Flea Recalls Firing Josh Klinghoffer
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea recalled the emotions the group was dealing with when they fired the band’s guitarist for a decade — Josh Klinghoffer — upon John Frusciante‘s return to the band. Klinghoffer, who started out as Frusciante’s guitar tech, as now tours as Pearl Jam‘s supplemental live guitarist, was let go by the Chili Peppers in December 2019.
Flea told Classic Rock that it was decision he didn’t take lightly: “I crashed my car into the garage, I was so freaked out about it. Look, Josh is an amazing person. He was helpful for me personally, as someone I could go to when I was hurting and crying on the road. He played great, he contributed, he’s an awesome person. But we had a language with John that we developed when we were all much younger.”
He went on to explain the allure of John Frusciante as a guitarist and bandmember: “John Frusciante is the best musician I’ve ever played with. It’s in everything from the little details to the big picture. His relationship to music is so pure and has so much integrity and knowledge and work and practice. Every note he plays is born of this immense heart. It’s so beautiful.”
John Frusciante, who has already quit the Chili Peppers twice before, was pressed as to whether the third go-’round with the band will be for good, and explained, “There’s no way to see into the future. . . The beauty of playing with this band is that we really do love listening to each other. I love hearing the way they make me sound. We have a chemical effect on each other. We bring things out of each other that we can’t bring out of ourselves. The way I play guitar with them is a style I can’t play on my own. The chance to make another record like that has meant everything to me. We’re all just glad this is happening right now. Our hearts are in it, and so it feels right.”
A while back John Frusciante told us that there was a time when skateboarding was more important to him than guitar. “When I was a little kid I was a skateboarder at Marina Del Rey (California) Skate Park in like 1978 until they closed in ’81, and that’s when I started playing guitar and stopped skateboarding. I would imagine a lot of the emotional rudiments in the feelings of flying that took place in skateboarding, I probably am trying to emulate those same things with music.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers next perform on June 4th in Seville, Spain at Estadio La Cartuja De Sevilla.