Josh Klinghoffer opens up on Red Hot Chili Peppers firing: "It’s absolutely John Frusciante’s place to be in that band"

(Image credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Back in December we reported that John Frusciante had rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers – for a second time – after being away from the band for 10 years. 

Now, the man who had been filling his slot for the past decade, Josh Klinghoffer, has broken his silence on his firing from the LA punk-funk outfit.

During an appearance on WTF with Marc Maron, the electric guitar player, who performed on 2011's I'm With You and 2016's The Getaway, recounted to host Maron how he was informed of the change in personnel.

"I rode my bike over [to bassist Flea's house]," he said. "They just said, ‘We’ll get right to it. We’ve decided to ask John to come back to the band.’ And I just sat there quiet for a second and I said, ‘I’m not surprised.’

"And the only thing I could think to say was, ‘I wish I could have done something with you guys, musically or creatively, that would have made this an absolute impossibility.'”

Despite his disappointment, Klinghoffer also asserted that there was no animosity between him and the rest of the Peppers – Flea, front man Anthony Keidis and drummer Chad Smith.

“It’s absolutely John’s place to be in that band,” Klinghoffer said. “So that’s why I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he’s back with them.”

He continued, "If John coming back had happened five years ago, it would have been hard for me, temporally, to weigh against what they had.

"Now, after 10 years, two tours, and almost three albums of writing, I'm really proud of what I did with them. I feel like we did create something."

Klinghoffer also acknowledged that "John and Flea have a musical language. I'll never be able to contend with the history him and John had."

The LA icons are currently in the midst of recording a new album with Frusciante, ahead of a number of summer festival dates.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.