Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has been with the band since 1988, but getting into the band wasn’t exactly a sure thing.

Smith told Rolling Stone that when he auditioned for the band, they were less than impressed.

“I had long hair and a bandanna and shorts and a cut-off Metallica t-shirt and I’m six-three and they’re not tall gentlemen,” recalled Smith. “They just looked at me like, get this guy out of here. But I went in and everything back then was fast, like James Brown on speed. I started doing my thing, and they were like, ‘This guy’s not following, he’s leading.’ I remember Anthony [Kiedis] just running around the room laughing.”

So, how did Smith win the Chili Peppers over?

“I remember we did the Hendrix cover, ‘Fire.’ And the producer at the time, Michael Beinhorn, was there, and he told them, ‘That’s your guy.’ So I owe Michael,” said Smith. “Then they were like, ‘You gotta shave your head.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not shaving my f—ing beautiful flowing frizzy ’80s locks.’ And they were like, ‘We respect that.’ But here’s the thing, I had played in clubs right out of high school for eight years in Detroit. So that was the 10,000 hours thing. I was prepared. There’s no shortcut to that.”

As previously reported, RHCP is heading out on their very first stadium tour of the United States in 2022 and their first tour since guitarist John Frusciante rejoined the band. Tickets went on sale to the general public today (October 15.) for complete ticket details, head over to


Red Hot Chili Peppers – Their 40 Best Songs Ranked

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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