Josh Klinghoffer’s Friendship With John Frusciante ‘Non-Existent’

Josh Klinghoffer has detailed his disintegrated relationship with former collaborator and fellow guitarist John Frusciante.

While appearing on the Tuna on Toast With Stryker podcast, Klinghoffer described the friendship as “pretty non-existent,” adding that “it’s been that way for 10 years.”

The musicians first became close in 2000 when Klinghoffer’s then band, the Bicycle Thief, opened for Frusciante’s Red Hot Chili Peppers while the latter group was touring in support of the album Californication. In the ensuing years, the guitarists would collaborate on a multitude of projects, including four of Frusciante’s solo albums and one fully collaborative effort, 2005’s A Sphere in the Heart of Silence.

In an interview around that time, Frusciante referred to Klinghoffer as “a very talented person” and “a very close friend,” describing him as “one the very few people who I really like to spend a lot of time with.”

“I spent a lot of time being friends with John when we were younger,” Klinghoffer recalled during his Tuna on Toast appearance. “He’s a very dedicated artist and musician. And we spent a lot of time together. And we made records together.”

In 2007, Klinghoffer became a touring musician with Red Hot Chili Peppers, playing additional guitar, keyboards and backing vocal parts. Two years later he was invited to become a permanent member of the group, replacing Frusciante who had decided to leave.

“He knew,” Klinghoffer explained, noting that his predecessor wasn’t caught off guard by the lineup decision. “There was talk about it before I joined. Because Flea had asked me, there was lots of discussion about it in the summer of that year (2009), but because of people traveling and just being on sort of summer holiday, we didn’t actually make sounds together until October.”

“So, from July to October, I was in contact with John and he was in contact with them,” Klinghoffer continued. “And he was having a hard time with that fact that they could even consider going on without him.”

Klinghoffer would remain in Red Hot Chili Peppers until 2019, when Frusciante returned to the group. This time around, the change came as much more of a surprise.

“There was a bit of… It’s not like it was a monogamous relationship,” Klinghoffer explained. “Flea and John had been kinda hanging out and playing and stuff. They were fostering that relationship again. And I didn’t know that. It was sort of secret.”

Despite his dismissal, Klinghoffer said he harbors no ill will towards the band and remains friendly with Red Hot Chili Peppers, aside from Frusciante.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to them for all the experiences I’ve had with them,” the guitarist noted. “My only regret is not making more music with them.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ most recent album, Love Unlimited, was released in April. Meanwhile, Klinghoffer and his solo project, Pluralone, have been touring in support of Pearl Jam.

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