Sick Love

Album: The Getaway (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • The song was inspired by the chord changes to a classic Elton John hit. Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis recalled to Entertainment Weekly: "Flea came in one day with this bass line that melted my heart. He was inspired by the chords of Elton John's 'Bennie And The Jets.'"

    The singer continued, "We finished writing this song and it was really nothing like Elton's - different tones, different textures, different lyrics, different melodies. But we felt like Elton had an ownership of those chords."
  • The Chili Peppers gave Elton John and his co-writer Bernie Taupin a songwriting credit and reached out to him to ask if he would like to play on the track. To their surprise, he agreed.

    "(We) asked him to play on the record to give it his blessing," Kiedis told UK's The Sun newspaper. "We asked Elton who said, 'I'm a big fan. I'll be there' and he came in and he was very sweet."

    "He was even a bit nervous when he came in. As soon as he touched the piano it was magical," the singer continued. "You try not to be a fan boy, but it IS Sir Elton John... He talked about everything and was really cool... It's a real honor for us to have him on the record."
  • This was one of the songs that the band already had before they recorded the album with producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. Drummer Chad Smith said in a track-by-track: "'Sick Love' is a song that we had for a while. It's one of the ones that Brian really liked of the bad s--t we wrote before going into the studio with him."
  • Smith recalled the collaboration with Elton John:

    "He was in town for the Oscars or something and he has a big party and he came down. And it was really cute; he was kind of nervous when he came. It was really cool, once he came in and sat down, immediately he just puts the Elton John fingers on the piano. A blind man would know it was him, it was really, really great. You're just kind of going: 'Elton John, playing the piano.' And he was really cool and played to the track a few times and kind of made some suggestions and he was very open.

    And what's really great is any time I've played with people like Neil Young or Johnny Cash, these icons, you're kind of like but once you're in there with them, you're just another musician, and they're like: 'What do you think of this?' You're a peer and Elton's the same way, he's like: 'Oh, more like this? What do you think?' And he was really open to suggestions and played beautifully and then we sat and just bullsh---ed for like an hour and he talked about everything from politics to art to whatever. It was really great and he was really sweet and we were honored to have him on the song. So, yeah, that one's a good one."
  • The animated video shows a young Australian girl encountering strange and unsettling things on the streets of Los Angeles, including a nude Anthony Kiedis getting decapitated by a huge tarantula. The clip was directed by the Newcastle, England, born singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton, who worked with chief animator Joseph Brett.

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