Red Light Camera Scam Hits Tampa
If thieves used their negative energy to do good things, the world sure would be a better place. But no, they gotta be numb nuts.
If it pleases the court, behold exhibit A, the new scam from idiots who are trying to separate you from your hard-earned cash. According to local 10, the latest scam starts with the victim receiving a letter that says they owe money for running a red light.
The notification has huge red letters that say FINAL NOTICE on it. The good news is, it’s fake.
The scammers have done a great job of making the ticket look legitimate. It’s even $178.00, which is the going rate for such an infraction.
A Florida woman received one of the ‘tickets’ recently and called the police when something didn’t seem quite right. Turns out, the date of the violation was February 30th…a date that does not exist.
Imagine if the scammers had not made the mistake. Imagine how many other victims have sent off or emailed payment without giving it a second thought.
Police confirmed that the solicitation was indeed a scam. Investigators say scammers have resorted to driving past victims’ homes and photographing their license plates, then editing them to look like they were caught running a red light.
Remarkable, huh? Police say to check the information thoroughly if you get one in the mail.
They also say to bring the mail to them if you have any doubts at all about its validity. They are able to check their records to confirm or deny if it’s real.
Cops are currently trying to determine if the scammers delivered the pieces of mail by hand or through the US Mail. If they were sent through the mail, even more charges can be attached to the crimes.
Foo Fighters Remembered
Foo Fighters: Their 40 Best Songs
The song starts out as a solo Dave Grohl acoustic folk tune before erupting into a Queen-level production -- even as he sings, “I don’t want to be Queen” -- with one of the many great Foo Fighters guitar riffs. And then it goes back to folk. It does all of this in one minute and twenty-three seconds. It also has one of Grohl’s sage bits of advice: “There's one thing I have learned/If it gets much better/It's going to get worse.” In other words: try to make peace with where you are in life.
Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick guesting on guitar (as if the three-guitar band need any more six-stringers), Rami Jaffe’s funk keyboards and the riff from Dio’s “Holy Diver” make this song the easy highlight of the uneven ‘Sonic Highways’ album.
It’s no surprise that a band named after flying saucers would have an affinity for ‘90s UFO/conspiracy theory-obsessed sci-fi drama ‘The X-Files.’ The Foo Fighters’ cover of the 1979 song by Tubeway Army (Gary Numan’s former band) may have been a surprising choice, but it worked incredibly well. It’s one of the best of the Foos many covers.
The song starts abrasively with a distorted guitar riff, and then another one, before the band kicks in and Grohl screams, “These are my famous last woooooords!!!” Happily, that wasn’t true -- Dave Grohl has written and sung many more tunes in the past decade. “Bridges Burning” kicked off one of the band’s best albums, one they haven’t topped since. But note that Grohl refers to himself in the song as the “King of Second Chances,” and it’s kind of true: who thought that Nirvana’s drummer would go on to be one of the biggest rock stars of the next three decades. So you’d be foolish to think that he doesn’t have more classic LPs in him.
Dave Grohl has always had an indie-punk ethic, but happily he grew out of the orthodoxy of that scene. “Statues” is a lovely piano ballad (with Grohl on piano) that would not sound out of place between songs by Cat Stevens and Carly Simon on a ‘70s hit station.
Only two people have sung lead vocals on Foo Fighters albums: Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. The latter of takes the mic here for his best vocal performance. And only four people have sat behind the drum kit: Grohl, Hawkins, William Goldsmith and… Paul McCartney. That’s right: the band with two great drummers gets Paul freakin’ McCartney into the studio and they put him on the drum kit. It works though. Funny enough, “Sunday Rain” sounds like it could be a Wings outtake.
If Tom Petty asked Dave Grohl to write a song for the Heartbreakers, what would it have sounded like? Probably “Wheels.” And it would have been great to hear Tom sing this one.
The Foo Fighters have had a crazy amount of hit singles, but some of their greatest songs are hidden towards the end of their albums. “Summer’s End” is one of them, and it should have been a hit. LIsten to it once, and try to get it out of your head.
A solo acoustic song that Dave Grohl wrote when he was in Nirvana, possibly about Kurt Cobain. An earlier version of this song was included on a collection of Grohl tunes under the name “Late!” which was released on a small indie label as a limited-edition cassette-only release back in 1992. It’s been bootlegged often, but has never had a wide release; it also featured “Color Pictures Of A Marigold,” which Grohl re-recorded with Krist Novolselic as “Marigold,” and was released as the B-side to Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” More than a decade after Cobain’s death, “Friend Of A Friend” stands as a moving tribute.
Turn down the guitars a bit, and this is another jam that could have been a hit on AM radio in the ‘70s. Which seems to have inspired the song’s very ‘70s looking video.
One of Dave Grohl’s loveliest songs, this one gets an assist from his future Them Crooked Vultures bandmate, John Paul Jones, on piano.
In some ways, it’s the first Foo Fighters song: it’s probably the first one that many fans heard. It premiered on one of Pearl Jam’s pirate radio broadcasts. In the Foo Fighters’ early days, this often closed the band’s live sets.
Grohl said of the song, “It's an ode to North Carolina. I lived there from 1991 to 2002, on the coast where there were these beautiful sand dunes. It's [about] finding yourself by disappearing.”
A sugary sweet pop country-rock song, it kicked off the long tradition of hilarious Foo Fighters videos. Older fans might remember that the video led to fans throwing Mentos (or “Footos”) at the Foos when they played the song live, which led them to stop playing it. Happily, it returned to the set; the Mentos phase has thankfully passed.
The song features some of Dave Grohl’s most primal screaming and still manages to be catchy and melodic. The band surprise-dropped the song and video and seven weeks later, it topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, showing that the Foo Fighters were still relevant, twenty-two years into their career.
It’s a favorite of the hardcore fans, and Dave Grohl likes it too. He told Rolling Stone: “It is definitely one of my favorite songs that we've ever come up with. It's a nostalgic look back at Seattle and the life I once had. That song actually questions the meaning of life.” He added, “It's probably the heaviest thing I've ever written."
One of Dave Grohl’s most power-poppy songs, “Gimme Stitches” features one of his catchiest choruses.
23. “Baker Street” - B-side of “My Hero” Dave Grohl has always had a jones for ‘70s soft rock... as seen here, on this cover of the Gerry Rafferty classic. The original version, a #2 pop hit in 1978, was driven by the iconic saxophone playing of Raphael Ravenscroft, which the Foos replaced with (of course) screaming guitars.
One of the Foo Fighters’ heaviest songs had a bit of an unlikely lyrical influence: the ‘Sesame Street’ song “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others.” Grohl has always been great at mixing heavy guitars and drums with a pop sensibility, and he does it brilliantly here, adding in a Chuck Berry-ish guitar riff for good measure.
Dave Grohl’s progression from drummer to bandleader was a difficult one, and by ‘99, he’d parted ways with three former Foo Fighters; drummer William Goldsmith and guitarists Pat Smear and Franz Stahl. ‘There Is Nothing Left To Lose’ was recorded by the trio of Grohl, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins, and on “Learn To Fly,” Grohl was coming to terms with being the man at the top. At one point, he expressed ambivalence about the song, but later revised his opinion. "Lyrically it was all about just settling in to the next phase of your life,” he told Kerrang! “That place where you can sit back and relax because there had been so much crazy s--- in the past three years.” And the video, featuring Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D, is legendary.
The first single from one of the band’s best albums, ‘Wasting Light,’ this song and album reintroduced Pat Smear as a full-time Foo Fighter, giving the group a new three-guitar attack of Grohl, Smear and Chris Shiflett.
A rather R-rated jam about oral sex, it was an unusual choice for the first single and lead track from ‘One By One.’ Most artists from the ‘90s/’00s alt-rock era didn’t sing too much about sex, but Grohl stuffs a lot of rock star swagger in the punky tune, bragging, “Done! Done! On to the next one!”
The song’s title is named for Dave Grohl’s boyhood friend, Johnny Park, who he’d lost touch with, but that has nothing to do with the rest of the song. When he asks, “Am I selling you out?” Grohl sounds defensive: all these years later, the concept of “selling out” seems quaint. But the truth is, Grohl has become one of music’s biggest and most enduring stars, and he’s done it on his own terms.
This song starts with a soaring guitar riff, not unlike the one in “Baker Street,” and the riffs get heavier as the song progresses. Grohl has said that as a drummer and a guitar player, he loves to play and write riffs; he must have had a blast writing this song.
The acoustic half of ‘In Your Honor’ had some of Dave Grohl’s best songs, and he looked outside the band to expand their sound. “Another Round” features Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones on mandolin, Rami Jaffe of the Wallflowers on keyboards (he’d later join the Foo Fighters) and famed rock photographer Danny Clinch plays harmonica.
By the late ‘90s, Dave Grohl seemed to get more and more comfortable with his inner soft-rocker, and was writing more mellow jams that worked side by side with his raging guitar rockers. This is a perfect example; you could almost imagine a mainstream country artist scoring a hit with this song.
The original version of this was on ‘The Colour And The Shape,’ but the band re-recorded it the following year for the ‘X-Files’ soundtrack. It’s a rare recording with guitarist Franz Stahl and is one of their first tracks with Taylor Hawkins. The re-recorded version is a bit shorter and has some sweet backing vocals. The video shows Grohl doing some serious acting too (it’s on YouTube).
Fun fact: this song was the Foo Fighters’ first music video, and it was directed by Gerald Casale of Devo. The song is an early example of Grohl merging his love for hardcore punk (the “I! Don’t! Owe! You! Anything!” chant) and melodic Beatlesque rock.
Named after the town in Virginia where Dave Grohl was living, on “Arlandria” he rages against celebrity status, two decades after he became a household name as Nirvana’s drummer and sixteen years after the Foo Fighters’ first album. “Close your eyes, turn around, help me burn this to the ground/Come now, take the blame, that's OK I'll play the game/I don't care it's all the same, watch it all go up in flames/Use me up, spit me out, let me be your hand-me-down/Fame, fame, go away, come again some other day.” The lyrics were a bit surprising, as Grohl seems to handle celebrity better than most, and it seems like he’s figured it out. Speaking of which, it’s crazy that ‘Saturday Night Live’ *still* hasn’t tapped him to host an episode!
Many of the Foo Fighters songs used Nirvana’s (and the Pixies’) quiet/loud dynamic, and “Let It Die” holds up to the songs in both of those bands’ catalogs. The lyrics are vague: “Why'd you have to go/And let it die/Do you ever think of me/You're so considerate,” and, as with many of Dave Grohl’s songs, are like lyrical Rorschachs: what they mean to you is as much a reflection of you as whatever inspired them. Ex- guitarist Pat Smear guested on the song; he’d soon rejoin the band.
Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic reunited, post-Nirvana, twice in 1995: they played together on Mike Watt’s first solo album, and on an album by a band called the Stinky Puffs. This was their first recorded collaboration in 16 years, and with all due respect to Nate Mendel, the Foo Fighters’ longest-running non-Grohl member, Novoseic’s bass playing was perfect for this song. He added some accordion as well. It’s probably not a coincidence that this album was produced by the same guy who produced ‘Nevermind,’ Butch Vig.
The first Foo Fighters album was a stunning collection: a nearly perfect group of songs written, sung and played by Dave Grohl. But would there be a sophomore slump? The first single from ‘The Colour And The Shape’ quickly squashed that question. The video, directed by Grohl, marked the first appearance of Taylor Hawkins as a Foo Fighter; original drummer William Goldsmith played on a few songs on the album, but Grohl used his own playing on most of the songs. Hawkins -- previously a member of Alanis Morissette’s band -- didn’t join until after the album was in the can.
Dave Grohl has always cited Husker Du’s Bob Mould as an influence (even name dropping Husker Du’s “New Day Rising” in “Times Like These”). But here, Mould joins the Foo Fighters, playing guitar and singing very distinct vocals on this song, which is one of the band’s greatest non-singles.
Featuring one of the Foo Fighters’ heaviest guitar riffs, many fans presumed that the song was about Courtney Love, but Dave Grohl has said that it was about his experience of living in Hollywood.
Originally written for the previous album, ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace,’ Grohl decided that it made the perfect ending for ‘Wasting Light.’ It’s an uplifting anthem about second chances and starting over, something Grohl knows a bit about: “Learning to walk again I believe I've waited long enough/Where do I begin?”
Famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson doesn’t come up as a musical influence often, but Grohl said that his song was inspired by Tyson’s answer to the question: “What is the most astounding fact about the universe?” (You can find the video on YouTube.) Appropriately, he used wide-screen production: there’s a string section and backing vocals from powerhouse singer Alison Mosshart of the Kills and the Dead Weather.
Dave Grohl played bass guitar on “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged, which may have surprised some who thought he was “just” a drummer (although if were you type who checked out the B-sides, you probably heard the Grohl-written and sung “Marigold,” the b-side to “Heart Shaped Box”). OK, but could he lead a band? The first single from the Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut, which was also the album’s lead track, announced that Grohl was way more talented than we’d realized. Indeed, the first Foo Fighters record is essentially a Dave Grohl solo album, as he sang, played bass, drums and all of the guitars (except for “X-Static,” which featured Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs). Fans and radio reacted quickly to the new Grohl: “This Is A Call” hit #2 on the alternative charts, and #6 on the mainstream rock charts.
Fans have interpreted this song to be about Kurt Cobain, but Dave Grohl has never verified that. In the Foo Fighters’ performance on ‘VH1 Storytellers,’ Grohl said that it was inspired by the seemingly normal characters in ‘80s films like ‘Valley Girl.’ Yet another rumor is that the song is about Pete Stahl, the singer of Scream, a DC-area hardcore band that Grohl played in prior to joining Nirvana (the band’s guitarist Franz Stahl was briefly a member of the Foo Fighters). But a recurring theme with Grohl’s best songs is that, regardless of what they were written about, they’re vague enough that you can apply them to your life, and it’s probably one of the many reasons why the band has been so popular for so long.
The ‘One By One’ sessions weren’t easy, and during a break in the action, Dave Grohl wrote this song. “It's times like these you learn to live again/It's times like these you give and give again” might have been about his relationship with the band, but the song is malleable enough to fit different situations. Case in point: a number of British pop stars recently recorded a socially-distinct version of the song for the BBC; Grohl and Taylor Hawkins contributed to the recording as well. It also showed the wide and enduring appeal of the band: most of those pop singers are probably not familiar with the Foos’ peers or their influences.
“When I sing along with you/ If everything could ever feel this real forever/If anything could ever be this good again/The only thing I'll ever ask of you/You've got to promise not to stop when I say when.” This song was released three years after Kurt Cobain’s death, and it certainly felt like it could have been about him. Dave Grohl allegedly wrote that about an ex-, but, as we’ve mentioned, universal lyrics transcend their original inspiration, and that’s certainly true here. It also clearly has a lot of meaning to David Letterman: in 2000, after the talk show host had quintuple bypass surgery, he said that listening to “Everlong” was crucial to his recovery. For his first show back after the surgery, Letterman asked the band to come on the show and play that song. The Foo Fighters often close their shows with this song, and -- of course -- the audience sings along with Dave. Many of them surely have their own stories too, and it’s always a powerful moment.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Top 40 Tunes Ranked
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Their 40 Best Songs Ranked
One of the first songs the band wrote for ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik,’ it was a perfect blend of their classic punk/funk style with their new melodic sense. Kiedis declares his love for non-human earthlings: “I never met an animal that I didn't like/You can come to me I won't bite/Don't you know dog is man's best friend/There is some love that you can't fight.”
As Anthony Kiedis wrote in his memoirs (‘Scar Tissue’), he wrote the lyrics about a woman who left guitarist Hillel Slovak for someone with more money.
A sweet acoustic tune about Anthony Kiedis, Flea and John Frusciante’s surfing trip when the latter rejoined the band; drummer Chad Smith couldn’t make the trip, which is probably why there are no drums on the song (Smith does appear in the music video). One of the most endearing things about the Chili Peppers is that, through the decades, they still seem to genuinely love each other and they’re not shy about singing about it.
‘One Hot Minute,’ the band’s sole album with former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, was a difficult alliance of talents. “Coffee Shop” was one instance where it really worked: Navarro’s thunderous psychedelic guitar perfectly fits in here.
The Chili Peppers paid tribute to George Clinton on the title track of their second album, which he produced for the band. They repeated the chant, “Funk ‘em, just to see the look on their face,” a quote attributed to Clinton himself.
It wouldn’t be the last time the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang about their hometown. And while the production sounds a bit dated, it features former guitarist Jack Sherman’s finest moment in his brief tenure with the band (after Kiedis yelps, “Better be burnin’, Sherman!”).
Another gem from the Chilis’ second album; again, you can smell George Clinton’s funk on this jam.
33.“Breaking The Girl” - ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ (1991) In the ‘80s, the Chili Peppers made their rep off of their hyperactive jumpy funk jams. But by ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” they were embracing Jimi Hendrix, and on this song, Led Zeppelin. This song sounds like one of the acoustic moments on Zeppelin’s third or fourth albums. It was one of the songs that signaled that the Chilis could grow up, just a bit.
A single off of ‘Stadium Arcadium’ that, sadly, seemed to get lost. In retrospect, it almost comes off as a last goodbye from John Frusciante; in the song he contributes some of his loveliest support vocals, not to mention one of his sweetest solos. And in the video (it’s on YouTube), you see the band hanging out together on a beach, clearly loving each other’s company. Here’s hoping that they’re bonding like that now that Frusciante is back in the band.
Another example of Anthony Kiedis and John Frusciante’s perfect harmonizing. The song has rarely been performed live because Frusciante played so many different guitar parts, it would have been impossible to reproduce in concert. But it’s one of the band’s best studio creations.
The highlight of ‘I’m With You,’ the band’s first album with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. It’s a sendoff to Brenden Mullen, a club owner who gave the band one of their first shots, a gig opening for Bad Brains. He died on the first day of rehearsals for ‘I’m With You,’ and the band channeled their sorrow into this jam.
New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer was first brought into the band by his predecessor John Frusciante; he was a touring guitarist/keyboardist on the ‘Stadium Arcadium’ tour before ultimately replacing his friend. Here is one of the many instances in his two albums with the Chili Peppers that he proves himself to be a worthy heir, even if it didn’t last. His guitar playing and backing vocals are delicate and lovely.
Most of the band’s tributes to founding guitarist Hillel Slovak were posthumous, but this joyous one minute and seventeen-second romp celebrated him while he still walked the earth. According to the band, he was, in fact, skinny, sweaty and occasionally donned a green suit.
A great cover of the Sly & The Family Stone cover. Some of producer George Clinton’s P-Funk pals helped out, including saxophone legend Maceo Parker and the great Fred Wesley on trombone. It was their best cover until they tackled “Higher Ground” a few years later.
The opening track off of their debut album, Flea’s bassline is one of his funkiest (although there are too many funky Flea basslines to count). And Anthony Kiedis’ half-rapped/half-yelped vocals about riding saber-toothed horses and paisley dragons were both bizarre, unique and lovable.
Sometimes, originality is overrated. “Dani California” was criticized by some for sounding a bit too much like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (and both songs were produced by Rick Rubin!). But Petty’s “American Girl” sounded so much like the Byrds that when Roger McGuinn first heard it, he wondered if it was a song he didn’t remember recording. So, sure, “Dani” bears a bit of similarity to “Mary Jane,” but it’s still a great song!
24.“Parallel Universe” - ‘Californiation’ (1999) Flea’s bass playing was classic disco filtered through Joy Division (who was a big influence on the band’s next album). Even though this song wasn’t a huge hit, they almost always play it live, and for good reason.
Another song where Flea seems to be getting his disco influences out. Indeed, the video -- shot in Brooklyn -- has a huge ‘Saturday Night Fever’ influence that it wears on its sleeve (well, not Kiedis: he’s naked for the entire video, save for a hat, sneakers and a codpiece).
In which the Red Hot Chili Peppers celebrate rock and roll’s early days by name dropping Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley.
Anthony Kiedis had a brief relationship with Sinead O’Connor, which inspired this bittersweet, acoustic ballad. It’s been a lament for the dumped ever since.
This ballad is the highlight of Dave Navarro’s time with the Chili Peppers, and it’s one of the band’s best slow jams. BTW, Navarro should have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but if there’s any justice, he’ll get in with Jane’s Addiction in the next few years.
19. “Dark Necessities” - ‘The Getaway’ (2016) The best song from Josh Klinghoffer’s era with the band, they co-wrote this one with their producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, the first time they worked with someone other than Rick Rubin since 1989. Kiedis said in a video on the band’s YouTube pages that the song is about “the beauty of our dark sides and how much creativity and growth and light actually comes out of those difficult struggles that we have on the inside of our heads that no one else can see.”
Anthony Kiedis noted in his autobiography, ‘Scar Tissue,’ that this was one of the more difficult Chili Peppers songs to write, but it was worth the struggle. Here, they take a hard look at their home, particularly Hollywood, both the mainstream film industry and porn. They also shout out both ‘Star Wars’ (“Alderaan's not far away”) and ‘Star Trek’ (“Space may be the final frontier”) as well as Nirvana (who once opened for the Chili Peppers) and David Bowie (“Cobain, can you hear the spheres singing songs off ‘Station to Station?’"). It’s been one of the songs that the band has performed most since its release in 1999, and for good reason.
This song was never a single, but it should have been; it’s a midtempo jam with a lighters-up chorus and again, features Kiedis and Frusciante’s voices harmonizing perfectly. The string section (arranged by David Campbell, father of Beck) is a perfect example of how to add strings to a song without overdoing it.
It’s hard to remember these days, since the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been mostly beloved arena headliners for about three decades, but in the ‘90s, they were seen as total freaks. This song was an anthem for their people.
A song inspired by Kiedis’ struggles with drugs, the singer wrote it after going through a stint in rehab. Bradley Nowell of Sublime -- another frontman who had the same struggle with more tragic results -- quoted the line “No one can tell you you've got to be afraid,” in “All You Need.”
One of the band’s most sadly beautiful songs, it clearly resonated with Kiedis, as he named his autobiography after it. In the song, he looks at people who are down on their luck, as he had been many times before, and tries to find beauty at the bottom (“With the birds I’ll share this lonely view”).
The band’s best cover is this Stevie Wonder jam (from the 1973 ‘Innervisions’ album). The Chili Peppers became their first radio hit, reaching number 11 on Billboard’s Alternative chart, and 26 on the Mainstream Rock chart, setting the band up perfectly for their next album, 1991’s ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik.’ Fun fact: Flea wore the same stuffed animal pants from the “Higher Ground” video and in the video for rapper Young MC’s “Bust A Move.” Not-so-fun fact: the pants were stolen a few years later.
The highlight of ‘Stadium Arcadium,’ it’s a rare case of a great song that’s made even greater by a video. The song is about hopefuls who come to L.A. to seek stardom. In the video, a number of hopefuls are interviewed about their experiences coming to L.A. and then play along to the song… before being surprised when they’re joined by the actual Chili Peppers. It’s one of the most pure expressions of joy that you’ll see in a music video.
In which the Chili Peppers give props to fellow L.A. freaks in X, Fishbone and Thelonious Monster (and sample each band), as well as giving a shoutout to Mike Watt and his band fIREHOSE (they later dedicated their ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ album to Watt). They weren’t just friends with these bands, they were inspired by them; if you’re unfamiliar, check them out and find out why they mean so much to Anthony and Flea (you’ll thank us, and the Chili Peppers, for this).
A song where Kiedis struggles with his past addictions. The song was allegedly dedicated to Hillel Slovak, and Kiedis sounds haunted by his friend’s memory, as he tries to avoid his fate.
Another song haunted by the memory of Slovak; here, his replacement, John Frusciante, takes lead vocals and sings of the danger of drug addiction (something he would fall into in subsequent years). The song demonstrated that Frusciante would be more than just a “replacement”; it was clear that he’d be a major force in the band. “Knock Me Down” was also a turning point, as it showed a more mature side to their songwriting.
8. “Around The World” - ‘Californication’ (1999) The leadoff song on ‘Californication,’ the band’s reunion with John Frusicante, announced that the band’s chemistry was as powerful as ever. Flea drops one of his best bass lines, Frusciante’s guitar playing and harmony vocals were pristine and Kiedis’ lyrics and his scatting improvisations were classic Chili Peppers funk.
One of the band’s early experiments with melody and psychedelic sounds, they wanted “Behind The Sun” to be a single, but their label, EMI, refused, believing that the song was too melodic; the band’s fans wouldn’t go for it. After the Chili Peppers left EMI for Warner Brothers, they struck gold with ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik,’ EMI released a complilation of the band’s earlier songs: 1992’s ‘What Hits?’ cashed in on the band’s exploding popularity. And the first single from the collection? You guessed it: “Behind The Sun.” The song hit #7 on Billboard’s Modern Rock charts, making it their only radio hit with Hillel Slovak.
“Behind The Sun” was an example of the band’s instincts being right. Here, Kiedis’ instincts were way off. Believe it not, Kiedis didn’t want to show the rest of the band his lyrics to “Under The Bridge,” as he didn’t feel it was appropriate for a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Thankfully, producer Rick Rubin convinced him otherwise, and of course, the rest is history. The Hendrixian ballad sees Kiedis dealing with his past drug abuse and trying to transcend it. It’s more than just the band’s biggest hit (it peaked at #2 on the pop charts): “I don’t ever wanna feel, like I did that day” is a mantra for people who don’t want to repeat past mistakes.
5.“The Power Of Equality”/”If You Have To Ask” - ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ (1991) Yeah, they are two separate songs. But so are Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” and “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman),” and we’re not listening to one of those without the other, either. “The Power Of Equality” and “If You Have To Ask” makes the perfect opening to the Chili Peppers’ greatest album. Kiedis puts his politics upfront on “Power”: “Right or wrong, my song is strong/You don't like it, get along/Say what I want, do what I can/Death to the message of the Ku Klux Klan.” He proudly notes that his politics are mirrored by the music that he listens to “I got tapes/I got CDs/I got my Public Enemy.” “If You Have To Ask” shows the band’s flip side, as Kiedis vamps over the “funky-a-- Flea bass.”
4.“By The Way” - ‘By The Way’ (2002) The title track and opening song on their 2002 album, “By The Way” showed that the success of the ‘Californication’ album wasn’t a fluke. The song combined the band’s mellow and explosive sides, not to mention Kiedis’ quirky lyrics: what did he mean by “Steak knife! Card shark! Con job! Boot cut?” It didn’t matter: it sounded great. And “Dani the girl” makes an appearance here: she’d later star in her own song a few years later, “Dani California.”
Another ode to friends and community. The original lineup of the Red Hot Chili Peppers reunited for ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’: guitarist Hillel Slovak rejoined the band on the prior album, and Jack Irons returned on this album. That clearly gave Anthony and Flea a new burst of energy and inspired the singer’s lyrics, which sing the praises of his bandmates, as well as his friend Bob (they’re “Like two sweet peas in an even sweeter pod!”)
2.“Can’t Stop” - ‘By The Way’ (2002) The funkiest jam on ‘By The Way,” it has Flea’s second-best bassline ever. That would be enough to rate it as a classic, but everything on this song clicks: Chad Smith’s drums are totally in the pocket, John Frusciante’s angular funk makes it impossible to stand still while listening to this jam, and his harmony vocals are soaring. And of course, Anthony’s lyrics and delivery tie it all together: “choose not a life of imitation” is another Kiedis-ish mantra (indeed, lots of fans have gotten that line tattooed).
Flea’s greatest bassline anchors the funkiest song ever written about the benefits of generosity. The song’s simplicity is a bit deceptive: the lyrics aren’t just vamping. In his memoirs, Anthony Kiedis tells a story about visiting his then-girlfriend, German new wave icon Nina Hagen. When Kiedis was looking through her closet he saw a jacket he liked. Hagen told him to keep it, saying, "If you have a closet full of clothes and you try to keep them all, your life will get very small. But if you have a full closet and someone sees something they like, if you give it to them, the world is a better place.” This was, apparently, a new way for him to look at the world. Elsewhere in the song, he raps about the ability to improve yourself through knowledge, noting that it’s never too late to learn more: “I'm a low brow but I rock a little know how… Get smart get down with the pow wow/Never been a better time! Than right now!” As if the song wasn’t perfect enough, they shout out Bob Marley, while John Frusciante quotes the guitar riff from Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.”