John Frusciante : biography
Blood Sugar Sex Magik was hugely successful upon its release on September 24, 1991. It peaked at number three on the Billboard charts, and went on to sell thirteen million copies worldwide. The unexpected success instantly turned the Red Hot Chili Peppers into rock stars. Frusciante was blindsided by his newfound fame, and struggled to cope with it. Soon after the album’s release, he began to develop a dislike for the band’s popularity. Kiedis recalled that he and Frusciante used to get into heated discussions backstage after concerts: "John would say, ‘We’re too popular. I don’t need to be at this level of success. I would just be proud to be playing this music in clubs like you guys were doing two years ago.’"Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 229 Frusciante later said that the band’s rise to popularity was "too high, too far, too soon. Everything seemed to be happening at once and I just couldn’t cope with it." He also began to feel that destiny was leading him away from the band. When the Chili Peppers began their world tour, he started to hear voices in his head telling him "you won’t make it during the tour, you have to go now." Frusciante admitted to having once taken great pleasure in hedonism; however, "by the age of twenty, I started doing it right and looking at it as an artistic expression instead of a way of partying and screwing a bunch of girls. To balance it out, I had to be extra-humble, extra-anti-rock star.""The Chili Peppers Rise Again". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2007-08-08 He refused to take the stage during a performance at Tokyo’s Club Quattro on May 7, 1992, telling his bandmates that he was leaving the band. He was persuaded to perform, but left for California the next morning; according to the guitarist, "it was just impossible for me to stay in the band any longer. It had come to the point where even though they wanted me in the band, it felt like I was forced out of the band. Not by any members in particular or management in particular, but just the direction it was going."Broxvoort, Brian (1994). "John Frusciante Goes Over a Bridge." Rockinfreakapotamus.
1992–1997: Drug addiction
Frusciante developed serious drug habits while touring with the band during the previous four years. He said that when he "found out that Flea was stoned out of his mind at every show, that inspired me to be a pothead".Kennealy, Tim (July 1995). "Chilly Pepper". High Times. Not only was Frusciante smoking large amounts of marijuana, but he began to use heroin and was on the verge of full-scale addiction. Upon returning to California in the summer of 1992, Frusciante entered a deep depression, feeling that his life was over and that he could no longer write music or play guitar. For a long time, he focused on painting, producing 4-track recordings he had made while working on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and writing short stories and screenplays. To cope with his worsening depression, Frusciante increased his heroin use and spiraled into a life-threatening dependency. His use of heroin to medicate his depression was a clear decision: "I was very sad, and I was always happy when I was on drugs; therefore, I should be on drugs all the time. I was never guilty—I was always really proud to be an addict."Sullivan, Kate (August 2002). "Interview with Flea, Anthony and John". Spin. John openly admitted to being a "junkie", believing that drugs were the only way of "making sure you stay in touch with beauty instead of letting the ugliness of the world corrupt your soul."
Frusciante released his first solo album Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt, on March 8, 1994. Despite the common belief that most of the tracks were recorded while he was strung out on heroin in his home in the Hollywood Hills, Frusciante has said that "That album was not recorded when I was a heroin addict. It was released when I was a heroin addict."