Consider this: Is Josh Klinghoffer, the new guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who replaces longtime axeman John Frusciante (who quit for the second time in 2009), a real, true member of the band until he ceremoniously strips down and rocks out with nothing but a sock over his dick? I argue that “no,” he’s not. Which makes him only an awkward, overly dressed sideman in RHCP’s just released music video for I’m With You’s “Look Around.” Watch below.
Like any induction ritual, Klinghoffer needs to suck it up and get with the program, or get out. One of the best, steadfast aspects of RHCP is their humor and upbeat energy, which is on display in their new video in three of the four members. Each placed in a different room, the Peppers get their funk on: A shirtless Anthony Kiedis (natch) spins in circles, flexes his muscles and dances with his baby son Everly Bear; Chad Smith plays drums while wearing a bathrobe and sitting on the toilet (wearing his trademark ball cap, natch); and Flea, wearing only whitey-tighties and bouncing about on the bass (natch), covers himself in shaving cream, then rolls around on the floor with a mostly-naked hot chick, who mysterious climbs out of the refrigerator. So far, all good and well.
Then there’s Klinghoffer. He’s emotionless. He’s standing still. He’s wearing black baggy pants, black long underwear and a black hooded sweatshirt. Dude. Sure, Klinghoffer’s predecessor (and musical idol) Frusciante was more poignant and introspective than, say, Flea. But he never faded into the wallpaper. He was a guitar hero. And – guess what? – he stripped down and wore the sock on the dick. Replacing Frusciante is nerve-wracking business. But, Josh, if you want the soul of the RHCP to live on, I suggest you get in the game.
Oh, and in related news, RHCP are hitting the road this fall on tour. Hopefully Klinghoffer gets with it by then.