Hillel Slovak was the original guitarist of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hillel recorded three albums with the Peppers: Freaky Styley in 1985 (produced by funk legend George Clinton), The Uplift Mofo Party Plan in 1987 and The Abbey Road EP in 1988. John Frusciante (the current Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist) became a great fan of Hillel after spotting him at a Peppers show at the Variety Arts Center, New York.
Hillel Slovak was Jewish, born in Israel, moved with his parents and brother to Los Angeles when he was five years old. He formed the original Red Hot Chili Peppers with Jack Iron, Flea and Anthony Kiedis. His greatest musical influences include Jimi Hendrix, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. Hillel became especially obsessed with Hendrix's brilliant technique and from there he derived most of his repertoire. In 1984, Hillel began experimenting with dangerous drugs, he became badly addicted to heroin and even missed some recording sessions and shows because of his habit (not unlike Jimi Hendrix during his days). At a point the other band members were ready to kick him out but decided against it, as it would have been like "throwing away everything that the group stood for". Hillel died of a heroin overdose in 1986; he was 26 years old.
"Hillel knew exactly what he wanted. His first run of a solo would always be really slick and jazzy and articulated, just to impress you, and then he'd play it real fast with a punk edge. And I'd be like 'Oh, ok. You mean to do it like that.'"
"Hillel changed my life. If it wasn't for Hillel, there's no way I'd be sitting here now, because he turned me onto rock music."
"I tried to play everything exactly like him, people said I had found my own style but all I did was to follow him."