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John Frusciante-His Life and Music

Updated on June 10, 2014

Who hasn't heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Ex-guitarist John Frusciante was arguably their most influential member, and in the grand scale of the music world, is arguably one of the greatest guitarist. Ever. That indeed is a bold statement, but personally I would rate him up there with Hendrix. I firmly believe that in years to come his genius will be more widely recognized. While He is best known for his career with the Chili Peppers, he has an active solo career. His solo work is a lot less known than his work with the Chili Peppers, which is unfortunate; as it really is beautiful.


Frusciante was born in Queens, New York on March 5, 1970. His father was a pianist and his mother Gail was a descent singer who gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mother. Frusciante's family moved to Arizona and soon after to Florida.When his parents divorced, he and his mother moved to Santa Monica in California.

A year later, Frusciante and his mother moved to Los Angeles with his new stepfather who, he says, "really supported me and made me feel good about being an artist.

Frusciante began studying guitarists like Jimmy Page and Hendrix when he was eleven. He studied the work of Frank Zappa for hours on end once he mastered the blues scale. When he was sixteen he dropped out of high school with the permission of his parents and completion of a proficiency test. With their support, he moved to Los Angeles in order to develop his musical proficiency He began taking classes at the Guitar Institute of Technology, but did not attend and soon quit.

Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988. During this time they released the albums Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. However, the ever growing success of the band was too much for the guitarist. He left he band in 1992, much to the surprise of his band mates and the general public. He was not happy with the status of the band and their rise from playing small clubs, which he preferred. Blood Sugar Sex Magik sold 13 million copies worldwide. This fame was not a comfortable place for the guitarist. So he left.

During the last 4 years of that period he became addicted to drugs. Influenced by bassist Flea's heavy use of cannabis, he too started smoking it. He also became a heroin user. He gradually become a full blown junkie, and nearly died during this period when his house burned down, claiming his vintage guitar collection and various tapes of recorded music. In late 1887, after nearly 5 years on heroin, he quit cold turkey. He eventually overcame his period of addiction to drugs and alcohol. However, he does not look on his time as a junkie as a dark time, saying it was a time of "rebirth".

Frusciante rejoined the Chili Peppers in 1998, and in 1999 they recorded Californication, their most well known album. This album is an accurate depiction of Frusciante's unique guitar style and his amazing ability. In 2002 the band released By The Way. Frusciante states that this was the happiest time of his life. He recorded a final album with the band, Stadium Arcadium, before leaving them in December 2009. Since then he has continued his collaborations with various artists and solo work.

Frusciante is widely varied when it comes to music. One of his least known projects is the group "Speed Dealer Moms", which consists of John Frusciante, Aaron Funk and Chris McDonald. Their first ep was released in December 2010. 

Solo Discography

1994-Niandra Ladies and Usually Just a White T-shirt.

1997-Smile From the Streets You Hold.

2001-To Record Only Water For Ten Days.

2001-From The Sounds Inside (Internet release only).

2004-Shadows Collide With People.

2004-The Will To Death.

2004-Inside Of Emptiness.

2004-A Sphere In the Heart of Silence.


2009-The Empyrean.

Discography with Red Hot Chili Peppers

1989-Mother's Milk.

1991-Blood Sugar Sex Magic.


2002-By The Way.

2006-Stadium Arcadium.


"It's like I'm in the 4th dimension and somebody's asking me to describe it and that's what the 4th dimension is about. There's no words,no symbols, no images it's all pure real energy and vibrations."

"To make the album without the experience in my life would be impossible. It's only because I've gone so deep inside myself and faced so many things that by nature I should be scared of. You know, being in a room and sitting there with a ghost, hearing their voice in your head and seeing them as clearly as I'm seeing you right now."

"Most of my supernatural experiences are in the past. It's a world I don't really delve into that much anymore. But I believe that there are things we don't see with our eyes that are making every moment what it is. And every person is made up of a bunch of people. And everybody who's alive is everybody who died. I just think it's all one big energy working together. I see the world as being very balanced-completely, perfectly balanced."

"To me music is the centre of the universe and the voice of the spirits and the voice of God and the voice of all the people who have lived and died...At least the ones I'm connected to."

"1. Artistic expression, sex, and truth are the only things that really matter.
2.Music is the face of God.
3. The best service you can do for mankind is mind your own business.
4. Don't ever trust a man who says 'I am going to kill you in the name of God' ."

"All I know is that the six months when I recorded this music was the most productive time of my life, and I'll always remember it as the first time in my life that I ever felt like I was one with my dreams."

"Once I write the song I believe that it creates a new atmosphere in a place called the fifth dimension where it creates new life and energy and it makes things better and it makes new places to live for the spirits who frequent these places."

"There's a big place I'm connected to when I write. As long as I have the feeling inside me that I'm connected to this huge, peaceful, beautiful place, no matter what I write, if it's in conjunction with that place, it's always gonna have meaning. It's not really necessary to truly understand what I write, as long as I've got that feeling behind me."

"Music isn't the Olympics."

"The point is, I'm weird, but I never felt weird."

"I can also be very happy in this life, but it's usually happiness that I get from other lives I've lived and other dimensions. This life is hardly important to me. It's very small compared to the importance that I think the fourth and fifth dimension have. Those places are much more real to me, like when you have a dream and it's more real to you than real life. Compared to where I'll be going, this life seems like a dream that just feels like a dream."

Frusciante truly is a remarkable human being. He is one of the most influential and greatest guitarists of this generation, if not ever. For those of you who do not know his work outside the Chili Peppers, you really should listen to it. His talent knows no boundaries, and his viewpoints on life are enlightening and though-provoking. Overall, John Frusciante is an amazon guitarist, and a true visionary.


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    • HumanPerception profile image

      HumanPerception 5 years ago from Ireland

      @lifo: Indeed he is, quite an amazing man.

    • profile image

      lifo 5 years ago

      what an amazing human being