**Update: John Frusciante has officially quit the Chili Peppers. Read his statement here.
Between RZA’s recent claim that John Frusciante told him “he doesn’t make music no more for profit or people” and drummer Chad Smith’s having “been told to stay away from the John questions,” a Red Hot Chili Peppers lineup change has been looking more and more likely. Now three reports have come out in the last two days alone, claiming Frusciante has indeed left the band and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is stepping in as his replacement.
Here’s Buddyhead’s gossip item on the story:
Looks like John Frusciante up and quit on his homeboys. Cuz our buddy Josh Klinghoffer is the new guitar player in Red Hot Chilli[sic] Peppers.
Former LA Times journalist Kevin Bronson also posted the scoop on his site, Buzzbands.LA:
I hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers are writing music for a 10th album, but without John Frusciante. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who toured with the Peppers as a second axeman (and who also has played with Gnarls Barkley, Beck and PJ Harvey), is involved.
Finally, Musicradar’s “source close to the band” claims that Klinghoffer “has been playing with the group for a couple of months now” as a possible Frusciante replacement, adding:
Mentally, John checked out a long time ago. He’s interested in doing his own thing, his own albums – the whole big rock band machinery just doesn’t appeal to him anymore.
I’m not crazy about relying on anonymous sources, but these three reports combined make a decent case that an official announcement is around the corner. Either way, we’ll know for sure when Kiedis, Flea, Smith, and their current guitarist take the Neil Young tribute show stage for their first post hiatus gig.