John Frusciante: Greatest Red Hot Chili Peppers Moments - Rolling Stone
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John Frusciante: Eight Great Moments With Red Hot Chili Peppers

With the guitarist returning to the band’s lineup for a third time, we look back at the reasons he’s a fan favorite

Portrait of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, left to right, Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, Chad Smith, and Flea in Central Park in New York, New York, October 28, 1989. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, Chad Smith, and Flea in Central Park in New York, New York, October 28, 1989.

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

When Red Hot Chili Peppers announced in late 2019 that guitarist John Frusciante would be rejoining their ranks, they delivered the answer to many a fan’s funky prayers. In his two earlier stints as the band’s lead guitarist — first from 1988-1992, playing on Mother’s Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik, then again from 1998-2009, coinciding with their Californication comeback era — Frusciante was a crucial collaborator, adding guitar-solo grandeur, harmonic sunshine, and psychedelic flavor to their sound. They’ve made memorable music without him, but not as much, nor quite as memorable; for most fans, his presence is what marks the difference between classic Chili Peppers and everything else. It remains to be seen what the Frusciante III era will bring, but in the meantime, here are eight reasons we’re glad he’s back.

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