Kiedis’ tribute to man who gave them big break then died just as new lineup began jamming for comeback album
Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis has told how the band reacted to the death of the man who gave them their big break – the very day they gathered to start work on comeback album I’m With You.
The Chilis had struggled to regain momentum in 2009 when guitarist John Frusciante decided not to return after their two-year hiatus. They eventually hired Josh Klinghoffer as his replacement – and while Kiedis was driving to the studio for his first day with the new lineup, he heard that influential LA promoter Brendan Mullen had died.
The singer explains on his website: “Brendan came to Hollywood from the UK in the mid 70s, and helped start the punk rock scene in LA. His thing was promoting new music and he went on to be the booker for Club Lingerie on Sunset Strip in the 80s.
“In 1983 Flea and I spent our last dime recording a demo tape. We barged into Club Lingerie in the middle of the day and found Brendan. He listened to the tape on our boombox while we danced around wildly to convey the sort of energy we were bringing to the table.
“He offered us a slot opening for Bad Brains, who at that point were the kings of the scene. We took the gig and started a friendship with Brendan that continued until he died.”
Kiedis was left with the task of telling his bandmates their friend had passed away. He says: “I was driving into the studio when I got a text saying Brendan had died of a massive stroke, on his birthday.
“When I got to rehearsal I delivered the news that we’d just lost this beautiful person.
“Then we started playing without really talking. Probably the second thing that came out of that jam was the basis for Brendan’s Death Song.
“It does have a sort of death-march feel to it, but it’s more of a celebration than a bummer. Yes, we lost a good man – but he had a very full life.”
I’m With You will be released on August 29.