RHCP's Flea visits “beloved brother” Hillel Slovak's grave

8 January 2019, 12:04

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and late guitarist Hillel Slovak
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and late guitarist Hillel Slovak. Picture: Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/GettyImages

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist shared a tribute to the late guitarist and his former bandmate, who died in 1988.

Flea has paid tribute to his former bandmate Hillel Slovak.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist visited the grave of the band's original guitarist, who tragically lost his life due to a drug overdose in 1988.

Sharing a photo, which sees the rocker lying on his friend's gravestone, he wrote: "My thoughts will always be with my beloved brother. A painter, a musician, an intellectual, a hilarious and wild joker, and a lover of his friends. He asked me to start playing the bass, changing my life forever, and that’s only one of many ways he influenced my growth [...] happy to be sitting by his grave on this sweet and mellow rainy day".

See his poignant post below:

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Watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers pay tribute to Hillel Slovak with original drummer Jack Irons:

Flea - whose real name is Michael Pete Balzary - wrote a powerful essay on addiction and opioid abuse last year.

The piece, which was written as part of TIME magazine's project The Opioid Diaries, saw the Dark Necessities bassist reveal all about his past struggles with addiction, and how he's managed to stay clean since 1993. 

The essay, entitled "The Temptation of Drugs Is a Bitch," begins: "I’ve been around substance abuse since the day I was born. All the adults in my life regularly numbed themselves to ease their troubles, and alcohol or drugs were everywhere, always. 

"I started smoking weed when I was eleven, and then proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and twenties."

Referring in part to the loss of Slovak, he added: "I saw three of my dearest friends die from drugs before they turned 26, and had some close calls myself. 

"It was a powerful yearning to be a good father that eventually inspired a sense of self-preservation, and in 1993 at the age of 30 I finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing my life force. I cut them out forever."

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If you are or know anyone who is suffering from addiction, you can find help at the organisations below:

Adfam

www.adfam.org.uk

Al-Anon Family Groups UK and Eire

Helpline: 020 7403 0888 10am to 10pm daily

al-anonuk.org.uk

Amy Winehouse Foundation

amywinehousefoundation.org

Action on Addiction

actiononaddiction.org.uk

Addaction

addaction.org.uk