Archive for Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Frilly Peppers

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Raleigh Studios : Hollywood, CA
December 18, 2006

I was hired to work with the Chili Peppers as they shot the music video for Dani California. During this two-day shoot, I was asked to be a fly on the wall and try to capture every special moment. Whether it is a video shoot, in the recording studio, or on the road – these are my favorite kinds of shoots – I love capturing those timeless images.

This video was a very elaborate undertaking. Director Tony Kaye, known for his feature film American History X, wanted to take the band through the history of music. From a 1950’s Ed Sullivan style setup, to the late 60’s drug-induced movement, to the flamboyant disco era to the glam rock era, to the1970’s Punk Rock scene, to the early 80’s post-punk Goth scene, to mid-80’s Hair-Metal, to the Grunge Movement and back to the Chile Peppers as we know them – the band wanted me to capture it all.

I must have shot at least 4000 images over those two days. I really captured more than I thought possible. In fact, the record label and RHCP management were overwhelmed at how many photos I shot and turned in. The band really had fun with this video and really got into character. I never knew what to expect from these guys when they popped on a new wig and new outfits. These guys are pros and they are the coolest and most professional people you would want to work with.

For some reason these were the outfits that the band seemed the most comfortable in and I didn’t think they were ever going to take them off. The mustaches that Flea and Chad are sporting were hilarious…Flee looks like some cheesy Phys Ed teacher from the 70’s. Check out Anthony, he looks like some suave, artsy Puerto Rican or Carlos Santana’s little brother. And take a look at John Frusciante, I would not want him hanging around any minors dressed like that.

Time was super-tight, but I knew that the band would want to have a memory of this, so I grabbed each of them and popped this shot off. Just then, it was time to switch outfits. I really like this photo alot – itt just says so much – I think it will become more and more special as time goes on.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-5D and a Canon 24mm-70mm lens.

On Stage With…The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rock For Choice Benefit
Hollywood Palladium
April 4, 1992

(Click photo to enlarge)


Part four of a five-part series I’m doing this week, featuring shots that I took while being on the stage with bands. Each day I will add a new band and a new photo.


This was a very special benefit held to raise money for the Magic Johnson Aids foundation.  Beside the night’s headliners, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the bill also featured The Beastie Boys, Primus and the debut of Perry Farrell’s Porno For Pyros. I was really amped up for this show, it is not everyday you get a chance to see A-Level bands like this in a smaller venue such as The Palladium.

As the Chili Peppers kicked off, I shot the first few songs from inside the barricade, and then went to get a drink. The bar was charging crazy money for sodas and water. At this point I was both a starving artist and working my way through college. So, I decided to try to make my photo pass work for me and find something backstage. I flashed my pass to the security guard and gave him a look like I knew where I was going. I then found a water dispenser at one of the back corners of the stage, near one of the guitar amps.

As I was drinking, the stage manager saw me and barked, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing? Get outta’ there.” There goes my free water, I thought, pitifully. But then he points to a spot on stage and tells me to shoot from there, where it is safer. Wow! I wasn’t about to argue with the guy. It’s a rare and great opportunity to get on stage with bands – and it’s getting more rare every day as venues put photographers further and further from the stage.

This shot was a bit difficult to get because of the spotlight that is being shined directly at me – you can see it at the top left of the photo. I had to meter and expose for Anthony’s skin tone and adjust for the spot/backlight. Remember, I was shooting film cameras back then, digital cameras only existed in sci-fi movies. The luxury of taking a shot and looking at it immediately on the back display to see if it was exposed properly was not an option – you either got it or you didn’t. Luckily, I got it.

Photographed on stage with borrowed equipment – a Canon Elan, a 70-200mm lens and an old Canon Flash. Photographed on Fujichrome film.

On Stage With…Jane’s Addiction

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Jane’s Addiction – The Palace : July 11, 1989
The Father’s Rights Benefit Show


Part two of a five-part series I’m doing this week, featuring shots that I took while being on the stage with bands. Each day I will add a new band and a new photo.


This special show was a benefit to raise money for Norwood from Fishbone. He was in deep trouble, owing a ton of money in legal fees due to a custody battle over his child. He was dead broke and hit rock bottom. His pals from some of the hottest bands in L.A. including Thelonious Monster, Jane’s Addiction and The Red Hot Chili Peppers teamed up, and within days put together this amazing benefit show.

Jane’s Addiction had just put out their first studio album Nothing’s Shocking… the buzz was just starting, and the L.A. crowd knew that this was most likely the last time we would see Jane’s Addiction – and the Chili Peppers, who were also hitting the big time – in a club. The crowd was unbelievably fierce. Because the show was thrown together so quickly, there was no barricade for me to shoot in. I was forced to shoot from the audience, which can be almost impossible with all of the jostling, not to mention the many times I’ve tried to shoot bands while being elbowed, kicked, punched and worse.

Just before Jane’s went on, I was in the dressing room with Dave Navarro and Eric Avery. Dave’s guitar tech brought in Dave’s first custom guitar and he asked me if I could shoot a couple of photos of him holding his new guitar. Just as I finished up, we heard the roar of the crowd and the lights went dark. I started heading out to find a spot to shoot and Dave said, “Make sure you get some good shots tonight of me and my new guitar.” I explained to him that it was not going to be easy because there was no pit. Then Dave said, “Hey man, just hop on the stage with us.” That was all I needed to hear. I took the far right corner and snapped from there for the entire show.

I think losing the barricade was a blessing that night. It really helped me to capture a lot of interaction between the band and the audience that normally would not happen due to the separation between them. The band really fed off of the crowd’s energy that night and I think this photo really captures that.

Photographed with my old Canon AE-1 Program, a cheap, no name 28-80mm lens (I also used a Sunpak flash on some of the shots), using Kodak Ektachrome film.