Hillel Slovak was an Israeli-American musician best known as the original guitarist and founding member of the Los Angeles rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Slovak’s guitar work on early RHCP albums “Freaky Styley” and “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” was one of the major contributing factors to the Red Hot Chili Peppers early sound. He was also a huge influence on a young John Frusciante, who would later replace him as guitarist in the band.
Slovak and his friend and bandmate Anthony Kiedis became addicted to heroin early on in their careers. Deciding to give sobriety a chance, both Kiedis and Slovak stopped using prior to their 1988 European tour in support of “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan”. During the tour they both experienced intense heroin withdrawal with Slovak being much more unstable than Kiedis.
The tour ended with Slovak playing his last show with the band on June 4, 1988 at Törnävä, Seinäjoki, Finland at the Provinssi Rock 88. Here is a photo of Slovak during the last song of the Peppers set that day.
Upon returning home both Kiedis and Slovak resumed their heroin addictions. In the weeks following the tour, Slovak isolated himself in his Hollywood apartment and struggled to resist drugs without the support of his friends. Here is a photo of his Hollywood apartment building.
Little is known about Slovak the weeks following the tour, aside from a phone call to his brother on June 24th in which he told him that he was having difficulty staying clean. On June 27, 1988 Slovak was found dead inside apartment #114 at the Afton Arms Apartments located at 6141 Afton Place, Hollywood, CA 90028.
HERE ARE SOME FEELNUMB.COM EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS TAKEN AT HILLEL SLOVAK’S APARTMENT
Here is the front door to Slovak’s apartment.
His last recording with the band was also his final song he ever played live, a cover version of the Jimi Hendrix song “Fire”. The recording would later appear on the “Abbey Road EP ” as well as the “Mothers Milk” album. The songs “Knock Me Down” (from Mother’s Milk) and “My Lovely Man” (from Blood Sugar Sex Magik) were written as tributes to Hillel.
He is interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California.