Red Hot Chili Peppers: The day John Frusciante sabotaged a performance on Saturday Night Live

Saturday night Live It’s not just a comedy sketch show, it’s also a show that countless bands and soloists have been through, and a platform that many artists use to catapult their careers, as each broadcast is watched by millions of people. Even so, John frusciante of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers he hated one of his participations in the legendary late night.

On February 22, 1992, the quartet -who had just released their album Blood Sugar Sex Magik months ago-, said present on SNL to interpret “Stone Cold Bush” and the successful “Under the Bridge” in what promised to be a night to remember Which ended up turning into a nightmare.

By this time, the band had already experienced various conflicts and Frusciante was unhappy with the level of success and exposure that he and his bandmates were experiencing, which, along with his heroin addiction, led him to give little or no himself that night.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

The tension between John and the rest of the group intensified when, during “Stone Cold Bush”, he received a kick from Anthony Kiedis, with whom at that time he had almost no relationship. On purpose or not the frontman’s hit caused Frusciante to act strangely during “Under the Bridge”, playing an atypical introduction and with dissonant notes, which flummoxed the singer.

in his autobiography scar tissueKiedis remember his confusion and states: “I have since heard that John had used heroin during this show, but he might as well have been on another planet, because started playing something I had never heard before. She had no idea what subject she was playing or what tone she was on. She seemed like she was in a different world”.

“To this day, John denies playing out of tune,” the singer added. “According to him, he was experimenting with the way he would have done it if we had been rehearsing the melody. Well we didn’t, we were on live TV in front of millions of people and it was torture.”

Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Photo: Courtesy of Live Nation

“I felt like I was being stabbed in the back and hung up to dry in front of the whole of America while this guy stood in a shady corner, playing some off-key dissonant experiment. I thought he was doing that on purpose, just to shit on me,” the musician concluded.

For the end of the performance, Frusciante continued with his changes on the fly and instead of singing the choruses, he replaced the words with howls that, although they gave an experimental twist to the performance, increased Kiedis’s discomfort.

The end result became one of RHCP’s fan-favorite versions of the track, though at the time it caused more tension between the band members, leading to the guitarist’s departure months later. Fortunately for those who like his art, he returned in 1998 to distance himself again in 2009 and, more recently, he returned to the group in 2019.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers: The day John Frusciante sabotaged a performance on Saturday Night Live


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