[a]Red Hot Chili Peppers[/a] have lost guitarist Dave Navarro...

DAVE NAVARRO (pictured left) has split from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The former Jane's Addiction guitarist announced he was leaving the band in a press release issued from their record company, Warner Brothers. A few weeks ago, the guitarist had made it clear he did not want to tour heavily either with the Peppers or with the recently-reformed Jane's Addiction.

A press release from the company quoted singer Anthony Kiedis as saying: "This is a completely mutual parting based on creative differences. We had fun and I love the guy." Navarro is thought to have left to devote more time with his new band Spread, which he has formed with Chilis drummer Chad Smith. Their debut album is rumoured for release in the summer.

Navarro also made a statement, though his was rather less straight-forward: "The only way I can describe this amicable parting of ways is as follows: When I was 17 the time had come for me to leave the comfort and safety of the nest... thus turning to a new chapter in my life. As sad as this experience was for me, I found it to be equally as exciting. I knew then that in my absence the love my father had for me would be no different than my love for him. The only difference that I can see in this case is that my father would have never suggested the light bulb costumes. On a serious note, I will miss the band very much. I know in my heart that the friendships we've established will remain forever eternal."

Navarro joined the group in time for the recording of their 1995 album 'One Hot Minute'. Recent interviews in the United States indicated that Navarro was in good spirits, but had ruled himself out of any long touring.

Navarro was the Chilis' eighth guitarist - founding member Hillel Slovek died of a heroin overdose in 1988, and since then the guitar role has been filled by Blackbyrd McKnight, John Frusciante Arik Marshall and Jesse Tobias, amongst others.

Meanwhile, the new Chilis album is unlikely to be released before the end of the year. One track, dedicated to the late qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and called 'Circle of the Noose', featured Navarro.

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