Sad news from the world of rock – John Frusciante, the talented longtime lead guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, will not be present when the legendary rockers are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.
Frusciante left the band in 2009 and was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer:
Talking to Billboard, drum Chad Smith broke the news, saying, "He didn't feel comfortable coming, which we totally respect. We asked him... He said, 'I'm just not really comfortable with that, but good luck and thanks for inviting me.' It was all good."
Smith added, "He's the kind of guy, I think, that once he's finished with something he's just on to the next phase of his life. The Chili Peppers are not really on his radar right now."
Frusciante has a long and complicated history with the band. At just 18 years old, he joined Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Smith on the Peppers' fourth album, Mother's Milk. Though the band was already successful when he joined, things went to the next level with the release of their Grammy-winning 1991 set Blood Sugar Sex Magik which went 7X platinum in the US and sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Frusciante had trouble dealing with the band's overwhelming popularity and quit the group in 1992.
After leaving the Peppers, the guitar hero became a reclusive and developed an intense drug addiction that nearly killed him. His addiction was so severe that after Flea talked him into seeking treatment in 1998, he required surgery to mitigate permanent scarring on his arms and restructured nose and necessitated a full dental overhaul to prevent fatal infection. He rejoined RCP for their 1999 return-to-form Californication and stayed with the band through their multi-platinum efforts By the Way (2002) and Stadium Arcadium (2006).
Frusciante, who Rolling Stone placed at 18 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, left the band again in 2009 – this time amicably, reportedly because his musical interests had led him in a different direction than the band and he wanted to fully focus his efforts on his solo career.
Given the great impact he had on the Peppers, it's sad that he won't attend a ceremony the band might not have ever been invited to had he not brought his talents to their biggest and best albums.