licence anyone?!

 

RHCP Birmingham on Saturday 10th December, 2016.

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Tonight, I had seats as my daughter was too young for the arena and I was taking my monsters to their first EVAH concert. It to be RHCP as they’ve been surrounded by the band since birth and I had promised to take them on the next arena tour. Finally the tickets arrived with 48 hours to go- talk about cutting it fine! (Amazon had sent their tickets out in plenty of time but these were through the official site’s pre-sale and so many of us had everything crossed for them to arrive in time). We got there, got drenched in the torrential rain getting into the arena from the car park although thankfully the shuttle bus meant we got less wet than we initially feared, I spent a small fortune on merch (for my daughter as always!) and we made it to the seats with popcorn and drinks- I’ve never sat waiting for a rock band eating popcorn before but there is apparently a first time for everything!

A bit earlier than I expected and I think most other people did too as the arena was half-empty (I don’t think on purpose as people were still coming in when RHCP hit the stage although maybe it was! ), the lights went down, the Baby Metal sign illuminated and it was show time!

Baby Metal

Cue the start of a cringe worthy intro voiceover welcoming us the metal world of babies in a way that hasn’t been heard of since 1983…

If you don’t know this band, imagine Slipknot wrapped in torn bed sheets accompanied by three hyperactive toddler cheerleaders who sing after inhaling 1000 helium balloons EACH. Oh, and throw in a Simon Cowell style producer who threw this ensemble together to make money, sorry I mean for delectation of Japanese fetishists, and all this somehow ended up on a stage in the UK!

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Let’s go back six months or so when they were announced as the support act. My son walked past as I was reading the announcement and he started to laugh when he saw the name Baby Metal. I’d never heard of them so I asked why. I was told they were a joke band that became the butt of internet jokes six months previously and that the kids at school were shouting “Baby Metal” and parodying (my term; not his!) the band. “Trust you to be past it, Mum! Why are you asking about them now?” I explained they’d just been announced as the support act for the Chilis… Cue son literally rolling around the floor in laughter before telling me to watch a video. I said I would later but he insisted on then so he could watch my reaction. He selected a video and I started to watch. TBH, I couldn’t see the issue as I liked the music but son was watching me intently and instructing me to wait much to my puzzlement… And then I saw! The helium induced ‘singing’ started. Cue son rolling on floor again at my reaction… At this point in walked my daughter who saw the video playing and started to laugh saying Mum, “Why are you watching this now? So past it. Such a joke…”

Back to the concert. I can only say Baby Metal are worse in concert than I anticipated. Concert level speaker distortion and those vocals…. And as I imagine the proportion of the audience who speak Japanese was in the lower end of single figures, most of us couldn’t even attempt to decipher the lyrics making them sound even more like random noise. And irritating isn’t in it for the silly girlies. Two 12 year olds dressed to look six and

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an adult doing the same pretending to be rock stars while throwing devil horn signs and  wearing frilly skirts with their hair in bunchies. Not sure whether to feel sorry for the audience having this inflicted on them or the poor girls who looked so desperately miserable with their forced smiles.

Still, they performed some great tricks. Whatever the girls are on to race and jump around like they do, I seriously need some especially when they weren’t even the tiny bit breathless at the end of their set given how perfect the vocals sounded. It was almost as impressive as the bassist that played with one hand at one point (the other was under the torn bed sheet… Umm! ) and my absolute favourite bit was the drummer who stood up at one point, stepped back from the drum kit, held the drumsticks in the air and the drums still

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played… Umm again! No idea why everyone was screaming that they were miming! And as my 12 year old commented, the adult girl child had two mics and used one to speak to the audience (how many times can you say Birmingham in 30 minutes? I think we all knew where we were!) and another to sing into. Shame they didn’t just mime and turn off the sound.

By the time we got to the final track, ‘Gimme Chocolate’, when they compensated for the language issue by repeatedly saying the only word English words they knew other than ‘Birmingham’ which were somewhat unsurprisingly ‘gimme’ and ‘chocolate’, I seriously had to fight the urge to run down to Bournville and buy the largest bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk I could and ram it in their mouths to oblige and also give the rest of us some peace!

Considering the concert was held on almost Led Zeppelin land, Baby Metal went down faster than an actual lead version of the same. There were a line of Baby Metal devotees on the front row, a few scattered through the audience and some people clapping politely while most people were just mouthing WTF? Then they went off. Never has silence been so blessed!

Red Hot Chili Peppers!

 

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Again a little earlier than expected and to an arena that wasn’t full (people were coming in for about the first ten minutes- apparently there were issues at the doors) the strains of a trumpet were heard…

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Set List:
Around The World
Snow ((Hey Oh))
Otherside
Dark Necessities
Hey
Right On Time
She’s Only 18
Go Robot
Sick Love
Californication
Detroit
Suck My Kiss
Soul To Squeeze
By The Way
Encore:
Goodbye Angels
Give It Away

Around The World! I’d seen it cropping up on set lists as the opening song a few times recently and was really pleased to experience it as it’s such a brilliant song. I was also delighted to hear ‘Hey’. Love that song so much and again I’d seen it on set lists recently but never thought I’d ever hear it live! So happy! And my daughter was so happy to hear ‘Sick Love’ as she’s liked that song since first hearing it although that was pretty much a given at the moment.

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The new lights are amazing too! Videos really don’t show them to their full effect. Really happy to see them for real; they are even more stunning than anticipated.
There were issues with ‘Soul To Squeeze’… Collective audience holding of breath and mentally sending AK the lyrics as the whole of the first verse wasn’t right. There were issues with ‘Give It Away’ too and no end jam but the concert was still amazing even though Josh was ill and according to Chad at the Drum Clinic on Tuesday, there were human and technology issues. I was more than happy and had two very happy kids! Just watching their reactions during the show added another dimension. It was time for Give It Away all too soon but we have a whole load of new family memories <3

Notes:
I didn’t realise until I got home and looked at my photos but Flea now has a ‘stache.

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AK made Josh and Flea smile when he said he was going to play an instrument as he felt like doing so. He was saying “right now” and the other two were clearly wondering what was going on!

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Suddenly Anthony called out and everyone thought there was another problem as it was just after Soul To Squeeze but he just called the other musicians being called onto stage although it looked like a sudden change.

Flea sang a little song naming places in the area e.g. Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

Sick Love live is accompanied by images from the video split across three screens.

AK started to sing ‘Goodbye Angels’ from a seated position.

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Chad was totally hamming it up when he gave out drumsticks at the end.

 

RHCP Birmingham on Sunday 11th December, 2016.

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Set List:

Can’t Stop
Dani California
Scar Tissue
Dark Necessities
Nobody Weird Like Me
Hard To Concentrate
Go Robot
Parallel Universe
Sick Love
Tell Me Baby
The Getaway
Did I Let You Know
Under The Bridge
Encore:
Dreams Of A Samurai
Give It Away

Back again! But this time without kids and with a standing ticket. Got there a little later than planned due to the motorway being stationary for a while and holding me up but I was still able to get a spot just back from the barrier.

Another great set list! I really wanted to hear ‘Dream of a Samurai’ live so my wish came true! Everyone and everything seemed totally on form with lyrics intact and no visible issues. Josh was totally on fire. Being under the new lights added another dimension to

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them – they are just amazing- and there was a short jam at the end of GIA tonight.

During the encore, Josh dived off stage and came back wearing a red beanie loosely perched on his head. At the end of the concert, he tossed several picks at the crowd and then took off the beanie and started to gesture intently at someone in the crowd – was clear he wanted someone specific to get it (I knew a friend of mine was roughly in that spot and that she’d got a sigh for Josh so I really hoped it was her. We met up at the end of the concert and it was 🙂 )

Chad made a lengthy and impassioned speech right at the very end when the rest of the band had left the stage talking about Birmingham and Black Country drummers and bands/musician such as Glenn Tipton, Ozzy & Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, etc. and what an honour it was to play in Birmingham for that reason.

And I have another set list!

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Such an amazing weekend and then there was the Chad Smith’s drum clinic to follow on the Tuesday.
Photo Galleries

RHCP Saturday 10th December 2016

RHCP Sunday 11th December 2016

RHCP at Birmingham (1)

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It’s a crazy weekend for some reason!!! I will write a proper review and add a photo gallery but I’m racing around doing real life stuff so I can go and do this again tonight! I’ve quickly added some photos to the Facebook page for now. You can see them HERE And a quick pic of Flea and his new ‘stache!

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So Hard…

Sigh… OK, here goes.

Blackie’s retirement has left a massive void in the Chili Pepper community. Not only have we lost our “go to” source of information and fan in-between with the band, but it’s created issues within the community. Before, he was Head Honcho and there was no point competing with that as it was a given and he would also steer the community- I’ve seen him have a discrete word with someone about their behaviour when there were issues. Now the gaping void he’s left has nobody to steer it and some people are prepared to do anything to step into it. In the ten years that I’ve been heavily involved with the CP community online, I’ve never know it to be like this with the back-stabbing and bullying that is going on in some areas. There is some pretty unpleasant stuff happening at times on social media.

There has also been a split in the fan base leading to some of the fans seeing themselves as being better than others. And somehow from that an inner circle of FANS has formed stepping into the Blackie void. Obviously, some of that inner circle totally deserve to be there as they are loyal and dedicated fans and I’m not commenting on the rights or wrongs of it but just making observations. However, there is a section of those inner fans that are desperate to keep other fans out in whatever way they can and they seem to be attracting an element of like minded fans who want to be in that inner circle who are now running around sending abusive messages, trying to force fan pages to close  way to do, etc. in order to be able to do so. Other fans are totally on the outside and left out and resentment is growing over it all and it’s adding to the fan base tension and split.

OK, why I’m writing this…

I’m an “out” and that has been repeatedly pointed out to me but I’ve weathered the storm. However, recently things have got really unpleasant and I’ve had a lot of issues with some members of the online community within social media and the threats/bullying/ “self-improvement” messages (I get it! And thank you, I’m just commenting and understand without the need for anymore as a result of this post) some of the real side-stage pass possessing fans and the “wannabe” fans like to send to outsiders like me. It’s been really unpleasant and hard and has led to lots of consideration about me continuing to be involved as many of you know.

And then at Reading I had a moment (OK, a concert length one!). I’ve put so much into supporting the band and their charities and projects and helping the community as much as I can. And I was standing there being jostled in a crowd unable to see much (being 5ft 2″ in a crowd isn’t good!) and looking at ants in the distance on the stage knowing the fans from the inner circle would be side-stage with perfect views and hadn’t had to queue or be pushed around. And it made me wonder what the hell I was doing. Then I got home and had the disappointment of my rubbish pics as I was too far away and too short to take anything decent; knowing I would have shared them with the community and couldn’t.

As a result, I really started to think about whether I carry on with the websites and decided to give myself until the end of this year to decide as it is such a massive decision to take. I’ve put so much into this and it’s hard to walk away from it. I’ve managed to keep this going all through the hell and chaos of the last few years. I’ve nursed two people, my mother (Alzheimer’s Disease) and husband (alcohol addiction), through terminal conditions within three years, been widowed, seen my whole life turned upside down and still kept it going but I know in my heart I’ve now come to the end of the line. I don’t need the hassle from certain quarters and I don’t need to feel rejected and foolish for wasting my time on something I cannot achieve in because I’m an outsider. Ten years and I don’t even have full band autographs which says it all really.

It’s time to step aside and leave things to those real fans as fan pages really ought to be run by them. I’ve got tickets to two concerts in December and I will go and enjoy them just as a face in the crowd and leave the photo taking and reporting to the proper fans. And hopefully I’ll meet a lot of friends and that is the good thing to come from all of this and is something I really do value. A few posts by me will sneak on here I’m sure around the time of the UK concerts (I’ll make a final post at some point if nothing else as this is just an update rather than a proper goodbye). I’ve paid for domain names and hosting for the next year so I’ll leave the websites (this one and anthonykiedis.net) up in case people want the info on them (I might tweak a few things as there were some things I’ve always meant to add/update) or want to read the 50000+ magazine pages I’ve scanned 🙂 But I won’t be involved in them or the Facebook pages any more from 2017. Peace <3

Rebecca (Squitherwitch)

Christmas Competition!

Christmas is approaching and I’ve been given a RHCP jumper/sweater by the kind people at Ugly Christmas Sweaters – you can see me wearing it so fetchingly here 🙂

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I was so tempted to keep it but as RHCP is all about “give it away” I thought I’d run a competition and give it away as a prize and a Christmas theme seemed appropriate 🙂

tree-baublesTo Enter:

You need to design an ornament for a Christmas tree which is Red Hot Chili Peppers related in some way- it can be connected to a RHCP album, song, lyric, the whole band, an individual band member, whatever as long as there is a Chili Peppers connection. It can be made from anything, be any shape, design, etc. and people can enter as many times as they would like. Just please keep it clean- nothing rude or inappropriate. You need to take a photo of the ornament (not the actual ornament itself) and send it to me:
squitherwitch@hotmail.com

I will make a gallery of the photos and the judges will decide the winner.

Rules: 
The ornament has to be RHCP related and needs to be home-made – nothing ready made/mass produced. By submitting the photograph you are giving me permission to post it on any of my RHCP websites and RHCP Facebook pages. We also reserve the right not to post images if they are inappropriate. The judges decision will be final and the jumper will be posted with proof of posting obtained but sorry I can’t be responsible if it doesn’t arrive for some reason (or for non arrival of emails/photos). There is only the one jumper which is size large (the sales page warns they come up a size small and I went for a larger size thinking it would fit more people but it is snug on me).

Closing Date of Competition: Midnight (GMT; we’re 8 hours ahead of LA for anyone in the US) on Friday 25th November 2016. We’ll announce the winner within a few days- will say when closer to the time.

If you can’t wait or want to buy a sweater/jumper yourself, you can get one from the company direct: Ugly Christmas Sweaters They are currently on special offer at $30 each. You can also add lights to them for an extra cost.

RHCP at KROQ Halloween Ball

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Last night, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played at the KROQ Halloween Costume Ball.

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Date: 28th October 2016

Location: Fonda Theatre, LA

Set List:

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Can’t Stop

Scar Tissue

Dark Necessities

Parallel Universe

Sick Love

Right On Time

Go Robot

Californication

Suck My Kiss

I Could Have Lied

By The Way

Encore:

Goodbye Angels

Give It Away

 

Notes:

For the encore, Chad Smith dressed as a bishop.

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There was a fancy dress competition and the winner won $5000! This was the winning costume:

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Many thanks to Angra and Anna for their info and allowing us to use their photos!