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Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer joins Pearl Jam as touring musician

[L-R] Josh Klinghoffer and Eddie Vedder
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has joined Seattle rock giants Pearl Jam as a touring musician.

Klinghoffer – who was dismissed from the Chili Peppers back in 2019 to make way for the return of former guitarist John Frusciante – partnered with the Seattle icons last year for a quarantine performance of Dance of the Clairvoyants, however as a Pearl Jam representative confirms, his association with the band is now ongoing.

The guitarist joined Pearl Jam for their set at the Sea.Hear.Now festival in New Jersey's Asbury Park on Saturday (September 18), helping them sail through their 20-track set, which included classics like Alive and Even Flow, as well as the live debut of Quick Escape, Seven O'Clock, Superblood Wolfmoon and Take the Long Way, taken from 2020 album Gigaton.

Klinghoffer also contributes guitar and piano to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder's latest solo single, Long Way, alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.

The former RHCP man opened up on his dismissal from the band in January 2020, saying: “It's absolutely John's place to be in that band.”

“That's why I'm happy for him, I'm happy that he's back with them,” the guitarist said during an appearance on WTF with Marc Maron.

“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.”

Legendary producer Rick Rubin recently spoke of how he cried watching the Chili Peppers first rehearsal with John Frusciante after he rejoined.

“Frusciante's back in the band and it's unbelievable,” Rubin told Chris Jericho on his Talk is Jericho podcast earlier this month.

“I [was invited to] the first rehearsal after John rejoined the band and it made me cry. It was so thrilling to see that group of people back together because they made such great music for so long together and it really hit me in an emotional way.”

Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.