The Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first live show 29 years ago today! On February 13th, 1983 Anthony Kiedis, Flea Michael Balzary, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons played their very first gig at the Rhythm Lounge in Hollywood.
Originally under the moniker of Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem, their first performance was to a crowd of approximately thirty people, opening for Gary Allen’s band, Gary and Neighbor’s Voices. Gary Allen was a friend of Anthony Kiedis and invited the band to open for him as he felt that Kiedis had potential as a frontman.
Hillel Slovak and Flea were initially skeptical, and felt that Kiedis did not have enough vocal experience, but the two eventually agreed to perform.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers “wrote” for the occasion, which involved the band improvising music while Anthony Kiedis rapped a poem he had written called “Out in L.A.” Since Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons were already committed to another group, What Is This?, it was intended to be a one–time performance. However, the performance was so lively that the Rhythm Lounge owner asked the band to return the following week.
Anthony Kiedis described the performance in his autobiography, Scar Tissue: “All the anticipation of the moment hit me, and I instinctively knew that the miracle of manipulating energy and tapping into an infinite source of power and harnessing it in a small space with your friends was what I had been put on this earth to do.”
Out in L.A. (Demo Version)
Due to this unexpected success, the band changed its name to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, playing several more shows at various LA clubs and musical venues. Six songs from these initial shows were on the band’s first demo tape.
Several months after their first performance Red Hot Chili Peppers was noticed by EMI and signed with the record label. Two weeks earlier, What Is This? had also obtained a record deal but with MCA. Slovak and Irons still considered the Red Hot Chili Peppers as only a side project and so they quit to focus on What Is This? Instead of dissolving the band, Kiedis and Flea recruited new members. Cliff Martinez, a friend of Flea’s, joined shortly thereafter. Auditions for a new guitarist produced Jack Sherman.
The rest is history…
Please feel free to comment on their 29th anniversary in the comments section below or in the related Forum Topic. If you’d like to commemorate the day on Twitter, please use the hashtag #RHCPDay