Mike Hayes

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John Frusciante

Guitarist John Frusciante has experienced both colossal highs and death-defying lows in both his musical career and personal life. Born in 1970 and raised in California, Frusciante dropped out of high school when guitar playing and rock music took hold of the up-and-coming musician/songwriter. Embracing both the unpredictable side of rock (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, King Crimson, Funkadelic) and punk (the Germs, Black Flag), Frusciante created his own guitar style -- combining both technical skill with a knack for penning funky, psychedelic riffs. The Red Hot Chili Peppers became an automatic fave when the young guitarist discovered them early in their career, and his dream to join the band came true in 1988, after striking up a friendship with the Chili Peppers' bassist Flea (in the wake of founding guitarist Hillel Slovak's death from a drug overdose). Interestingly, Frusciante had just been hired by another L.A. band, Thelonious Monster, prior to joining the Peppers.