Red Hot Chili Peppers Thought Member ‘Looked Like Prick’

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Producer Michael Beinhorn, known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on albums like “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and “Mother’s Milk,” recently shared insights on the band’s significant lineup changes. Speaking to Rick Beato, Beinhorn discussed the period between the two albums and the challenges of finding new members.

After the departure of drummer Jack Irons and temporary replacement D.H. Peligro, guitarist Hillel Slovak’s tragic passing in 1988 prompted temporary replacement DeWayne McKnight. The band later recruited guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith. Beinhorn recalled that D.H. Peligro introduced Frusciante to the band, highlighting Frusciante’s music theory knowledge and superpowers in composition.

Producer Michael Beinhorn, known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on albums like “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and “Mother’s Milk,” recently shared insights on the band’s significant lineup changes. Speaking to Rick Beato, Beinhorn discussed the period between the two albums and the challenges of finding new members.

After the departure of drummer Jack Irons and temporary replacement D.H. Peligro, guitarist Hillel Slovak’s tragic passing in 1988 prompted temporary replacement DeWayne McKnight. The band later recruited guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith. Beinhorn recalled that D.H. Peligro introduced Frusciante to the band, highlighting Frusciante’s music theory knowledge and superpowers in composition.

Regarding Frusciante’s guitar, Beinhorn mentioned a minor issue: “And he had this hideous Ibanez guitar as well. That didn’t suit the Chili Peppers too much.” The guitar in question is believed to be Frusciante’s old Ibanez RG760.

Beinhorn also shared his experience during the drummer auditions for “Mother’s Milk.” He was initially disappointed by the lackluster drummers auditioning until Chad Smith entered the room. Despite their initial negative impressions, Smith’s drumming changed everything:

“From the first hit, I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ And he’s also young. He’s like, Yeah, while he’s playing. He’s so comical. But he was so good! And something happened in that room that I’ve only experienced a few times in my life. It literally felt like some energy portal that opened.”

“They had to let D.H. go, and they started rehearsals for drummer and I thought, ‘Oh, this is the Chili Peppers, we’re not going to have any problem at all getting a new drummer.’ Rehearsals and tryouts for a drummer for this band is going to be a ‘fait accompli.’

But things were a little bit more complicated than that:

“I have never seen a more lackluster group of drummers under one roof in my entire life. I was so let down.”

“It was just this procession of like these hangdog, down-on-your-luck-type drummers,” Beinhorn added. “And there was this one guy who was kind of halfway decent, who had sort of like a Buffalo Springfield bull-type hair cut who is the only guy who I think came close to being even remotely acceptable.”

“And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Jesus Christ, D.H. was better than all these guys put together, what did I do?'”

“So the last day, we’re sort of done. Just sitting around in a malaise. And the last drummer comes in, this big guy looking around the room like he owns the place. And we all hate him immediately. Everyone just looks at him and goes like ‘This fucking guy. What a prick! He looks like he belongs in a metal band.'”

“He’s got, like, a bandana around his head and stuff like that. He’s just so not right. And I’m just thinking to myself, ‘I just want this guy to go.'”

“‘What’s your name? Chad? Perfect name. Play your drums, get the fuck out.'”

“The guy sits down at the drum kit. And from the first hit, I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ And he’s also young. He’s like, Yeah, while he’s playing. He’s so comical. But he was so good! And something happened in that room that I’ve only experienced a few times in my life. It literally felt like some energy portal that opened.”