(Yahoo!) - June 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of original Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who lost his battle with heroin addiction just as the band started to show its commercial potential.
The Israeli-born Slovak played on two Chili Peppers albums — 1985's Freaky Styley and 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan — before succumbing to an overdose of heroin in 1988 at the age of 26. He was replaced by the then 18-year-old John Frusciante, a disciple of Slovak's playing. It was with Frusciante that thePeppers recorded their breakthrough album, 1989's Mother's Milk, which became their first gold album.
Here's a look back a five clips that show the impact of Slovak.
Before Slovak and drummer Jack Irons gained notoriety with the Peppers, they were both members of What Is This?, a now forgotten L.A.-based quartet fronted by Alain Johannes; who would go on to some success with his own band, Eleven, and performing and recording with Queens of the Stone Age.
Like the Chili Peppers, What Is This? Was formed straight outta Fairfax High School and could actually be considered the Chili Peppers' sister band, since Red Hot bassist Flea was once a member of its predecessor, Anthym. Here's the interesting thing — Slovak and Irons were members of What Is This? and the Peppers simultaneously, but opted to quit the Peppers since What Is This? secured a contract with MCA prior to the Peppers' signing with EMI.
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