Smith confirmed that guitarist John Frusciante, who was part of the band at two different times for a total of about 15 years, won't be at the April 14 event in Cleveland -- although that shouldn't in any way be perceived as a sign of hostility from either camp. "He didn't feel comfortable coming, which we totally respect," Smith explained to Billboard. "We asked him... He said, 'I'm just not really comfortable with that, but good luck and thanks for inviting me.' It was all good."
It's been a couple years now since the guitarist officially announced that he had left the band -- although, ironically, he had actually not been part of the L.A. group for more than a year by that time. "There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding," Frusciante wrote at the time. Nonetheless, his work on essential RHCP albums like Blood Sugar Sex Magik underscores his importance to the group's legacy. (Incidentally, he's also the guitarist on eight of the 10 songs on my list of Red Hot Chili Peppers' all-time best tracks.)
Additionally, Smith mentioned that the band's earlier drummers, Jack Irons (who also played with Pearl Jam for a time) and Cliff Martinez (who's become an in-demand film composer thanks to Drive and his longtime collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh), will be at the ceremony and will be performing.
Indeed, Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band who have gone through a lot of lineup changes in their career, most tragically when guitarist Hillel Slovak died of an overdose in 1988. For what it's worth, it appears that Dave Navarro, who played with the band for their One Hot Minute album, won't be inducted with the band, although new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who played on their recent I'm With You, will be entering the Hall.
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