Flea Pays Tribute to Late Red Hot Chili Peppers Bandmate

The legendary bassist posted a touching graveside picture on Instagram

January 9, 2019
Musician Michael "Flea" Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performs at Oracle Arena on March 12, 2017

© imageSPACE

Red Hot Chili Peppers have had several guitarists in their 35-year history – from John Frusciante to Dave Navarro to Josh Klinghoffer – but founding member Hillel Slovak still holds a special place in Flea’s heart.

The bass legend stopped by Mount Sinai Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills recently to visit his childhood friend and former bandmate. Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 26.

“My thoughts will always be with my beloved brother,” Flea posted on Instagram along with a picture of himself at Slovak’s grave. “A painter, a musician, an intellectual, a hilarious and wild joker, and a lover of his friends. He asked me to start playing the bass, changing my life forever, and that’s only one of many ways he influenced my growth… happy to be sitting by his grave on this sweet and mellow rainy day.”

Related: Flea Takes Spotlight With Epic Bass And Trumpet Solo

Flea, Slovak and singer Anthony Kiedis formed Red Hot Chili Peppers with drummer Jack Irons while attending high school together in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Slovak played on the Peppers’ second two studio albums Freaky Styley and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan.