Here Are the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 10 Greatest Shirtless Moments (Some Without Pants & Underwear, Too)
Can’t stop, addicted to being shirtless… er, to the shindig. What can we say, the Red Hot Chili Peppers love the freedom of fresh air on bare skin! More than 30 years after the rock band’s self-titled debut, the current lineup -- made up of lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, bassist Flea and drummer Chad Smith -- are still looking Red Hot, even with the dad-bod look sneaking in. (We see you, and we dig it.)
The Chili Peppers will embark on a massive 2017 North American tour -- probably topless -- in support of their 11th LP, The Getaway. The tour kicks off Jan. 5 in San Antonio, Tex. and concludes June 30 in Chicago.
In anticipation of six-months full of shirtless Peppers, we’ve gone through their entire clothing-free archive to bring you their greatest, barest, most naked moments. From live performances to music videos, we’re counting down 10 of the shirtless best.
10. Animated shirtlessness in “Californication”: There’s shirtless Chili Peppers, and then there’s shirtless video game Chili Peppers! Such is the case in the music video for 1999’s “Californication,” which sees animated versions of the band members snowboarding on top of bridges, swimming underwater, surfing on sharks, escaping bears in forests, racing cars and doing a bunch of other shirtless activities. Plus, this was peak frosted-blonde Kiedis era -- arguably his greatest RHCP look.
9. The shirtless album: Everyone’s shirtless on the cover art of 1989’s Mother’s Milk, the Chili Peppers’ fourth studio album and the album that spun out their famous funk-metal rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” In the arms of a much larger naked woman, four tiny Chili Peppers stand and lay very shirtless, all while looking entirely exasperated and forlorn. After all, we were just heading into the extreme melancholy of 1990s rock.
8. A painted, shirtless Kiedis in “Go Robot”: It’s a totally shirtless spin on 1977’s famous Saturday Night Fever disco scenes, from John Travolta’s legendary New York street walk to the club dance-off -- with Kiedis covered in white body paint, flaunting a white bowler hat and not much else, while the other Chili Peppers are decked out in their ‘70s best. We’re pretty sure Tony Manero would approve.
7. Shirtless at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: During the band’s 2012 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sir Psycho Sexy Kiedis and Funky Monk Flea stayed true to their roots and performed a super-shirtless edition of “By The Way.”
6. The shirtless Super Bowl halftime: Bruno Mars brought out the Chili Peppers during his 2014 Super Bowl performance for “Give It Away,” and to no one’s surprise, Kiedis and Flea had nothing at all on their backs. (Personally, we think Mars should’ve followed tradition, too.)
5. Broadway Carpool Karaoke with James Corden: Take it off, take it off! What’s a real carpool karaoke session with the Red Hot Chili Peppers if everyone doesn’t rip their shirts off? That’s what happened on a Monday night episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden earlier this year: Corden, Kiedis and Flea shimmied out of their clothes for a very stripped-down rendition of “The Zephyr Song.” (Smith and Klinghoffer sat the nakedness out this time around.)
4. Glittered and shirtless in “Give It Away”: One of the Chili Peppers’ biggest hits, 1991’s “Give It Away” has a very shirtless music video that’s doused in lots and lots of glitter. Glitter body paint, glitter lipstick, glitter pants, glitter thongs: you name it, it’s covered in glitter. The black-and-white video puts the very glittered-Peppers against a desert backdrop, using wide angles to zoom in and out on their glistening bodies, Kiedis’ whiplike braids and Chad Smith’s devil horns. Supposedly, the video was inspired by French fashion… or they could have just wanted to be shirtless and glittering in the desert sun.
3. The shirtless socks routine: It all started in 1983 during the Chili Peppers' first-ever tour. By it, we mean, taking the stage in nothing but socks covering their junk. At the Kit Kat Club, a then-famous strip club in Hollywood, the band debuted their routine, which would soon become a trademark move repeated many times throughout their career.
2. Flea goes nude at Woodstock ’99: And then again at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and then again and again throughout the Californication tour, covered only by his bass guitar.
1. The naked Rolling Stone cover: In 1992, the Chili Peppers bared it all (but what else is new) on a June cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The cover story was written at the height of the band’s success for Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which included the hits “Give It Away,” “Under the Bridge” and “Suck My Kiss.” Entirely naked and shielded by their hands, it was one of Rolling Stone’s raciest covers to date.