More than three decades after first getting together, the Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to set an alternative rock precedent with high-energy shows and catalog-spanning hits. In celebration of the band's recent release of its 11th studio album, The Getaway, these fun facts put the group's accomplishments and longevity in context. (We saved the most amusing anecdote for last. No peeking!)
1. Frontman Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, and original guitarist Hillel Slovak all met in high school.
Kiedis met and soon after became friends with Michael Balzary (now known as Flea) and Hillel Slovak at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. At the time, Slovak had a band of his own called Anthym, and Flea later joined as its bassist. Kiedis would occasionally MC their gigs.
2. An early version of RHCP performed as Tony Flow and the Majestic Masters of Mayhem.
RHCP's first show consisted of Kiedis reciting a poem over improvisational music. It was called "Out in L.A.," ended up being the first song the band wrote together, and later served as the title of a 1994 compilation album of rare tracks from the band.
3. RHCP's lineup has always evolved.
Over its course, RHCP have had seven different guitarists and three different drummers before settling with its current lineup of Kiedis, Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer on lead guitar.
4. The band has written several songs as tributes to their original guitarist, Slovak.
It has been said that "Knock Me Down", "My Lovely Man," and "Dosed" were all written as tributes to original guitarist Slovak. He was only 25 when he was found dead in his apartment from an overdose. The musician played on two RHCP records, Freaky Styley and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Kiedis wrote in his memoir Scar Tissue, "I'd give my firstborn son to get [Slovak] back in the band."
5. They recorded their breakthrough album in a haunted mansion.
The group's commercial breakout, 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik was reportedly recorded in a mansion formerly owned by magician Harry Houdini. Naturally, it was rumored to be haunted. Rick Rubin, who produced the album, later bought the property and has since made the home his personal studio.
6. RHCP's only number-one album was supposed to be three separate records.
In 2006, RHCP recorded 38 songs, enough to span multiple albums. The initial plan was to spread the tracks out over three albums scheduled for release six months apart. Instead, the group decided to create a double record, now known as the chart-topping Stadium Arcadium.
7. Flea and Kiedis also enjoy careers in film.
Flea, whose real name is Michael Peter Balzary ,has appeared in a handful of films, the most well-known being Back To The Future 2 and 3, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, The Big Lebowski, and Suburbia. Kiedis has also expressed interest in film and plays the part of a surfer in the 1990s favorite Point Break.
8. Kiedis' interest in acting was ignited by his father.
Anthony's father John Kiedis, with who Anthony lived when he moved from Michigan to Los Angeles, decided to try to make it as an actor and started taking classes under the name Blackie Dammet. Anthony, who soon after began acting in commercials, used the stage name Cole Dammet.
9. Drummer Chad Smith battled his doppelgänger Will Ferrell on "The Tonight Show."
In May of 2014, Smith and Ferrell faced off in an epic late-night television drum-off. The two have long been confused for one another, and Smith has often been vocal about the fact that the two are entirely different people. He even wore a shirt that read "I Am Not Will Ferrell" during a performance on "Conan" in 2009.
10. The band appeared on an episode of "The Simpsons."
The RHCP band made an appearance on the fourth season finale of "The Simpsons." On the 1993 episode, titled "Krusty Gets Cancelled," the band plays "Give It Away" in its underwear. It has been said that they were asked to change the lyrics of the song from "What I've got, I've got to get/And put it in you," to "What I'd like, is I'd like/To hug and kiss you."
11. Kiedis was named Sexiest Male Vegetarian in 2008.
In 2008, PETA named Kiedis the Sexiest Male Vegetarian Alive. That same year, Leona Lewis was voted Sexiest Female Vegetarian.