The Real Reasons Jack Irons Left The Red Hot Chili Peppers

As recalled by Drum Magazine, Jack Irons was one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ co-founders, but years before that, he and Hillel Slovak teamed up with singer-guitarist Alain Johannes to form a band called Chain Reaction. The group would later change its name to Anthym and add another school friend, bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary, to the lineup. Now that’s three-fourths of RHCP’s founding lineup playing together in one band, but as the outlet pointed out, the Peppers were a “fluke” side project that formed in 1983 when Slovak, Flea, and Irons joined forces with yet another old friend from Fairfax High School, frontman Anthony Kiedis. The nascent Peppers’ electrifying performances helped them build up a huge following in their native Los Angeles, and they were soon signed by EMI. 

There was, however, one little problem — What is This? (the band formerly known as Chain Reaction and Anthym) had also signed a record deal of their own with MCA (via First Avenue), and Slovak and Irons were both more committed to their main band than their quirky, funky side project. As such, they quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers ahead of the recording of their 1984 self-titled debut album and were respectively replaced by Jack Sherman and Cliff Martinez. 

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