An Oral/Visual History - The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers,  Sneak previews

Red Hot Chili Peppers – An Oral/Visual History reviewed + competition results

Just like it was the case with The Empyrean in January last year, Invisible Movement is reviewing the cool new thing so you can make up your mind whether you want it or not and so you know what to expect. At the same time, this review does not contain major spoilers, to make it more fun for you.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – An Oral/Visual History is, at its worst, yet another lavish high-quality print coffee table book that you can knock out a burglar with and it will stay in one piece. At its best, it’s a nice work of design, combining some quotes we have seen in other books and magazines with some new stuff and quotes; as well as combining some overused photos with some new ones.

Is there a lot of things you have not read/seen before? That depends on who’s reading it. For example, here’s what was new to me and what made me cry: in a couple of places, John mentions his deceased friend and Musicians Institute Of Technology school mate, Robert Hayes, a lot. In connection to this, there are some details on the 1992 band departure that were most likely not widely spread before.

You will also have a rather good insight in the Dave Navarro/One Hot Minute era which is often overlooked and a huge number of photos from the band’s early days with Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons.

Here’s a low-resolution selection of photos from The Red Hot Chili Peppers: An Oral/Visual History, published in October 2010. You can see more of it in this album, which is a bit NSFW, so watch out.


Are there errors? Yes. For example, we all know that 04th September 2008 Rock4Change performance meant to feature John, Flea, Josh Klinghoffer and Stella Mozgawa was canceled and that WarPaint and Weave! let the quartet perform with them at the Troubadour. However, according to the timeline given in this book, it actually happened. I assume that the performers were in two places at the same time without telling us. Shame on them, people who flew in from all around the United States could’ve watched both Rock4Change and the Troubadour Jam. Shame, shame on them!

Also, certain parts of the book are identical to some paragraphs from Perry Farrell’s bio “Whores”, so I assume the book was quoted for this purpose, given that Brendan Mullen, who authored both of them, passed away in 2009 and someone else finished writing this one for him.

Is there any trace of the Red Hots’ trademark, nudity? Yes, dear nudity fans, there’s some mild nudity when it comes to the subject of this website and a really creepy photo of the original band line-up prancing nude over a graveyard. I personally wish I could un-see that last one, it is not a pretty sight.

Can I read one, just one memorable quote? I like quotes!
Yes, here’s a quote on John from Bob Forrest!
John has that same thing Flea and Anthony have, very special and different. When I met John, there was no way he knew how to write songs. He was already like a guitar player’s guitar player, scary for one so young! John was a virtuoso musician, obsessed with weird things. Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, he was even going to be in Zappa’s band at some point.

Should you get it? Yes, for it’s a part of history. There might be some photos you have not seen in this world of information overload, there might be some details you didn’t know. There might be photos and quoted scattered on the Internet, here and there, but the impression is only complete if you have it on your lap…oh yes, that also means it’s too big for your hands.

Order the book in USA/The Americas
Order the book in Europe/nearby

The time has also come to announce the winner of the book competition.

Instead of the time-consuming old fashioned method, I gave everyone a number and turned to to pick one of you! Their algorithm picked number 22 and that would be Levi B! Congrats on winning the competition, please email me with your details!

Random number generator picked number 22!

You might also want to check out:
Spin Magazine’s selection of photos from the book
What the competition was about

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  • danny

    the part about robert was the most powerful part in the book IMO, the part where john goes on the roof might be the funniest part…

  • supes616

    thanks so much for reviewing this. I'm familiar with RHCP history, but I have yet to read any books on them. i don't want to see that nude picture though….

    PS I love that sgt. pepper pic!

  • Levi B

    I won! that's awesome thanks man. I can't find your email addy – can you email me at llboyd at gmail dot com?


    Levi B

  • asa

    I did some research and found out that Robert Hayes was in a band called The Jody Grind back in the early 90’s. They released two albums before Robert and another band member were killed by a drunk driver asleep at the wheel. One album is called One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure, and the second is called Lefty’s Deceiver.

  • Deandre Basta

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  • hispanic scholarships

    Wonderful blog! I definitely love how it’s easy on my eyes and also the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

    • Iva

      It's a bug – I can see your comment on the backend, but not on the front end. I will do a comment resynching and it should be here again. I would never delete a comment for such a reason.

      The information you offered is very valuable and I wanted to thank you, but you keep on leaving fake email address that I cannot contact you at. 🙁 Perhaps a real one would help; as, for example, I wanted to hear Hayes' music and I assumed you found some.

      • asa

        Forgive me, fake email addresses are an unconscious habit. You may be familiar with me 😉 we have some mutual friends. Apologies for the misunderstanding – thought maybe I'd somehow gone too far!

  • Tim m

    I bought the book. Besides the many nice quotes, there is one that I thought was very helpful to a question I hear all the time. Many people never quite understood why RHCP never played songs off of One Hot Minute (I at least never heard a definitive answer). Here is the answer from Chad, and it makes perfect sense:
    "Even though John's a huge Jane's Addiction fan, he refused to listen to anything off OHM. He said it was like somebody else is fucking your girlfriend."

  • Tim m

    hmm, I guess I never came across it then. apologies haha! It was a new quote for me so I enjoyed it.

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