Flea Recalls Tearful Convo With John Frusciante Before He Rejoined RHCP

By Katrina Nattress

April 5, 2022

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On Friday (April 1), Red Hot Chili Peppers released Unlimited Love — their 12th studio album and first with John Frusciante since 2006's Stadium Arcadium. Since reuniting with the band in 2019, the guitarist has discussed both his decision to quit (again) back in 2009 and his decision to come back 10 years later. In a new interview with Consequence, Flea recalled the emotional conversation he had with Frusciante that was the catalyst for his return to the band.

The former bandmates were having dinner with their significant others, and during a moment alone Flea let his feelings be known. "I was just like, ‘Dude, just from my heart, I f**king miss playing with you,'” he divulged, revealing that tears began to fill his eyes after the words left his mouth. “I hadn't said that to him, because I wanted to respect what he would want to do. He was very respectful about what we were doing, even though I imagined it wasn't always easy for him.”  

But Frusciante had been feeling the same way, and his eyes began welling up with tears, too. “He responded to me saying, ‘I really miss playing with you too,’” Flea said.

Flea told singer Anthony Kiedis about the interaction and they made the tough decision to replace then-guitarist Josh Klinghoffer with Frusciante.

“Through a little bit of cosmic meditation, we arrived at the place where we really had no choice,” Kiedis explained. “It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to Josh, but it was also heart opening to have John back.”

Though hurt, it all worked out for Klinghoffer, who's currently focused on his solo project Pluralone and touring with Pearl Jam. “The greatest silver lining of that whole emotional escapade was that months later, Josh joined Pearl Jam, which I'm pretty sure is his favorite band in the whole world,” Kiedis said. “It wasn't like I felt guilty, because I knew that we did what we had to do, but it did make me feel joy for Josh.”

In June, RHCP plan to embark on an extensive world tour. Check out a full list of dates here.

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