Red Hot Chili Peppers reunited with their original drummer Jack Irons last weekend, performing together in tribute to the band’s late guitarist Hillel Slovak.
Irons and Slovak were the band’s original drummer and guitarist upon their formation in 1983, alongside remaining members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Flea (bass). Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988, which prompted Irons to leave the band.
The band reunited with Irons last Sunday (June 25) at Grand Rapids, performing a cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Fire’ together in tribute to Slovak on the 29th anniversary of his death.
The band’s take on ‘Fire’ appears on 1988’s ‘Mother’s Milk’, an LP which Irons and Slovak both performed on. They were replaced by Chad Smith and John Frusciante, respectively.
Watch the tribute below.
Speaking in a recent interview, Kiedis said of Cornell: “He is of our generation… You never expect a contemporary who’s alive and well and still playing to suddenly check out like that. So I can’t say that I took him for granted, but… it was kind of shocking.”
Kiedis added: “We have a relationship with him and the rest of Soundgarden, because we went on tour with them in 1992 with Lollapalooza, and they were just a bunch of sweethearts, and we got to see them constantly. It was nice to see them back together and crushing to know that he was in a painful place in his mind to the point where he could wanna take his own life. And I don’t judge him for that, because I don’t know that kind of pain. Obviously, it has to be overwhelming in order to wanna leave. So, bless his family. He left the world a better place.”