The song was written about John's best friend, River Pheonix, who was an actor who died of a drug overdose on October 31, 1993.
The first half of the song was written before River Pheonix's death, while the second half was written afterwards.
John claimed that he was in communication with "spirits" towards the end of the song. He said in a 1997 interview with Guitar Player magazine: " I was having verbal communication with the spirits while I was recording; and I started crying at the end of it. The spirits give you ideas for things, and what's important to them is what's important to me. I'm much more concerned with my fame in their world than with my fame in this one. That's why it's been difficult for me to adjust to being alive at all."
Frusciante intended this song for his 1994 album Niandra Lades And Usually Just a T-Shirt, but he decided to leave it off.
Suggestion credit: Jimmy - Lansing, MI, for all above
Dom from Anchorage, WaI would have to disagree, this is when he was a heavy drug addict and making albums to get his fix, sure he was making good music at this time but after he kicked his habit he music evolved and became something more. And I would agree go listen to The Empryean its great, can't wait for the next chili peppers album
Paul from Columbia, Scamazing song. and mark, go listen to the empryean, its a great album.
Mark from New York, NyThis is when John Frusciante really understood music... I wish this could happen again. Stadium Arcadium did me in, I gave up. And I know John will never be the same. Ever again...