Red Hot Chili Peppers
FEW 80s rock groups broke down as many musical barriers and were as original as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band of Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary and Hillel Slovak, was formed during their high school years. Slovak taught Balzary, also known as Flea, to play bass while Kiedis put his poetry to music. With Jack Irons on drums, the quartet, influenced by the LA punk scene, began rehearsing.
Before the Chili Peppers could begin work on their debut, Slovak and Irons announced they were leaving to focus on another band they were in called What Is This. With Jack Sherman (guitar) and Cliff Martinez (drums) filling in, the Peppers released their self-titled debut album in 1984, but the absence of the two original members showed. While the album didn’t set the world on fire, the group began to build a dedicated underground following. By 1985, Slovak and Irons returned, and the four recorded Freaky Styley. 1987’s The Uplift Moto Party Plan was the group’s first to make an impression on the charts, but just as the world was warming up to the Peppers, tragedy struck when Slovak died from a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988.
In the wake of Slovak’s death, Irons left the group for the second and final time, leaving Kiedis and Flea to soldier on. The duo found worthy replacements in John Frusciante and Chad Smith. The new-look Peppers’ first album together, 1989’s Mother’s Milk became a surprise hit, and they knew that their next release would be the most important of their career. And they certainly delivered – Blood Sugar Sex Magik was a monster album, spawning such hits as Give It Away and the group’s first top 10 single Under the Bridge.
Frusciante had become addicted to drugs and left the band mid-tour in early 1992, undeterred, the band enlisted new member Arik Marshall. However, Marshall didn’t fit-in with the Peppers and Dave Navarro was signed up. After a lay-off of four years, the Peppers’ much delayed follow up was released in 1995, One Hot Minute. The album was a sizeable hit, but Navarro wasn’t fitting in either and left the band in early 1998.
After checking himself into rehab and putting his demons behind him, Frusciante emerged once again refocused, re-energised and accepted an invitation to rejoin the group. Their reunion album, 1999’s Californication, proved to be another monster success, reconfirming the Chili Peppers as one of alternative rock’s top bands.
ROGER WATERS came to fame with the legendary band, Pink Floyd. Their 1972 album The Dark Side of the Moon was their commercial breakthrough and became one of the most successful albums in rock history, Waters writing all the lyrics and some of the music.
Under Waters’ motivation and drive, the band developed a unique concert atmosphere using innovative sound, visual and theatrical specialities that became part of Floyd’s concert mythology.
After The Final Cut, Pink Floyd broke up but David Gilmour, following his failed solo career, once more recruited Mason and Wright to re-form Pink Floyd. Waters sued, as he wanted to prevent the trio from touring as Pink Floyd without him. He lost.
Gilmour, Mason and Wright called upon Bob Ezrin and other composers to help with their new album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which went on to become double platinum. The band sold millions of tour tickets and filled huge stadiums. Most fans recognised the Pink Floyd sound, and even Waters admitted that: “It’s a pretty fair forgery, I’ll give Gilmour credit. When he devises a fraud, he goes to first-class talent for assistance.”
The following years were bitter for Roger, he re-emerged with The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking (1984), followed by Radio KAOS (1987), but his music was far too electronic and pop sounding, which pushed many old fans away. Amused to Death was released in 1992, but was a bitter disappointment for Waters even though it included some of his finest material in years. After his last public appearance in 1993, Waters retired from the spotlight for many years, while his former colleagues enjoyed success with the release of the Division Bell and Pulse in 1993.
However, Waters slowly re-emerged in 1998, organised his first US tour in 12 years and released Flickering Flame, a ‘best-of’ CD, including rare and new solo tracks.
Fans of Pink Floyd were delighted when the original line-up, including Roger Waters, performed on stage together at Live8.
• You can catch Roger Waters on June 2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on June 3 at Rock in Rio, Lisbon. For more information or to book tickets call 214 666 500, e-mail patricia.gonç[email protected] or visit www.rockinrio-lisboa.sapo.pt