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PJ Harvey

A new beginning for the Chili Peppers

A new beginning for the Chili Peppers

The first day of rehearsals was another momentous occasion for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was fall 2009, more than three years since the band last toured, and the rockers were beginning the hard work of rebirth with a new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer. Singer Anthony Kiedis was already en route when he got a disheartening text: Brendan Mullen, local rock club impresario and author, had died of a stroke while celebrating his 60th birthday.

Mullen was a friend but also much more. In 1983, he gave the young Chili Peppers a crucial break in their fledgling career, booking them to play Club Lingerie in Hollywood after Kiedis and bassist Flea played him their demo tape on a boombox while...