During Heavy Drug Use, Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist Called Perry Farrell to Get Snakes Out of His Eyes
In the 2006 oral history of Jane's Addiction, Whores, Frusciante shared the story of how Farrell came to his rescue during a period of heavy drug use, coming up with a solution for the guitarist's scary trip.
As shared by Louder Sound, Frusciante recalled, "I once called Perry at like seven in the morning and said, How do you get snakes out of your eyes? He said, 'What?' I said, There are snakes in my eyes, how do I get rid of them? I'd be looking in my bathroom mirror at these little snakes in my eyes. I'd even hear them talk, they'd make weird little noises and stuff. A snake would poke his head out and I'd try to grab it. I'd be reaching in my eyes trying to pull 'em out. I fucked with my eyes so much doing this. I'd sit in the bathroom doing it for hours at at a time. My eyes were just shutting on their own and I'd struggle to pull 'em open. No use."
But Farrell actually had a response, coming up with something that satiated the guitarist in his time of need. "I called Perry and told him, 'The snakes have shut my eyes,'" said the guitarist. "Perry told me I was off balance, something about too much yin and not enough yang. Perry gave me goggles after that. That was my outfit when I would go up on the roof to wage war against the ghosts. I would have my goggles on and my ski mask, and every part of my body covered. No holes... You couldn't get into me on any level anywhere."
That said, Farrell could tell that Frusciante needed help and tried to intervene. "Perry completely convinced me to stop," the guitarist explained, "and then he said, 'Okay, let's get you to the hospital right now.' I had this bag of about an ounce of Persian heroin, and about an ounce of cocaine, and I was just doing as much as I could in the hospital parking lot. Finally we go in and Perry was like... saying to the nurses, 'Listen, I'm going to be really honest with you, he's really on a lot of drugs right now, so why don't you wait on giving him any medication'."
In the time since, Frusciante has cleaned up. Jane's guitarist Dave Navarro recalled visiting Frusciante while he was in a rehab, lending the musician a Les Paul guitar to play during his stay. "I brought the Les Paul to the facility, we hung out, we talked a little bit, and I never saw it again. I think he left the facility, who knows what happened. So life goes on, I end up leaving the Chili Peppers, I don’t know where John is," recalled Navarro during a 2018 chat on the Dark Matter podcast.
A decade later, Navarro says that act of kindness had stuck with Frusciante, who then gifted Navarro with a new guitar. "It’s not unusual that a guitar player would bring a guitar to a guitar player’s house," Navarro described, going on, "He opens it up, and it’s a black Les Paul. He goes, ’I just wanted to give this to you because years ago you gave me a Les Paul and I sold it and bought drugs with it and I just want to make it right.’ I was like, ‘Wow man.’"
Navarro said he still has that black Les Paul at his house. "I love that he tried to make amends with that," he said. "In a weird roundabout way, the black Les Paul that he replaced it with is more special than the original one was.”
These days, Frusciante is back with Red Hot Chili Peppers for his third stint, with the band supporting two 2022 albums while on tour. Be sure to check them out on the road. You can get your tickets here.