Hillel Slovak, original guitar player for the Peppers, died of a heroin overdose in his Los Angeles apartment in June, 1988, after a headlong dive into addiction which had been deepening for years. His wacky, perverse sense of humor and his natural hunger for funk and freedom were the spark which became the Peppers’ signature hyperkenesis. Flea, Tree, Anthony, Jack Irons and Hillel grew up together in Hollywood from age 16. Hillel taught Flea – an accomplished trumpet player whose father was a jazz musician – the rudiments of the bass and convinced him to join his high schol rock band, Anthem. Anthony Kiedis would start Anthem shows off with a crowd pumping rap. Without Hillel, the Chilis would not have been. (SPIN, February 1990)
Happy 52nd birthday, Hillel. You will always be missed!