On their mercurial frontman Anthony Kiedis’ birthday (November 1), here’s 50 things you might not know about Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band’s original name was Tony Flow And The Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem. Their first gig was at California’s Rhythm Lounge – they played to a crowd of about 30 people, opening for Gary and Neighbor’s Voices.
New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has played with a variety of other musicians. As well as his own band The Bicycle Thief, he’s joined up with everyone from P J Harvey to Tricky, Warpaint and Gnarls Barkley.
Flea – also known as Michael Peter Balzary – has appeared in numerous films, including Back To The Future 2 and 3, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, and Suburbia.
Anthony Kiedis, meanwhile, plays gun-toting surf dude Tone in classic Patrick Swayze / Keanu Reeves movie Point Break.
Flea is an avid runner, and completed the LA Marathon to raise money for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. He was featured in Runner’s World when he prepared for the race.
In 2001, Flea founded the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, which offers music lessons and instruments to children in need.
Josh Klinghoffer is said to have contributed at least one track to Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery’s second solo album.
The whole band make a showing in an episode of The Simpsons. During ‘Krusty Gets Cancelled’ they play ‘Give It Away’ in their underwear.
Lead singer Anthony Kiedis joked that the reason they covered Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ was because it was between this song, and covering New Kids On The Block’s ‘Hanging Tough’.
Richard Hawley played guitar on All Saints’ cover of ‘Under The Bridge’.
Ex drummer Cliff Martinez (who played on ‘Freaky Styley’) is now a film composer, and has produced scores for Traffic, Solaris and many more.
Flea has two children: Clara from first wife Loesha Zeivar and Sunny Bebop with second wife Frankie Rayder. The former was in a band herself called The Tints.
Former RHCP guitarist John Frusciante is Sunny’s godfather.
Anthony Kiedis once developed a series for HBO based around his unusual Los Angeles upbringing.
Anthony Kiedis is a strict vegan, and has been since 2008. He also regularly practises Vipassana meditiation and is a follower of Kabbalah.
‘Knock Me Down’, ‘My Lovely Man’ and ‘Dosed’ were all written as tributes to original guitarist Hillel Slovak.
Flea grew up with an alcoholic step-father who eventually became involved in shoot-outs with police.
Anthony Kiedis’ father, meanwhile, was a drug dealer who introduced him to drugs, and aided his loss of virginity to his own 18-year-old girlfriend.
Anthony Kiedis, Flea and John Frusciante are all fans of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Josh Klinghoffer contributed to Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery’s second solo album.
Chad Smith contributes to a slew of charities, including Surfer’s Healing, MusiCares and the Children’s Hospitals in the States.
Chad Smith also plays with an instrumental funk rock act called Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats.
John Frusciante was in a band with Flea and Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perksin The Three Amoebas.
The cover for ‘Stadium Arcadium’ was created by Storn Thorgerson, a graphic designer famous for his work with Pink Floyd, T Rex and The Mars Volta. However, the band rejected his ideas and went with their own, which Storm subsequently dismissed.
Anthony Kiedis was named Sexiest Male Vegetarian Alive by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2008. Leona Lewis was voted Sexiest Female Vegetarian that same year.
Flea was named the second best bass player ever in a recent poll by Contact Music, coming just behind The Who’s late bassist John Entwistle.
‘Desecration Smile’ is about Anthony Kiedis relationship with his ex-wife. When sings about being “Serenaded by the terror bird,” he’s referring to a band called The Terrors, who Heather took him to see.
He doesn’t just slap da bass you know. Flea has recently been studying music theory, composition and jazz trumpet at the University of Southern California.
‘Out In LA’ is the first song the band wrote together.
The late soul musician Billy Preston played clavinet on their song ‘Warlocks’.
Drummer Chad Smith has got behind the kit for a variety of other musicians, from Glenn Hughes to John Fogerty, Dixie Chicks, Paul Oakenfold, Kid Rock and George Clinton.
Anthony Kiedis wrote ‘Venice Queen’ about Gloria Scott, a drug councilor who died of cancer.
Josh Klinghoffer recently wrote and performed the original score for the documentary Bob And The Monster – which is based on the life of musician/drug counselor Bob Forrest.
Anthony Kiedis, along with his son Everly, appeared in Bob And The Monster.
Chad Smith loves the basketball team the Detroit Pistons, and is also said to be a big fan of Saturday Night Live.
Flea and Dave Navarro both appear on Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’.
Following a gig in Virginia in 1989, Kiedis was convicted of indecent exposure and sexual battery.
The following year, during a taping of MTV’s Spring Break in Florida, Flea and Chad Smith were found guilty of battery, discorderly conduct and solicitation after they jumped off the stage, grabbed a woman and started to spank her.
While many people believe their song ‘Tearkjerker’ was written about a girl, it was really inspired by Kurt Cobain.
Anthony Kiedis’ father owns a pet wolf, named Howlin’ Wolf.
John Frusciante’s first solo album was called ‘Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T Shirt’ from 1994.
The woman behind ‘Dani California’ was…’every girl I’ve met in my life,” according to singer Anthony Kiedis.
‘Transcending’ is about River Phoenix.
Flea was friends with River Phoenix and was with him at The Viper Club on the night the actor died. The two were meant to perform on stage together.
‘Emit Remus’ is rumoured to be about Mel C whom Anthony Kiedis was dating
In the episode of The Simpsons the band appear in, they are asked to change the lyrics of ‘Give It Away’ from “ What I’ve got, I’ve got to get and put it in you,” to “What I’d like, is I’d like to hug and kiss you”.
Some people say Chad Smith looks like Will Ferrell. The comparisons came so thick and fast he appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien in 2009 wearing a t-shirt that read “I am not Will Ferrell”.
John Frusciante did the music for Vincent Gallo’s controversial film The Brown Bunny.
Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy awards and sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
Anthony Kiedis apparently dated Sinead O’Conner, but she broke up with him via a note. ‘I Could Have Lied’, was supposedly written about her, although she denies the two ever dated.