The Message Red Hot Chili Peppers Hid In ‘Right On Time’
All Red Hot Chili Peppers fans recognize John Frusciante as the band’s guitar player as they have been seeing the musician with the band for many years. However, Hillel Slovak was the band’s founding member and played the guitar parts until his tragic passing, thus leaving an unforgettable legacy to his band members.
After losing one of their precious members at an incredibly young age, several Red Hot Chili Peppers songs were written as tributes, including ‘Otherside,’ ‘Knock Me Down,’ ‘My Lovely Man,‘ and more. However, we are here today to take a look at a song that wasn’t revealed as a dedication song to Slovak, but its hidden message tells otherwise.
Hillel Slovak Died At The Age Of 26
The late guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hillel Slovak, founded the band with Flea, Kiedis, and Irons in 1983. However, Slovak eventually quit RHCP to focus on What is This?, which had just signed a record deal. In his absence, the band recorded their 1984 debut album, including five songs Slovak had co-written.
Fortunately, Slovak rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985 and recorded the albums ‘Freaky Styley’ and ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’ with them. Moreover, he is considered to have been a major influence on the band’s early sound.
Unfortunately, Slovak developed a serious heroin addiction during his music career, much like many other rock stars of his time. Regardless of his numerous attempts to quit, the musician tragically died due to an overdose on June 25, 1988, at the age of 26.
RHCP Has A Secret Message In ‘Right On Time’
Red Hot Chili Peppers released ‘Right on Time‘ as the fourteenth track on their monumental seventh studio album, ‘Californication,’ on June 8, 1999. Although the song isn’t among the numerous hits for the band like ‘Otherside,’ ‘Californication,’ and ‘Scar Tissue,’ it has a unique side many fans failed to notice.
At first glimpse, the song’s lyrics may remind its audience of several themes, such as substance addiction. However, many fans realized that once the song is played backward, it says ‘We miss him‘ a couple of times. According to RHCP fans, the entire song was written about their late bandmate Hillel Slovak, and the reversed version is an homage to the guitarist.
Since none of the band members actually said anything regarding the issue, and the song is an underdog on their 1999 album, it’s hard to say for sure that they intentionally placed that sentence in its reversed version. Still, when the obvious ‘We miss him’ line and the most visible theme of the song are combined, the entire idea doesn’t seem impossible.
You can listen to ‘Right on Time’ and its backward version below.