10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Photo: Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1983. The group’s musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk and elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. Currently, the band is composed of founding members vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea (Michael Peter Balzary), longtime drummer Chad Smith, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who joined in late 2010. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time, with over 80 million records sold worldwide, making them the best-selling band in history to not hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers broke into the mainstream with their fifth studio album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, released in 1991. The group’s next three albums, Californication (1999), By the Way (2002), and Stadium Arcadium (2006), each saw continued commercial success and won multiple Grammy Awards. In 2011, they released I’m With You.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been nominated for sixteen Grammy Awards, of which they have won six. They were also nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards (“One Hot Minute” 2001) but did not win either one. Eleven of their singles have appeared on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, where it has reached number one a total of nine times. Another string of hits includes nine songs that hit number one on the Mainstream Rock chart.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. They are one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. The band currently holds the record for most number-one hits on Alternative Songs with twelve.

Chile Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman died In August 2020, aged 64. On April 24, 2021, the band announced that they had left Q Prime, which was their management at the time. To enable you to know more about this band, Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Hot Chili Peppers:

# 1 -The original name of the band was much different

The Red Hot Chili Peppers started as a punk band called Tony Flow And The Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Their original name was far more indicative of their style, but the music industry had other plans for them, so they were forced to change it.

# 2 – An extensive number of their songs are written in memoriam

A notable portion of Red Hot Chili Peppers songs has been written about friends or people close to each member who has passed away, most notably Hillel Slovak, Flea’s former guitarist and friend from high school. There is another trend among numerous songs where they write lyrics as if they were addressed directly to a deceased person who occupies some sort of special place in their hearts.

# 3 – The band has had many guitarists

During their career, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have employed eight different guitar players to their fold. They started with original guitarist Hillel Slovak, and Bob Forrest soon became part of the band’s lineup; however, he was fired due to his heroin addiction. To replace him, John Frusciante was hired (and later fired) but eventually returned to the group before quitting again several years later. Other musicians like Dave Navarro were brought in for a short period before being kicked out after arguments with Kiedis about his lyrics. Finally, Josh Klinghoffer, their current guitarist who is set to return now that John Frusciante is leaving the band for a second time.

# 4 – They have raised both awareness and funding for countless charities with their concerts:

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are well known for their huge charity shows to raise money, awareness, or both for completely different causes. Over the years, they have covered topics ranging from famine in Africa to AIDs in America. By participating in events like Live 8 and Band-Aid, they’ve brought much-needed attention to some of the world’s biggest issues while also creating a fundraising machine unlike any other rock band on this list.

# 5 – They have sold over 80 million albums across the globe:

In nearly 30 years as a band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold over 80 million albums throughout the world. With nearly 20 million of those sales in America alone, they are one of the most successful rock bands to ever come out of the United States.

# 6 – There are only two original members left in the RHCP:

After decades, two founding members and friends Anthony Kiedis and Flea, remain with the band today. They still tour regularly and continue to influence countless other artists who now perform their influence and those before them, like Jimi Hendrix or Joe Strummer, both legends who heavily influenced this famous punk-rock group from Los Angeles.

# 7 – Their only concert in 1997 was cut short by a typhoon:

In the summer of 1997, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were touring in support of their hit album Blood Sugar Sex Magik when they decided to play a show in Osaka, Japan, on June 26. Unfortunately for them and their fans, a typhoon warning forced them to cancel the show less than an hour before it started, hence why this is one of the most infamous stories among Red Hot Chili Peppers fan lore.

# 8 – Seven out of the RHCP’s eleven albums are certified platinum:

The band has put out twelve studio albums as well as one live album since 1984. Out of those thirteen releases, eight of them reached Platinum status; those include Blood Sugar Sex Magik (five times), Californication (twice), By The Way (twice), Stadium Arcadium (six times), and I’m With You once.

# 9 – Anthony Kiedis and Flea were in a side group called Three Little Butt Hairs:

Before joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers, both of the band’s founding members, Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass), along with Jack Sherman (guitar), initially formed the punk group Anthem (“anthems”) when they were in high school together in Los Angeles, CA; their original drummer used to call himself “Jack Ruby Jr.,” but quickly changed it to Dix Denney, which was his father’s name. The band only lasted for one show and was disbanded when Kiedis and Flea joined up with another punk group called “What Is This”; Jack Sherman soon followed the two to join the new group, which became what we know today as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

# 10 – Their only No. 1 album was supposed to be three separate records:

The Californication album is a commercial success, but if you’re familiar with RHCP albums that came before it, then you’d think of it as a failure compared to its predecessors, most notably Blood Sugar Sex Magik. In actuality, Californication is supposed to have been released in three parts rather than all at once, each corresponding to a specific season of the year. The first half was supposedly released in Spring, the second half dropped during Summer, and then the final set was released just before wintertime.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers have had an extremely successful career as far as albums go; they’ve got eight out of their thirteen albums certified platinum and twelve studio ones overall, not to mention dozens upon dozens of award nominations and three Grammy Awards. They may not be mainstream “pop stars,” but their music still shows up on television and radio all over the world, making it one of the unique bands we’ve seen in years.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Hot Chili Peppers article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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