Born March 5th, 1970, in Queens, New York City, John Frusciante would have a meaningful career as a musician and songwriter and deal with serious addiction issues that harmed his body. He is best known for his unsteady career with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
John Frusciante was born to John Sr. and Gail Frusciante. John Sr. was a Julliard-trained pianist, and Gail was a vocalist. The family is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent.
For a time, the family lived in Tuscon, Arizona, but upon separation, John Frusciante moved to Santa Monica, California, with his mother.
Later, they moved with his new stepfather to Mar Vista, Los Angeles, and John became involved in the LA punk scene, where he became fascinated with the band The Germs.
By 11 years old, he had studied guitarists such as Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and Jimmi Hendrix. At sixteen, he dropped out of high school and began taking classes at the Guitar Institute of Technology but left that behind.
How did John Frusciante get his start?
Frusciante first took notice of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as a teen and became obsessed with the band, idolizing guitarist Hillel Slovak. The two would bond, and Frusciante would study the band’s output. Slovak would die about two months into their correspondence in 1988.
Frusciante’s presence in the LA punk scene would put him into contact with Dead Kennedys drummer D. H. Peligro and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. In the fallout of Slovak’s death from a heroin overdose, Red Hot Chili Peppers would undergo a lineup change, and John Frusciante was invited. He would join the band in time to record the band’s fifth album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, in 1991.
What is he most famous for?
John Frusciante is best known for his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers over three periods. By the time the band’s second album was released, and due to a combination of drug use and being unable to cope with the sudden success, Frusciante left the band.
Before his first return to the band, Frusciante’s life would be filled with addiction and danger. He did work with other small bands and even cut solo albums, but nothing quite landed. His drug habit had become so bad that the documentary Stuff, by Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes, depicted the squalor he was in.
Frusciante’s career would lead him back to Red Hot Chili Peppers twice, but he also recorded many solo albums during that time. Part of his solo output would be in the electronic genre under the alias Trickfinger. He also works with experimental rock and ambient music as well.
What is John Frusciante’s history of drug use?
Frusciante’s drug struggles are well known to music fans. The success of the Chili Peppers overwhelmed him, and he became a recluse for several years. He was reported to have stayed in his mansion for days on end until the drugs ran out. His drug of choice was heroin, but he was a heavy drinker as well.
His health was so bad that it eventually affected his work. His second album, Smile from the Street You Hold (1997), features a track, “Enter A Uh,” where listeners can hear him coughing.
Such a destructive lifestyle would permanently alter his body. However, he has come through it all and, despite struggling with relapses, has survived and continued to be an inspiration to many.
Does he have fake teeth?
John Frusciante does have dentures. The dentures resulted from the removal of rotten teeth that caused an infection in his mouth due to poor hygiene resulting from his addiction. This potentially lethal oral infection required the complete removal of his teeth and replacement with dentures.
Does he have a lisp?
Because of the extensive damage from his drug use and oral hygiene issues resulting from his period of heavy addiction, he had to have his teeth removed. As a result of the new dentures, he does have a slight lisp that fans can hear as he talks and sings.
What happened to his arms?
John Frusciante took significant bodily harm from his drug abuse in addition to a tragic fire him his home.
His arms had become ravaged by his heroin addiction, resulting in deep abscesses. He also was not cleaning his arms properly from shooting heroin, resulting in a severe infection that almost necessitated arm amputation.
He would require skin grafts to restore some of the damage that his arms had taken during his addiction.
He still carries the scars from this period.
What is John Frusciante doing these days?
John Frusciante continues the road to recovery and has reunited with the Red Hot Chili Peppers twice since he first left the band in 1992. He was first announced as rejoining the band in December 2019 after Josh Klinghoffer left after a decade in the group. Their upcoming work was slowed, however, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
During his career, John Frusciante also became heavily involved in the electronic music scene, such as his work as the alias Trickfinger, where he continues to produce music.