Red Hot Chili Peppers Stun Fans With John Frusciante Surprise At Show

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Red Hot Chili Peppers stunned longtime fans at a show in Australia on Tuesday, covering John Frusciante’s 1994 solo song “Ants” for the first time as a surprise. You can watch video below. The track original appeared on Frusciante’s debut solo album Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt.

After leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, Frusciante continued to write and record solo material. He had been doing so since the age of nine, but had never considered releasing his material to the public. That was until several of his friends—including Johnny Depp, Perry Farrell, Gibby Haynes and former Red Hot Chili Peppers band mate Flea—encouraged him to release the material he wrote in his spare time during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions. Frusciante began working on final cuts of the songs he had been writing, and producing them at his home in mid-1992. The production process, however, became hampered by his increasingly severe addiction to heroin.

Usually Just a T-Shirt was recorded in the order it appears, with the final tracks being recorded shortly prior to Frusciante’s departure from the Chili Peppers. Frusciante’s use of heroin and cocaine became more extreme during the final stages of recording in late 1993; he began viewing drugs as the only way to “make sure you stay in touch with beauty instead of letting the ugliness of the world corrupt your soul.”

Frusciante later worked with his eventual Red Hot Chili Peppers replacement Josh Klinghoffer on solo material in the 2000’s.

Klinghoffer told Gitarre & Bass Magazine in 2017 that he is no longer friends with Frusciante.

“[I don’t really stay in contact with John]. We’re both very busy. Honestly, it would be very weird playing with the Peppers and hanging out with John. I think it wouldn’t come naturally to him either. It’s better to keep a distance, in my opinion.”

“Yes, [we were best friends] for sure. And I’m not planning on not talking to him till the day I die.

“We decided to take different paths. It would be weird if we would talk privately. Especially for me who had some problems with this new album. I can’t call him to complain about this and that and let him in on how miserable I feel about certain things.

“Why should I show my weakness? Why should he listen to that? And how hurtful would it be for him? I think we need to put some daylight between us.”

Asked whether he thinks he could abruptly leave the band the way Frusciante did, Josh replied: “No idea! [Laughs] I guess he had some more reasons for quitting the band than doing less tours to get more time for his own music. Therefore personally I think that I wouldn’t make such a decision anytime soon. Particularly since I love playing with the band and I hope for more new rudiments and ways to create something special.”