Organic Anti-Beat Box Band

Album: The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • After the release of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' previous album, Freaky Styley, frontman Anthony Kiedis admitted himself into rehab for a heroin addiction that nearly got him kicked out the band. He was 50 days sober when he starting dabbling in drugs again during the early stages of The Uplift Mofo Party Plan sessions. As the rest of the band worked hard to get the album together, Kiedis went off to get high.

    He recalled in his autobiography, Scar Tissue: "I went downtown and found an El Salvadoran who hooked me up, and I was in that opiate haze one more time. But all I could think about was the fact that I was supposed to be in the studio. I started hearing [drummer] Jack Irons' beat in my head for a song we were working on called the 'Organic Beat-Box Band.' I sat in a downtown park, surrounded by an odd mixture of park people, and wrote the lyrics. I felt excruciating pain and guilt and shame behind not being there for the beginning of the record, but I thought if I showed up with something good to offer, the heat would diminish. And it did."
  • The lyrics follow the rise of The Fax City Four, RHCP's fictional alter egos, Hollywood funk masters who stand out among tech-obsessed beat-boxers with manufactured jams. While promoting the album, Chili Peppers bassist Flea spoke about the role of technology in modern funk music. "It's just too clean," he said. "Funk should be dirty music; it's not pristine, it's gotta have that dirty grungy feel. Every time I play a gig they play this song called 'Pump Up The Volume.' That's not funk, man, that's a bunch of sequencers jacking off for androids - it's not for people who like to shake their ass and get down."
  • To give the song a party vibe, the band threw an actual party during the recording session, inviting Fishbone's Angelo Moore and John Norwood Fisher, producer Michael Beinhorn, their girlfriends, and several others as guests.

Comments: 1

  • Luna Loud from Royal Woods, MichiganI gotta know, is Hillel using a whammy pedal to play the guitar solo in this song? It sounds like he is, I mean, how else could he have gotten his guitar to sound like that? I'm pretty sure digitech wasn't making those effects in the '80s though, or at least it wasn't widely distributed. If anyone knows, please tell.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

Art Alexakis of Everclear

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

Gary Numan

Gary NumanSongwriter Interviews

An Electronic music pioneer with Asperger's Syndrome. This could be interesting.

Eric Clapton

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

Daniel Lanois

Daniel LanoisSongwriter Interviews

Daniel Lanois on his album Heavy Sun, and the inside stories of songs he produced for U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.