The Red Hot Chili Peppers Member Who Threatened Anthony Kiedis

Red Hot Chili Peppers have preserved their strong position in the rock scene for over 30 years after their formation in the ’80s. As the band’s guitarist, Hillel Slovak contributed to the creation of its initial sound while exploring styles such as funk, hard rock, and reggae, as each member added a piece of himself. Unluckily, the rocker who had contributed to successful records like ‘Freaky Styley’ started experiencing health problems in the following periods.

Slovak suffered from drug addiction which started to affect his psychology and career. Although his addiction reached extreme levels, he tried to keep it secret. Still, the members understood that his condition was worsening due to his decreased productivity and isolation from his bandmates. Unfortunately, the young musician was found dead at his home on a June day in 1988. His fellow Anthony Kiedis went through a difficult time after losing Slovak and was later threatened by the newly recruited guitarist.

Who Threatened Anthony Kiedis?

Following Hillel Slovak’s untimely passing, the RHCP members struggled to deal with his loss, and they also had to find a new guitarist who would fill their late bandmate’s place. After considering the candidates, the band decided to continue with the former The Headhunters and Parliament-Funkadelic member DeWayne ‘Blackbyrd’ McKnight. 

During his short tenure, he appeared with the band during a few shows and entered the studio for the song ‘Blues for Meister,’ which was featured in ‘Out in L.A’ in 1994. However, the guitarist’s career with the band lasted a short time because of the lack of musical chemistry. McKnight, who did not expect to be removed from the band in such a short time, got angry and threatened Kiedis to set his house on fire.

Years later, in a 2018 interview with NAFME, he detailed his opinions about his brief tenure with the band. The guitarist stated that he wanted to become a great famous musician when he initially decided to pursue a music career. He expressed his gratitude for turning into a source of inspiration for some and said that his aim has been to reach many people. However, he added that he is still on the path of growing and developing.

DeWayne McKnight said the following about his work with RHCP:

“When I started playing music, I did it to become a great musician, get fame, and all of that. It is obviously a great honor to have influenced anyone. Part of the reason for picking up an instrument is to reach as many people as I can through my craft, and I hope I am achieving this. Having said all that, I still have only to grow.”

The musician who had had an unsettling period with Anthony Kiedis was photographed hugging him backstage at a show in Australia years later, and it seems like the ice between the pair had melted. On the other side, DeWayne McKnight, who evaluated the period he worked with RHCP from a more mature perspective, considered it a positive career experience.