Left RHCP twice and became Johnny Depp's "muse" - the story of John Frusante

"I don't care if I survive or not..."

What You Didn't Know About John Fruschante, the Unbridled Icon of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

A sad career John Frusante has been in the spotlight for many years. And in fact, it's a story of great mental suffering! Frusante became famous as a troubled rock star, leaving the band twice, struggling for years with addiction... Fortunately, John managed to get out of that hell: with scars, a catalog of platinum albums and a set of false teeth. At least that's how it is! Still, he struggled with his inner demons caused by childhood painThe guitar player's extreme shyness and brilliant mind.

"It's a subconscious childhood pain that you push into your memory, and then suddenly it pops out 20 years later, and you become uncontrollable..."

By joining the RHCP at the age of 18, Frusante found himself at the center of vice and temptation! He played an important role in shaping the characteristic sound of the band, but at the same time, he also frayed the nerves of his comrades...

He left RHCP to push back against a destructive lifestyle

John Frusciante
John Frusciante

When John Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppershe was only 18 years old! No wonder the boy quickly fell in love with the seductive world of vice and addiction.

"At first I was just abusing my position, but by the time I was 20, this way of life had become an artistic expression for me..."

When RHCP's fame skyrocketed, Frusante struggled to identify himself as an "artist," so he decided to separate himself from the clichéd excesses of rock stardom. The desire to become more authentic is what drove him to to care from the group in 1992.

Flie and John Frusante
Flie and John Frusante

In spite of all this, John has maintained a warm relationship with Flea. And in the mid-90s, during RHCP's creative hiatus, these two, along with the drummer Stephen Perkins formed an instrumental supergroup called The Three Amoebas. The project quickly faded away, but still gave its participants an experience.

He deliberately wanted to disrupt RHCP's performance in front of an audience of millions

John Frusciante
John Frusciante

Frusante was it is difficult to accept the enormous success of RHCP's fifth studio album. The record literally catapulted the band to the Olympus of fame, selling more than 10 million copies! John preferred the more modest level of success the band had achieved with the previous album Mother's Milk: after its release, the Red Hot Chili Peppers made their living from music without the endless coverage in the mainstream media and corporate pressure from labels, promoters, radio and TV...

Frusante decided to vent his anger through the track Under the Bridge. Each time John deliberately tried to confuse his bandmates during a live performance of this song. And the performance in "Saturday Night Live" in front of an audience of millions of people was not an obstacle, but an incentive. A word to vocalist Anthony Kiedis:

"I had no idea what song he was playing! He looked like he was in another world... We were live in front of millions of people, and it was torture. I started singing in what I thought was the key key, even if it wasn't the key he was playing in. I think he was doing it on purpose-he was stupidly mocking us!"

Johnny Depp Influence

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp

In 1995, Frusante revealed his first solo albumwhich turned out to be an experimental and haphazard collection of homemade recordings. Most of the songs were written by John during the RHCP era, namely shortly before he left the band.

"I wrote these tracks for fun - just to have fun and get away from reality a little bit. I never planned on releasing them.

Frusante's release was spurred on by friends, particularly the famous Hollywood "pirate" Johnny Depp. The actor instilled confidence in Fruschante, so he immersed himself in his music without worrying about criticism.

"I didn't care about commercial viability!"

John also told reporters that he originally planned to release his solo masterpiece on behalf of another person:

"I wanted to create some crazy guy from the '60s!"

Fortunately or unfortunately, the label talked the musician out of the idea. As for Johnny Depp, he was very close to Frusante in the 90s - there was a real friendship between them. And shortly before John released his solo debut album, Depp made a film about him documentary - a very sad one about how addiction was dragging his friend down... Depp was inspired by a visit to Fruschante's home in 1994.

Black line

John Frusciante
John Frusciante

A black streak in Frusante's life began with the death of his close friend, the actor Rivera Phoenix in 1993. In 1996 the musician was kicked out of his Hollywood Hills home for nonpayment of rent. Soon after, John purchased heavy reliance from substances. He moved to the Chateau Marmont Hotel, where he was harassed by reporters. One of them, Robert Vilonsky, managed to talk to the rock star. Here are his impressions:

"He had hardly any upper teeth. Dirty clothes, burns and wounds on his body, a blank stare... He looked terribly tired, on the edge of our world and the beyond..."

In that heartbreaking interview, while on edge, Frusante confessed:

"I don't care if I survive or not..."

In the future, Fruschante needed to lay out almost 100 thousand dollarsto put teeth in and repair the damaged jaw. But while we are in the second half of the 90's...

Eventually John began to have serious money problems and was kicked out of several more hotels. His only source of income was royalties from RHCP album sales, but the musician spent on substances. He often got into debt, and one day a "personal supplier" reminded Frusciante that he owed him $30,000!

"They were after me! My life was hanging by a thread..."

Eventually John released a second album, the money from the sales of which went to pay off his debt. Frusante later claimed that the banned drugs were his "chief demon."which was "damn hard to get rid of.

Helping Hand

Flie and John Frusante
Flie and John Frusante

Fortunately, Frusante overcame his addiction and literally got out of hell. He was treated in a rehab center and returned to music, which had a lot to do with Flea.

"I visited him in that center. The people there ... it's all very creepy, they're on edge ... I couldn't leave him there."

Fly gave John confidence, and in 1998 he rejoined RHCP! With this lineup the band recorded a successful "Californication"which sold many millions of copies and became another hit! Later Frusante will leave the lineup again, but in 2019 he will join - hopefully for good now.

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