As is the case with all classic albums, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik comes with a certain amount of mythology attached. Producer Rick Rubin decided to record it in a supposedly haunted mansion in Laurel Canyon — Harry Houdini used to live there — and the band made it their home for the duration (except for drummer Chad Smith, who was too spooked to stay there.) Camped out within its confines, and perhaps inspired by their ghostly companions, the Peppers burst forth with some of their most iconic songs, downright haunting tales of depression, addiction and, of course, possession, both carnal and spiritual.
And thanks to those songs, Blood Sugar would go on to become a massive success, thrusting the band firmly beneath the glare of the spotlight, and they would subsequently melt as a result. Unable to cope with the new-found fame, guitarist John Frusciante quit midway through the tour in support of the album, and would sink into a spiral of drug addiction. The band would press on — though frontman Anthony Kiedis would struggle with drugs, too — but it would be nearly four years before they’d release a proper follow-up, this time with former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro in the fold.
Of course, this year, Blood Sugar turns 20 … and, as we’ve been doing with several other iconic albums released in 1991, we asked some of today’s biggest acts to share their memories of the Peppers’ boldest, bravest disc. But today, we’re also getting the behind-the-scenes story, straight from the band themselves.
Here, in his own words, is Anthony Kiedis, sharing his memories of making Blood Sugar Sex Magik.