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Red Hot Chili Peppers pick Verizon Arena for tour stop

By WERNER TRIESCHMANN SPECIAL TO THE ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published April 20, 2017 at 1:59 a.m.

Red Hot

Chili Peppers

8 p.m. Saturday at Verizon Arena, North Little Rock

Tickets: $52-$102

(800) 745-3000

verizonarena.com

On Saturday, the Red Hot Chili Peppers pull into Verizon Arena for a stop on their current tour. Let's take a deeper dive into this rock-funk-pop act and do it by the numbers.

Zero is the number of shirts and pants and other articles of clothing the band used to wear in an infamous live show gimmick. Four is the number of tube socks band members used to wear during said gimmick to cover a certain sensitive body part.

One membership to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is what the band was given in 2012. It was the same year of induction by another huge California band -- Guns N' Roses. At the event Chris Rock introduced the Chili Peppers, quipping at one point that if "Brian Wilson and George Clinton had a baby -- that baby would be ugly -- but it would sound like the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

Four current members of the band are lead singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea (real name, Michael Balzary), guitarist John Klinghoffer and drummer Chad Smith.

Ten is the number of former members of Red Hot Chili Peppers. With a history that begins back in 1983, it is no surprise that, outside of Kiedis and Flea, the band has been something of a revolving door. Former members include one of the band's founders, Hillel Slovak, who died in 1988 of a heroin overdose. Dave Navarro, guitarist most famously of Jane's Addiction, had a stint as a Chili Pepper from 1993 to 1997.

Eleven studio albums were recorded, starting with The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1984 and ending with The Getaway released in 2016, which brings the band to North Little Rock.

Sixteen Grammy award nominations and six Grammy awards including best hard rock performance for "Give It Away" in 1993 and best rock album for Californication in 2000.

Twenty-one is the age Kiedis and Flea were during the release of their band's first album. The pair had met and become fast friends at Los Angeles' Fairfax High School. The original name for the band that would ultimately become the Red Hot Chili Peppers was Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem.

Forty-eight was the Super Bowl in which the band made an appearance with Bruno Mars. The band played "Give It Away" and Kiedis and Flea were naturally energetic and shirtless.

Fifty-four is the current age of Kiedis and Flea. All reports are the certain tube sock gimmick mentioned above is a thing of the past for current Chili Pepper live shows. Naturally.

Eighty-million is the reported number of albums sold by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It helps that a large part of the band's output took place at a time when Spotify, iTunes, etc. didn't exist.

In 1991, the band's breakthrough album, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik was released on the major label Warner Bros. Before that time, the Chili Peppers were a well-respected but decidedly cult band on the unlikely mission of mixing funk, punk and hard rock. They also had the deserved reputation of putting on wild live shows and being hard-core drug users. Perhaps it was bearded, reclusive producer Rick Rubin who finally found the right elixir to turn the Chili Peppers from Los Angeles' darlings to national stars. The early '90s -- punk fading in the mirror and hip-hop's dominance looming on the horizon -- was just the right time for this band to separate itself from the pack. In any case, the band established itself as a major act and then 1999's Californication, which churned out a number of hits, cemented that status. Even here in 2017 the shine hasn't yet worn off the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Weekend on 04/20/2017

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