The most heartbreaking moment of the Red Hot Chili Peppers latest LP, I'm With You, comes during "Brendan's Death Song," a ballad the band wrote for their late friend Brendan Mullen, founder of late Seventies Hollywood punk club the Masque. After it was shut down in 1978, Mullen booked shows on the Sunset Strip's Club Lingerie. One day in 1983, Anthony Kiedis and Flea showed up at the club with a boom box and asked Mullen to listen to their demo. He did, and offered them an opening gig for Bad Brains.
"It was a huge step for us to get that gig," Flea said in an interview in 2009. "But in a much more important way, I felt profoundly validated to be accepted and acknowledged by Brendan Mullen, who was a crucial part – a hub – of a scene that for me had mythological status." Mullen continued his friendship with the band until his death in 2009. At the time, he was co-authoring the 2010 RHCP book An Oral/Visual History with the band.
Watch the premiere of the jazz funeral-themed video for "Brendan's Death Song," which was shot in one day in New Orleans and directed by Marc Klasfeld, exclusively at RollingStone.com, and get I'm With You on iTunes.
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