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John Frusciante

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John Anthony Frusciante was born on March 5, 1970, in New York. He became interested in rock music at an early age. After his parents divorced, John and his mother moved to California when he was seven. When he was nine, his stepfather offered him his first acoustic guitar. John taught himself how to play guitar, and for the next several years he would spent all his time practicing. In California his interest in music grew and grew as he discovered bands such as The Germs. While at school it was clear that John was an outsider, mainly because he would rather concentrate on music and that was his life. In school he heard many artists who influenced what he played on his guitar, such as Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, among others. John became a big fan of a local band called Red Hot Chili Peppers when he heard them at 15 years of age. At this time original guitarist Hillel Slovak was still in the band. At the age of 16 John left school and home to become a full-time musician. He had even auditioned to be a guitarist for Frank Zappa but "chickened out" at the last minute. At a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, John met Hillel Slovak. Over the years John also met Anthony Kiedis and Flea, and began to come in contact with them regularly. When Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose on June 27, 1988, Jack Irons, the Chili Peppers' drummer at the time, also left, as he and Slovak were best friends and Slovak's death was a huge shock to Irons. Flea and Kiedis did not want to quit the band, however, because they knew that it hadn't reached its full capability. Flea had jammed with John many times after Hillel's death and told Anthony that John was right for the Chili Peppers. The instrumental "Pretty Little Ditty" (the riff of which was sampled for Crazy Town's smash hit "butterfly") that appeared on the album "Mother's Milk" was born through the numerous jams that Flea and John had. A little while later, John auditioned to be a guitarist for the band Thelonious Monster. The band was about to offer him the job, but Flea jumped in just in time and offered the guitarist position in the Chili Peppers to John, which he gladly accepted. Flea and others close to the band recalled that John was very much like Hillel, not only in the way he played guitar but the way he stood and moved like him. In 1989, "Mother's Milk", John and new drummer Chad Smith's first album for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, peaked at #59 on the Billboard charts and with the hit "Higher Ground" originally written by Stevie Wonder. The Chili Peppers were becoming more popular every day while their fan base grew. Years earlier, when John was at a Chili Peppers concert, Hillel asked John, "Would you still like the Chilis if they got so popular that they played the L.A. Forum?". John responded, "No, because it would ruin the whole thing." With the success of the band's fifth album and John's second with them, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" (1991), what Hillel said bothered John and he began loathing the popularity of the band. During the Blood Sugar Sex Magik world tour, John's relationship with Kiedis started falling apart, even though they were once the closest in the band. After a while they stopped talking. John would retaliate at shows by playing quiet parts loudly and loud parts quietly. Flea even recalled that John started playing angrily. He knew John wasn't happy. At a hotel room in Japan in 1992, John did not want to play one night. He angrily slammed his arm on a table, trying to injure it in some way that would prevent him from playing, but it didn't do any damage. He rang the Chili Peppers' tour manager and said he wanted to quit the band. After a band meeting, the rest of the Chili Peppers' convinced John to play that night and he did so. After the show, he took a plane home to California with one more date in Japan still to go. On May 7 1992, John left the Peppers and went home and stayed on the couch for roughly a year. As the Chili Peppers began the search for another guitarist, John became addicted to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. He discovered his love for painting. After his friends Perry Farrell, Steven T. Perkins, Gibby Haynes, Flea and River Phoenix convinced him to record a solo album because there was "no good music anymore," he completed "Niandra LaDes & Usually Just A T-shirt". Warners was to have the rights to the album, as there was a "leaving artist" clause in the Chili Peppers' contract, but since John did not want to do any promotion or interviews for the album, they gladly handed over the rights to Rick Rubin's (producer of Blood Sugar Sex Magik) American Recordings. The album didn't shift many units, as it was only restricted to the American market. It sold roughly 15,000 copies. After his friend River Phoenix died in October 1993, John became more depressed. He stopped playing guitar, stopped painting and became a full-time drug addict. He went broke after spending all his money on drugs and was expelled from his house because he wasn't paying the rent for it anymore. During those years John moved to different places. If no one had heard from him for a while, some would assume that he was probably dead. He never ate regularly and liked his new stick-like body shape, because it looked like David Bowie's during the "Ziggy Stardust" days. After a suggestion from a friend for another solo album, John agreed to do one to pay for his drug habit. In 1997 "Smile from the Streets you Hold" was released. It sold better then "Niandra LaDes & Usually Just a T-shirt". In 1999 John took the album off the market because he was ashamed of his motives for doing it. He was urged by friends to give rehab another try. This time it was successful. He began playing again and played at the Viper Room on the 20th January 1997, where only a few years earlier his friend River Phoenix had died. Then in the beginning of 1998, rumors spread that Dave Navarro (John's replacement in the Chili Peppers) was leaving the band. Flea, who had jammed with John numerous times during this period, proposed him to join the band again. It wasn't until April 1998 that his return within the Chili Peppers became official. It made the band and the fans alike happy. He and the rest of the Chili Peppers jammed numerous times and kept composing and practicing during the following months. Anthony Kiedis had recovered from his addictions as well and he and John were able to forgive and forget and form a bond once more. He has since recorded two more albums with the Chili Peppers, "Californication" (1999) and "By The Way" (2002), both commercial successes. He also released two more solo albums, "To Record Only Water For Ten Days" (2001) and "Shadows Collide With People" (2004). He will be releasing a new album "Will To Death" on June 22 on the Record Collection label.  See full bio on IMDb »

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