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Stop the presses: John Frusciante is back with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Again. For the third time.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have some very good guitarist among their number: Hillel Slovak. Dave Navarro. Josh Klinghoffer. But the band was always at their best when John Frusciante was part of the band.

The problem with John is that he kept leaving/quitting due to (a) creative differences and (b) drugs.

John was brought in as the replacement for Slovak, who had died of a heroin overdose just as the band was breaking through, It was Frusiante’s contributions that helped blow up the band with 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magick, which sold at least 15 million copies and set the tone for a good chunk of the Alternative Nation of the 1990s.

His first departure came at the end of a Japanese tour in 1992 when he was at his most messed-up. He just declared he was packing up and going home.

After a period in the junkie wasteland, he cleaned up, got a mouth full of new teeth (the old ones had rotted away) and rejoined in 1998 for every album from Californication to Stadium Arcadium, the years when the Peppers couldn’t seem to do anything wrong.

But then burned out and looking to try his hand at different types of music, he left in 2009, opening the way for touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, a bit of recruitment that seemed to be working out well.

Well, guess what? Josh is out. John is back in.

Wait–what? NO ONE saw this coming. No one.

Let’s to the ‘Gram as posted this afternoon.

That’s it. More news forthcoming, I guess.

Chili Peppers Guitarist timeline:

  1. Hillel Slovak, the first time (1983-1984)
  2. Jack Sherman (1984)
  3. Hillel Slovak, the second time (1985-88)
  4. DeWayne McKnight (1988)
  5. John Frusciante, the first time (1988-1992)
  6. Arik Marshall (1992-93)
  7. Jesse Tobias (1993)
  8. Dave Navarro (1993-1998)
  9. John Frusciante, the second time (1998-2009)
  10. Josh Klinghoffer, (2009-2019)
  11. John Frusiciante, the third time (2019- )

Any bets on how long this third tour of duty will last?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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