Red Hot Chili Peppers

Flea on John’s departure in The Watt From Pedro show – transcript included

John and Flea at the Red Hot Chili Peppers' concert in Dortmund in 2006 - photo by Michael PlinskiIn the most recent edition of The Watt From Pedro Show, Mike Watt is talking to Flea, playing a song by an actual Serbian band Disciplina Kičme (if you’re curious, check them out – I was really, really surprised to see something from my country in the playlist!), Brother Matt is doing a spin cycle with Flea on bass and, most importantly, Flea is talking about John’s departure and, for everyone who’s interested, Josh Klinghoffer as obviously the newest addition to the Red Hot Chili Peppers family.

You can listen to the relevant excerpt right here, though I’m kindly recommending you to download the whole 3-hour-podcast from TWFPS.com

[xspf]_start(FALSE, ‘order=92&mode=2’)[/xspf]

Mike Watt: I didn’t know. Ya know, John was on the show.

Flea: Yeah yeah, he told me.

Mike Watt: He came out with that ah…Josh…Klinghoffer.

Flea: Yeah, Josh is our new guitar player.

Mike Watt: He’s the guy he made the record with, he brought him on over. And they made this solo album and he wanted to talk about that record.

Flea: Yeah, they’ve been playing together for years.

Mike Watt: And aaa…ohhhh.

Brother Matt: So, Josh is your new guitar player?

Flea: Yeah, yeah.

Brother Matt: He’s a nice cat! Young guy.

Brother Matt: He’s great.

Flea: Beautiful beautiful guy.

Mike Watt: We dug him.

Mike Watt: He played some synthesizer in the jam.

Flea: Oh, cool!

Mike Watt: Yeah, yeah and uh, because before that he was doing ones with…Omar and…and…Joe Lally!

Flea: Right, oh yeah, yeah, yeah he did!

Mike Watt: So this was a newer thing, I didn’t know about this, this collaboration.

Flea: He and Josh made like, ten records together or something. All of John’s….

Mike Watt: All I know is the Omar and Joe Lally ones.

Flea: Yeah. yeah

Mike Watt: Maybe he goes on runs.

Flea: He just goes….yeah. E-he-he-heh.

Mike Watt: So He left the band! Wow.

Flea: Yeah, yeah…

Flea: Yeah…he just…I mean, you know…of course you know like with any decision like that it’s not, like, one reason.

Mike Watt: Yeah, yeaah…he didn’t talk about any of that.

Flea: You know, I can’t-I can’t speak for him, but I know, like whatever decisions John makes like that, it’s I mean….his love of music is so intense…and it’s really about him like nurturing.

Mike Watt: He’s still making music, right?

Flea: Yeah, always…

Brother Matt: He’s really passionate.

Mike Watt: And his buddy’s the new guitarist, so….did he like…advise him or…?

Flea: YEAH, YEAH! It’s all…you know, yeah, yeah, for sure…they’re great friends, you know, I mean…

Mike Watt: Or or..wait-wait-wait, what did he say…suggest?….Hey Josh can do it?

Flea: You know, you know, we knew…..Josh was on a tour with the Chili Peppers too, we had a second guitar player for a while.

Mike Watt: Oh!

Flea: So it was like kinda like this guy was already in the family and just kinda…

Mike Watt: OK. OK.

Flea: You know, it’s more important for us to like play with a bro, then ya know…yeah, I mean, we learned from that mistake before…

Mike Watt: Yeah, right.

Disclaimer: This transcript is nowhere near perfect. If you have any corrections, leave them in comments or email them to iva@invisible-movement.net – the sound is so distorted that it looks as if it was a convo amongst three very old ladies with no teeth!

You might also want to check out
25th January 2009 edition of The Watt From Pedro Show, featuring John and Josh, transcribed
25th January 2009 edition of The Watt From Pedro Show for download, with the playlist
Subscribe to The Watt From Pedro podcast in iTunes

*Many thanks to RHCP Universe and M-Flor who originally let everyone know about this. The audio excerpt was extracted by RHCP Universe, too. Also thanks to Nemi and M.A. for correcting some minor errors in the transcript. Special thanks to Kirsten for filling all the BIG gaps.

50 Comments

  • Yeaahhhh you know...

    Yeahh…yeahhh…you know… <—- This doesn't clear up anything…Why can't anyone of them talk clearly about why John left???!!!

    But this is not your fault, thank you a lot for sharing this with us Iva, I love you 😀

  • Yeaahhhh you know...

    Yeahh…yeahhh…you know… <—- This doesn't clear up anything…Why can't anyone of them talk clearly about why John left???!!!

    But this is not your fault, thank you a lot for sharing this with us Iva, I love you 😀

  • Samuel Costa

    bah!
    they were the red hot chili peppers way before john joined in. and that was a hell of a band too.

    will I miss john on rhcp? yes. but i can't wait to hear his new projects and solo stuff.

    • Iva

      You left two comments I got rid of the other one, hope you don't mind…the difference was minor, anyway and I assumed this was the newer one, with authentication and stuff.

      This sure is a busy topic tonight…

  • Nemi

    great great transcript but I think he says that "there's not like one reason"? I think so… and in the end he says "it's more important for us to play with a bro"
    🙂

    • Toni

      "playing with a bro"…pahh…I don't give anything anymore about that chemistry thing…
      If it would be really about muscial connection and chemistry they wouldn't go on without John.
      In a band, nobody is replaceable, everyone is unique and part of the things that this band creates…

      I am very disappointed that they just go on without John…and still call themselves RHCP.
      Very disappointed…

      • Nemi

        I agree too but I was just shocked! I was like "WHAT!? but they are no chili peppers without john!"
        so at first I didn't believe a shit of that John had left because they said that the red hot chili peppers had gone back to rehearsal. And I could never even imagine them still calling themselves rhcp without John.

      • Shade

        By that logic they wouldn't have recruited John in the first place; the band would've died. The band will simply change, but the founding philosophy likely won't. Personally I think RHCP with John is at it's ultimate potential, but I'm interested in seeing what they'll pull off in this formation too.

        In a band chemistry is everything. A name, not so much.

      • GoodTimeBoys

        So Toni, are you saying that they shouldn't have continued the Chili Peppers once Hillel died? If nobody is replaceable, then according to you John should have never been in the band in the first place…

        Anthony and Flea are RHCP. John was a member for a period of time and he was a fantastic member, they made some incredible music. But now he's moving on like others have before him. Give Josh a chance to establish himself in the band, he might just surprise you. I'm sure a lot of people were mad that the Chili Peppers were continuing with this "John Frusciante" guy after Hillel had died, and look how awesome of a fit John turned out to be! I expect a similar situation with Josh.

        • Pat

          you girl are a slave to a brand. it's not like the band is Coca-Cola or something. pay, drink, obey shtick. lol.

            • Pat

              she attacked toni for the same thing didn't she? and it's not the first time she did it…defend rhcp, defend rhcp, defend rhcp, listen to them regardless…the sadness of our reality. if toni or any1 else don't like rhcp w/o john, so be it?! not every1 is in it for the shine.

              • Shade

                *Shrugs.* If you think that's an attack then that's okay, I guess, even though the basis of that comment was a logical critique supported by example. The way I look at it you can think RHCP is defined by whatever selection of members or ex-members you want; that's by it's very nature subjective.

                The reason I responded the way I did was because such a dissenting opinion doesn't make someone a slave to a brand, even if you would've added a million "lol"s. In fact, it suggests that her opinion would be completely different if Flea had left the band and they would've continued in a similar fashion – which is completely contrary to being a slave to a brand. I think the bigger sadness of our reality is that people don't listen much at all to whom they're speaking to.

                • GoodTimeBoys

                  1. I'm not a she.

                  2. I wasn't attacking anyone. I was pointing out the flaw in the statement that "RHCP is not RHCP without John". It is simply a false statement, since the original RHCP did not include John. I'm not sure how that can be interpreted as attacking someone.

                  3. Slave to the brand? No. I'm all about the music. Disliking RHCP because John Frusciante isn't a part of them sounds more like being a slave to a brand to me. I'm gonna actually listen to their new album before judging them, rather than writing them off because John isn't a part of them. If I enjoy the music, I'll remain a fan, no matter who the members are. I think that's a more logical approach than deciding that I don't like them anymore without hearing their music, just because John's gone. But that's just me.

                • GoodTimeBoys

                  1. I'm not a she.

                  2. I wasn't attacking anyone. I was pointing out the flaw in the statement that "RHCP is not RHCP without John". It is simply a false statement, since the original RHCP did not include John. I'm not sure how that can be interpreted as attacking someone.

                  3. Slave to the brand? No. I'm all about the music. Disliking RHCP because John Frusciante isn't a part of them sounds more like being a slave to a brand to me. I'm gonna actually listen to their new album before judging them, rather than writing them off because John isn't a part of them. If I enjoy the music, I'll remain a fan, no matter who the members are. I think that's a more logical approach than deciding that I don't like them anymore without hearing their music, just because John's gone. But that's just me.

      • Ian

        RHCP have had more band member changes than most bands. Anyone in a band can be replaced. Just ask Jack Irons, Hillel Slovak, Dave Navvaro and John Frusciante (who has been replaced twice now) from what has been known as the RHCP. The irony here is that John was a replacement. Kind of makes your disappointment a little less logical when you think about that way. If they had not gone on there would have been no BSSM which would have been a major loss to everyone.

        While John in my mind is the most tallented, the band need not stop making music or recording simply because he wishes to do other things. You can think of a band like a marriage. If need be there can be a divorce/seperation but that doesn't mean you should never date or marry again now does it. They are all free to do what they wish and I hope John is able to continue to produce quality music independeantly of the RHCP as he has done for the last ten years. I eagerly look forward to what RHCP and John will produce in the future.

      • kurt

        why should they change the name of the band ? the already made great music before john and chad joined rhcp.
        sure they will change with josh.
        but the changed already a lot between mother s milk and the last one as well…. and that was all with john…
        things just change in life … no prob.
        can t see anything to be dissapointed …

    • Pat

      that makes three of us. sure john has ethics but what about his numerous proteges? shouldn't they be following the leader instead of milking him? i remember watching liveearth in 07 and it was strange.. pls look @ me kinda things.

  • armin

    I'm so surpised, I've lost a lot of the respect i had for the band…Seriously, they can't even give us a reasonable explenation why John left.

    • Shade

      John's the only one who can give a good explanation, and he has. The rest just don't want to speak for him, which is refreshing. I actually don't understand why it would be seen as something enigmatic and mysterious. It's very clear to me.

        • Shade

          It might be dangerous/silly to speculate, but I suppose that could simply be a reference to John's reasoning being more intricate than what could be summed up in one line.

          • Nicky

            I agree. John's probably got a complex reason and we might never know because no-one but John has the right to divulge that to the public.

  • ian

    The reason why John left is in that blog post awile back, he's interested in other things then being in a huge band and everything that goes along with that right????? Ian

  • Willis

    lets face it, theyre in the studio now writing songs and working on the new album, so as always theyve cocooned themselves off from the work in order to focus completely on this. its not like we're in the dark, johns out and josh is in, they dont owe us all the juicy gossip around why this change has taken place and lets be fair….its not our business. they make the decision to put out music and play gigs, thats the only true obligation i feel a band has to its fans. and this argument of "its not rhcp without john", like what has already been said, is a false statement. to the individual it may be that the strongest line up was when john was in the band, and i'd have to agree, but to outright dismiss this line up before hearing any material is naive at best and ignorant at worst

  • stephen

    its quiet obvious what's going on with the band,they couldnt just call it a day after john left after being on a two year hiatus,i reckon because of the hiatus they had to get back together they couldnt just be no more without wrapping things up first,so i reckon one more album and a tour and red hot chili peppers will be no more,personally im looking forward to whatever john brings out in the future

  • Claire

    I think what "GoodTimeBoys" said is true, but I think she has to admit that RHCP first after John joined them became successfull and created a completly different style.

    John was way longer part of the band than Hillel.
    The band changed so much their muscial direction, compare the first to albums to all the ones which came after.
    So you could say with Hillel it was another band, too.
    Everybody has different ideas, creates different music, John would have played guitar in a completly other way than Josh is going to.

    So I agree with Toni, too.

    • Tadeu

      That's a nice reflection.
      I wonder what would the band sound if Hillel hadn't die.
      The sound was more "aggressive". It was impossible to stay quiet and without moving your body.
      I'm a big fan of John, their style were simply different.
      I hope Josh become a real part of the band and insert his influence too.

  • GoodTimeBoys

    Again, I'm not a she…

    Really, it just annoys me that some people have to take sides. Either Frusciante or RHCP. That's nonsense, John is still my favourite musician in the world, I'm still gonna enjoy all the music he makes. But that doesn't mean I can't still listen to RHCP. Those guys are all great musicians too, let them make music if they want to continue making music. Can't wait to hear what both them and John come out with in the future.

    • armin

      Yes, I agree he will also always be my favourite musician. But John has always been about music and so on, but it's over a year since The Empyrean came out, and we haven't heard anything about John doing anything solo.. I wont even mention the Swahili Blonde shit, that music is so garbage, I'm embaressed to even think John is a part of that.

  • Toni

    But do you think John is going to release some more music?
    It seems like he is not interested in sharing his music with us… 🙁
    And it also seems like he won't make a solotour so far…

  • Willis

    hes playing with Swahili blonde… so will be making live appearances with them, and ive still got a feeling hes going to be some part of the next chili's album…..producing or engineering….just a hunch but watch that space. i mean he only released his last album a year ago, give the boy a break! hes probably just trying to experiment with music as much as possible before releasing something, he did say he's wanting to move to an altogether different place with electronic music…..

    heres a thought……anyone recon he'd perform/release under and alias?? almost in secret, since he wouldn't necessarily be singing so wouldn't be as distinguishable….. this is just a random question im putting forward

    • Jen

      I agree about him possibly having a part in the next RHCP album in some fashion and I could also see him playing with them (kind of replacing Josh's old part) a few times as well.

      Personally, I can tell his guitar playing apart from other guitarists, so even if he wasn't singing I think people would know it was him (as far as releasing under diff. name)

  • CMD313

    Toni, this guy (who is not a girl) is like a drug for you…get off that drug, use your own mind. If John is already in a new project, that means he is sharing.

    If he's a total stupido for the internets, maybe he learns it someday. Before a man realises what power lie in front of him waiting to be utilized, nobody can show man light.

  • Manu1236

    Like Willi says, if you john isn't part of the band actually, but remenber that there was rumours that rick rubin won't produce the new album, and I know some guy that in the last time produced an album (exquisite corpse), and as far l know that guy loves the chilis and is friend of the four…
    And also there is a thing called ''featured'' and another thing called ''guest start'' (if I get a good traduction from the web hahaha). But remember Frusciante is a musician (and, why not, a philosopher) not only the RHCP guitarrist, don't expect that he will ever be with red hot. Actually I prefer he doing new solo (or with a new group) stuff, that he doing things with red hot, because he will be limiting he and limiting the band.
    This page is for the people who loves frusciante music, actually his name come from a SOLO song of he, if you wanna a John that he isn't, I think this isn't your place.

    • Manu1236

      Excuse me, I expressed bad when I sayed …''Actually I prefer he doing new solo (or with a new group) stuff, that he doing things with red hot, because he will be limiting he and limiting the band.''…
      I'm aren't saying that john is or will be a ''music dictator'', i'm saying that if he don't things that he don't want he wouldn't be using all his music pontential.

  • Dee Cee

    Hey all, I'd like to say that I love john and the band can never be the same, but how can he go out and play with others and play on other projects all while ignoring his lifelong friends whom he shared the best musical connection with? His input is so important to the peppers overall sound. Ultimately though with johns life being so dedicated to making music how can he turn his back in such a profound way on this part of the process. Will he tour with others and do shows? Why not the peppers? Sometimes a band should go out while their on top and hold their heads high, I love flea and their talents are undeniable but it cant be as magical W-out johnny!

  • Jen

    I think if it came down to just making music and not having to worry about anything else, John would make music with the Chili Peppers all day long. But we have heard before that the business and touring aspects he cannot stand. Like someone else said, John is my favorite musician of all time as well. I would not wish for ONE SECOND that he do something his heart was not in. I do hate that he is no longer part of the RHCP, but I also think that life is TOO damn short to be doing something you hate for even one minute. I have had jobs in the past that I could not STAND! I would not wish that horrible feeling on anyone and especially not on John.

    PS- Swahilli Blonde is crap though… sorry JF….

    • Fred

      I agree with you about Swahilli Blonde Jen…

      RHCP's musical direction is probably not the music he currently wants to make.
      John always had an extraordinary music taste.

      But I think Tony isn't wrong at all wit what he said.

    • Manu1236

      Without any violence, a music isn't crap only because you don't like or don't understand it, it's only a chemistry or a time thing. That ever come with the avant-garde, because the people don't understand or dont like it, they say is crap. Years later the avant-garde are master-pieces. Or, if it is a chemistry thing, you don't got reason for saying that is crap. Some music is only for some people in some moment. I think the music got a lot of relation with the context in who is being played… but well that is for the day when the saturday cuestions will return haha.

  • Pat

    I would pay them NOT to get him take his shirt off. Doesn't have the charisma, doesn't have the appeal, doesn't have the body.

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