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‘Red Hots’ Back After 4-Year Layoff

July 3, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back after a four-year layoff following severe drug relapses and another switch in guitar players.

The Los Angeles group consisting of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and rehired former guitarist John Frusciante have come out with a new album ``Californication″ and the band is back on the road doing concerts.

``That we should make it to the same place and time together again,″ Kiedis says in the August issue of Spin magazine, ``and the fact that we didn’t die or become spiritually crippled in the process of going through all these hardships means there was really something in the air that wanted this (reunion) to happen.″

Disappointed with weak sales of their last album ``One Hot Minute,″ the band scattered. Flea spent a lot of time in Central America, Kiedis went on a spiritual quest in India. In 1997, former Jane’s Addiction guitarist left the band, setting up the return of Frusciante, who played on the group’s hit 1991 album ``Blood Sugar Sex Magik″ before slipping in heavy heroin use.

``I lived very close to death in the last few years, from every angle,″ Frusciante said. ``I didn’t mind dying, but the spirits that have made me do what I’ve done with my life up to this point didn’t want me to _ and they’ve ended up being right.″

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