Κυριακή, 7 Αυγούστου 2011
ΝΕΟ ΞΕΚΙΝΗΜΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΥΣ RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
New Red Hot Chili Peppers article published in the LA Times on August 7th, 2011.
A new beginning for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
After a rough patch, the veteran L.A. band is back with a new guitarist and a new album due out this month.
The first day of rehearsals was another momentous occasion for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was fall 2009, more than three years since the band last toured, and the rockers were beginning the hard work of rebirth with a new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer. Singer Anthony Kiedis was already en route when he got a disheartening text: Brendan Mullen, local rock club impresario and author, had died of a stroke while celebrating his 60th birthday. Mullen was a friend but also much more. In 1983, he gave the young Chili Peppers a crucial break in their fledgling career, booking them to play Club Lingerie in Hollywood after Kiedis and bassist Flea played him their demo tape on a boombox while they danced. Mullen saw something in their crazed punk-funk fusion. Decades later, Mullen was writing an oral history on the Chili Peppers, spending long hours interviewing and reminiscing on their shared histories, but now he was gone.
At rehearsal, the mood was grim. “It was sort of a sad hello,” Klinghoffer remembers of that first day. “Everybody lost a good friend.”
Within the first hour were the beginnings of something called “Brendan’s Death Song.” It appears on the band’s new album, “I’m With You,” and starts with a melancholic vocal and acoustic guitar that builds toward a stormy instrumental break true to the emotion of Mullen’s days as a central figure in the original L.A. punk scene. “Let me live,” sings Kiedis, “so when it’s time to die, even the reaper cries.”
In a remembrance published in The Times days later, Flea described Mullen as “an intellectual, a musician, a writer, a partier and a regular dude.” He also represented a punk-rock community that first inspired and then embraced the Chili Peppers as they carried forward the ethos of that Hollywood underground as a multiplatinum rock band. “I really looked up to X and the Weirdos and the Germs,” Flea, 48, says today of that scene. “They were mythological heroes to me. I felt like it was a great duty and responsibility for me to hold up that end of the bargain, to be a good L.A. band.”