By the Way (Red Hot Chili Peppers song)

For the Theory of a Deadman song, see By the Way (Theory of a Deadman song).
"By the Way"
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album By the Way
B-side "Time"
"Teenager in Love"
Released June 10, 2002
Format 7" vinyl, CD
Genre Funk rock,[1] alternative rock,[2] rap rock
Length 3:37
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Flea, Frusciante, Kiedis, Smith
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"Road Trippin'"
"By the Way"
"The Zephyr Song"
Live in Hyde Park track listing
"Scar Tissue"
"By the Way"
"Fortune Faded"
Music video
"By The Way" on YouTube

"By the Way" is a song by American funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is the title track and the first single released from the band's eighth studio album of the same name. The song was the band's sixth number 1 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, staying at the summit for 14 weeks, tying it with "Dani California" as the band's second longest stay at the top, behind only "Scar Tissue", which was at the top for 16 weeks. It also spent 7 weeks at number 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, their fourth song to top this chart.

Regarding its release, guitarist John Frusciante noted: "It wasn't really our decision to put that song out first, but our managers thought it was an exciting song and their enthusiasm convinced us. I guess they thought that it combined the wild part of our sound with the melodic part of our sound."[3] Vocalist Anthony Kiedis elaborated: "I thought that single was an über-bombastic assault of non-commercialism. For it to be so well received [in the United Kingdom] was shocking to me, but thrilling at the same time."[4]

"By the Way" has been performed at almost every show since its first performance in 2002, making it one of the band's most performed songs ever with well over 350 performances and counting.

Music video

The music video was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, a couple who have directed many other music videos for the band.

The video starts off with Kiedis calling for a taxi. He gets in the taxi and the cabbie (played by Dave Sheridan) realizes he has him as his passenger. To please him, the driver puts a copy of the "By the Way" single into the taxi CD player, making Kiedis smile mildly. Suddenly, the cabbie begins driving out of control as he lip-syncs the song while driving rambunctiously throughout the streets of L.A. After he locks the car door, an uncomfortable and apprehensive Kiedis attempts to make a call on his cell phone, but the cabbie brakes so hard that Kiedis loses grip of it. The cabbie snatches the phone and throws it out the window, then drives the car in a cloud of dust and backs up under a bridge.

While there, the cabbie pulls out flare sticks and begins to torture Kiedis through awkward dancing while the latter finally pages bassist Flea and Frusciante (with a message reading "Help! Been kidnapped."), who are having lunch in a cafe. At first, they think it's a hoax, so they ignore the first message. When Kiedis pages them for the second time, they set out on Flea's Ford Bronco to find him with the crazy cabbie in the taxi. A wild chase and road rage ensues. Kiedis soon sees Flea and Frusciante, breaks out of the taxi window, and jumps in Flea's truck with a sigh of relief as the three escape the cabbie. At the end of the video, drummer Chad Smith flags down the taxi, with the cabbie realizing he is also a member of the band, so he lets him in and drives off with him.

Kiedis said of the video:

It’s kidnapping… A cab driver kidnaps me and just goes haywire through the town; he’s a fan, but he’s kind of a [pause] obsessive, compulsive, psychologically misarranged fan, and he sees me and starts enjoying himself a little too much and my friends have to come and rescue me.[5]

The fast and often jerky camera angles used in the high speed chase sequences are based on the 2000 Mexican film Amores Perros in which all the characters are linked by a car crash at the beginning of the film; before the crash is an almost identical high speed car chase sequence.

"Waiting 4" Peter Gelderblom remix

"Waiting 4"
Single by Peter Gelderblom
Released July 5, 2007 (2007-07-05) (bootleg)
December 3, 2007 (2007-12-03) (official)
Format Digital download
Genre Electro house, electronic rock
Length 3:15
Label Data
Writer(s) Flea, Frusciante, Kiedis, Smith
Producer(s) Rene Amesz, Peter Gelderblom

An electro house remix of "By the Way" by Peter Gelderblom with co-production by Rene Amesz, entitled "Wating 4" was released on 5 July 2007, and became a popular track in clubs worldwide despite being released without the band's knowledge or approval. The song is called Waiting 4, which is a prominently featured lyric in the original song. It reached #29 for one week in late November/early December 2007 in the United Kingdom. It is included on the compilations Now 68 and Wild Weekends 04 (2007). It was C-listed by BBC Radio 1. A music video was made for the single. It was uploaded on Data Records' official YouTube account on November 13, 2007.[6]

Track listing

CD single / Australia CD1
  1. "By the Way" (Album) – 3:35
  2. "Time" (Previously Unreleased) – 3:47
  3. "Teenager in Love" (Previously Unreleased) – 3:01
CD version 2 / Australia CD2
  1. "By the Way" (Album) – 3:35
  2. "Search and Destroy" (Live) – 12:13
  3. "What Is Soul?" (Live) – 3:58
CD version 3
  1. "By the Way" (Album)
  2. "Time" (Previously Unreleased)
  3. "Search and Destroy" (Live)
CD version 4 / UK CD single / Japan CD single
  1. "By the Way" (Album) – 3:35
  2. "Time" (Previously Unreleased) – 3:47
  3. "Teenager in Love" (Previously Unreleased) – 3:01
  4. "Search and Destroy" (Live) – 12:13
7" single / Canada CD single
  1. "By the Way" (Album)
  2. "Time" (Previously Unreleased)
DVD single
  1. "By the Way" (Music Video) – 3:36; directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
  2. "Obsessive, Compulsive, Psychologically, Misarranged Cabdriver/Fan (aka the making of "By the Way")" – 13:45; directed by Byron Shaw and Bart Lipton for Brown & Serve
  3. "By the Way" (Performance Version) – 3:36

Chart performance

Chart (2002) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 50
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 31
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 2
Denmark (Tracklisten)[12] 6
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 4
France (SNEP)[14] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[15] 22
Italy (FIMI)[16] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 13
Norway (VG-lista)[19] 6
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[20] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 7
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 34
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 2
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 1
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[25] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^


  1. "10 Essential Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". April 15, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  2. Michael Gallucci (March 2, 2013). "Top 10 Alt-Rock Videos From 2002". Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  3. Kerrang! Yearbook (2002), pg.25
  4. Kerrang! Yearbook (2002), pg.25
  5. The Making of: By the Way; Greatest Hits
  6. "Peter Gelderblom - 'Waiting 4' (Official Video)". YouTube. November 13, 2007. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  7. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. "Red Hot Chili Peppers – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation.
  12. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Tracklisten.
  13. "Red Hot Chili Peppers: By the Way" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  14. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  16. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Top Digital Download.
  17. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Top 40 Singles.
  19. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". VG-lista.
  20. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way" Canciones Top 50.
  21. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Singles Top 100.
  22. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. "Red Hot Chili Peppers – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  24. "Archive Chart: 2007-05-13" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  25. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  26. "British single certifications – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 24, 2016. Enter By the Way in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. "American single certifications – Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 24, 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
"Hero" by Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
June 29 – September 28, 2002
Succeeded by
"Aerials" by System of a Down
Preceded by
"Drift & Die" by Puddle of Mudd
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
August 10 – September 21, 2002
Succeeded by
"Aerials" by System of a Down
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