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Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers): Song Story (1991)

“There were practically no edits. And this is a rarity! We just followed the philosophy of John (meaning the guitarist of the band - John Frusciante): he played once, and if someone didn’t like something, then he played again - in a completely different way. That's the whole secret!"

What song did the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform 948 times live?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers song box is full of hits known all over the world! But it was “Give It Away” that played at the concerts of the American band as many as 948 times! And that's just an estimate...

Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert!
Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert!

Today we offer to remember the history of the creation of this hit!

History of creation

The curious thing is that "Give It Away" was written a year before the release! The track was written by John and Flea. At that time, the guys played in HATE, and managed to perform "Give It Away" a couple of times in live performances before leaving the project.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers

John and Flea offered their creation to Anthony Kiedis. And then the most interesting thing happened ... Long before that, Kiedis had composed the phrase “give it away now”, but had no idea where to put it. And so, the future hit "Give It Away" was the perfect solution to the problem ...

Anthony Kiedis: “I was ecstatic… I was especially fascinated by Flea's bass part… It was something incredible! I jumped up and moved to the microphone, as if spellbound, grabbing my notebook. I remembered the phrase “give it away now”, and began to hum it. Oooh… It was magical!”

Meaning…

It can be said that rock singer Nina Hagen served as a source of inspiration for the leader of the RHCP. For some time, they had an affair with Kiedis, which, ten years later, led the musician to think about sincere concern for people ...

Anthony Kiedis: “Nina was very wise… She always understood my young carelessness and inexperience… And she always helped me with her really valuable advice. Without moralizing, as is customary with many!

There is a very interesting story about Anthony, Nina and the wardrobe. According to the legend, Kiedis once looked into Hagen's closet and was quite delighted with one of her jackets... Nina immediately insisted that Kiedis keep the thing for herself!

Punk Queen Nina Hagen
Punk Queen Nina Hagen

Anthony Kiedis: "Nina made me reconsider some of my views on life ... If you give a lot, you get a lot ... So why not give it all away?"

Recording, release and achievements!

The song was recorded in the spring of 1991 in a studio in Los Angeles. Flea later recalled:

“There were practically no edits. And this is a rarity! We just followed the philosophy of John (meaning the guitarist of the band - John Frusciante): he played once, and if someone didn’t like something, then he played again - in a completely different way. That's the whole secret!"

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Give It Away" was released in the fall of that year as the lead single from Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The track became the number one on the Billboard US Alternative Airplay, and also entered a number of prestigious lists, including "500 Songs That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll"!

Music video

The group could not decide on the director of the video for a long time ... The guys wanted something more sophisticated and aesthetic than what the rest of them shot for MTV. As a result, the choice fell on the French director and photographer Stephane Sednaoui, whose work won the heart of Kiedis...

Interesting Facts

Anthony Kiedis says “give it away” 68 times!

"Give It Away" inspired Yuri Klinsky from "Gaza Strip" to "Ivan's Aria".

The track features a jew's harp played by Pete Weiss himself!

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