John Frusciante is currently the guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was born in 1970 in New York City to John and Gail Frusciante. John, Sr. was a Julliard-trained pianist who became a lawyer and a judge. Gail was a gifted singer, who sung for her church (she also sung the background vocals on Under the Bridge). When Hillel Slovak, died from a heroin overdose in 1988, Frusciante, at the age of 17, joined the band. The band released “Mother’s Milk” soon thereafter in 1989. In 1991 they released their second album with Frusciante, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik. In May 1992, while in the middle of a world tour for “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” Frusciante quit the band.
Frusciante has said frequently that he had never touched any drugs before joining the Chili Peppers. Frusciante soon fell into a heroin addiction. In 1996 an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, entitled “John Frusciante’s Heroin Addiction.”
His upper teeth are nearly gone now; they have been replaced by tiny slivers of off-white that peek through rotten gums. His lower teeth, thin and brown, appear ready to fall out if he so much as coughs too hard. His lips are pale and dry, coated with spit so thick it looks like paste. His hair is shorn to the skull; his fingernails, or the Spaces where they used to be, are blackened by blood. His feet and ankles and legs are pocked with burns from unfiltered Camel cigarette ashes that have fallen unnoticed his flesh also bears bruises, scabs, and scars. He wears an old flannel shirt, only partially buttoned, and khaki pants. Drops of dried blood dot the pants. (LA Times, 1996)
Frusciante had quit playing guitar at this point and had turned to painting for his creative output (his paintings hang in galleries in the LA area, and sell for thousands of dollars). Frusciante recorded his solo album “Niandra Le Des and Usually Just A T-Shirt,” which was released in 1994. A few years later in 1997, Frusciante released another collection of his earlier recording entitled “Smile from the Streets You Hold,” in an admitted attempt to get more money for heroin. This album is much less clear than Frusciante’s first solo release, because it was made by a tortured delusional heroin junky.
During the five years that I really didn't do anything, what was taking place inside me was to me very significant," he says. "I didn't actually do anything in the physical sense, but there was a lot of inward life, but I was so scattered when it came to bringing these thoughts to the world . "Once I stopped taking drugs, I found I still believed the same things as when I was on drugs, but I realized that then I was capable of putting these thoughts in a coherent structure. I was actually able to make sense of them, unlike some people who stop doing drugs and think everything they did on drugs was worthless." (from “Pepper Alone" Los Angeles Times: November 12, 2000, By Steve Hochman)
Frusciante wrote a very odd biography for himself for the release of his newest solo album:
Between 1992 and 1997, John Frusciante had many periods where his main social activity was with spirits manifested as voices, thought waves, astral bodies and decay of physical matter. The things they taught him (often in non-Earth language, but often in English) are contained in this record's words. The feelings of this music is the feeling of the spirits John Frusciante is friends with. –John Frusciante
An interview with “Kerrang! Magazine,” on 2/10/01, Frusciante describes his creative inspiration in detail.
K: Where did you find the inspiration for the songs included on ”To Record Only Water for Ten Days”?
Frusciante: “I think my songs exist before I write them, in a place called the fourth dimension where sounds and shapes and colours are the land. They’re the air and the grass and the wood and they’re all these feelings. When a collection of those feelings is put into my head, because I’m tuned into that place, I have the skill technically to turn it into a song.”
K: Is it a simple process to translate these feelings into songs?
Frusciante: “Once I write the song I believe that it creates a new atmosphere in a place called the fifth dimension where it creates new life and energy and it makes things better and it makes new places to live for the spirits who frequent these places.”
K: Could you have made such a richly emotional and spiritual album without the dark experiences of your recent past?
Frusciante: “No, to make the album without the experience in my life would be impossible. It’s only because I’ve gone so deep inside myself and faced so many things that by nature I should be scared of. You know, being in a room and sitting there with a ghost, hearing their voice in your head and seeing them as clearly as I’m seeing you right now.” ("Kerrang! Magazine," on 2/10/01)
Note: All sources have been cited, (where appropriate), following the quotations.