The Red Hot Chili Peppers visited Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show on Tuesday (April 5) to talk about their new album, play a few songs and weigh in on the heaviness they’re feeling in the wake of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death. Stern was especially eager, however, to hear their thoughts on the slap heard ’round the world, especially since their pal Chris Rock inducted the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
“Too much has been said already,” singer Anthony Kiedis demurred at first when Stern attempted to get their take on the Oscars incident where Will Smith slapped Rock on stage after the actor-comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.
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“We love Chris Rock and I’ll stand forward and say he should not have been slapped,” Flea said about the instantly viral moment when Smith appeared to take offense at Rock’s “GI Jane 2” who P. (Rock was seemingly unaware that Pinkett Smith suffers from the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which causes hair loss.)
“I love comedy. I love comedians and I love being offended,” Kiedis finally chimed in. “Even though he wasn’t necessarily offensive in that moment … I hope at another moment he will offend me. Because I think that’s healthy, to be offended, and to be thoughtful. Comedy has a right to exist without too much violence.”
The visit also touched on the long-running friendship between RHCP drummer Chad Smith and late Foo Fighter Hawkins, with Smith relating a sweet story about the nature of their bond.
“I love Taylor. He was one of my best friends,” said Smith, who has lately adorned his drum kit with a tribute to his friend. “We’re still shocked and so saddened by his passing,” he added, reminding Stern of how much Hawkins loved the SiriusXM radio host and appreciated his often probing, personal questions.
“And he loved life and was a real beacon and full of positive energy. I’m gonna miss him so much,” he continued, reminiscing about the many shows the Chili Peppers played with the Foo Fighters in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “We spent a lot of time together. I love his family and just trying to be there for him … and the outpouring from everywhere, not only musicians, but people [from] all walks of life showed how much he was so loved.”
Smith said when he asked Hawkins to be his son Beckett’s godfather, the Foos drummer enthusiastically said, “Yeah! of course! Yeah! What do I gotta do?” And when Smith said “not really anything,” Hawkins was even more psyched. “OK, great I can do that!” he promised, according to the drummer.
“He was beautiful and we’re all gonna miss him … I love him,” Smith said. Not only did they bond about being drummers, but the rocker said they also connected about being in bands that had lasted a long time and were still touring and playing arenas and stadiums, as well as being married with three children around the same age.
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