The Uplift Mofo Party Tour

The Uplift Mofo Party Tour
Tour by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Promotional poster for tour
Associated album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
Start date January, 1987
End date June 4, 1988
Red Hot Chili Peppers concert chronology

The The Uplift Mofo Party Tour (also known during 1988 dates as the Monsters Of Funk Tour) was a concert tour by Red Hot Chili Peppers to support their third studio album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Founding drummer, Jack Irons returned the band the previous year to finish out the band's tour and record the next album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, which ended up being the only album and full tour to feature the four founding band members: Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak and Irons. It was the band's biggest tour at the time and featured their first trip to Europe. Kiedis, who started to develop a major drug problem on the previous tour, started to fall deeper into his addiction and Slovak's addiction to heroin only grew stronger as well. Slovak died of a heroin overdose a few weeks after the end of the tour on June 25, 1988. The surviving three members regrouped for a small boat trip with then manager, Lindy Goetz. It was there that Irons decided he could no longer deal with being in the band and Slovak's death was too hard for him to handle so he decided to quit the band again, this time for good.

A 30-minute film titled Red Hot Skate Rock was released in 1988. The footage was shot on September 20, 1987, in Los Angeles, California, by Vision Street Wear and featured an 8-song set by the band while many of the top skaterboarders from that era performed demos. The film was released on DVD in 2002 under the name, Vision: Vision DVD Volume 2.


The Chili Peppers noted that during the tour, their fan base had rapidly increased both in size and enthusiasm. Kiedis recalled "During the Uplift tour I remember actually feeling a change taking place not just in the amount of people showing up at the gigs but the intensity of the fan base."[1] Flea added that "We were in love with those songs and how much fun we were having playing them."[1]

Despite the band's new enthusiasm, Kiedis and Slovak continued to struggle with their worsening drug addictions. Both Kiedis and Slovak stopped using heroin prior to the tour and decided to help each other "steer clear" of the drug.[2][3] During the tour both experienced intense heroin withdrawal, with Slovak much more unstable than Kiedis. His withdrawal symptoms took a toll on his ability to play his instrument; at one point Slovak had a mental breakdown and was unable to play a show, leaving the rest of the band to play an entire set with no guitar.[4] He recovered a few days later, but his bandmates felt he was not healthy enough to perform and replaced Slovak with DeWayne McKnight for a few shows.[5] After a few days with McKnight, the band decided to give Slovak another chance, and he rejoined for the European leg of the tour. Kiedis attempted to take Slovak to drug addiction counseling, but Slovak had difficulty admitting that his addiction was serious enough to require medical help.[6]

The tour is also notable for Faith No More being an opening act for the final two months. Faith No More is said to have been heavily influenced by the Chili Peppers sound which is very evident with their first album. A long feud between between Kiedis and future Faith No More frontman Mike Patton started in 1989 where Kiedis accused Patton of ripping off his sound and style. The feud would continue for years with Patton's other band, Mr. Bungle, impersonating the Chili Peppers onstage during a Halloween show in 1999 including making fun of Slovak's death and pretending to shoot up heroin on stage. The feud is still ongoing two decades later.

Slovak's death

Upon returning home, Slovak isolated himself from the rest of his bandmates, and struggled to resist the drug without the mutual support provided by his friends, Kiedis in particular.[2][7] A few weeks after the band returned from the tour, the members attempted to get in contact with Slovak, but were unable to find him for several days.[2] Slovak was found dead by police in his Hollywood apartment on June 27, 1988.[2][8] During his autopsy, authorities determined that he had died on June 25, 1988 due to a heroin overdose.[2] Irons subsequently left the group, saying that he did not want to be part of a group where his friends were dying. Kiedis and Flea debated whether they should continue making music, but ultimately decided to move ahead, hoping to continue what Slovak "helped build".[9]DeWayne McKnight replaced Slovak but was quickly fired from the band after three shows while Irons' replacement, D.H. Peligro would last long enough to play some shows with eighteen-year-old guitarist John Frusciante, who was a fan of the group and idolized Slovak. Peligro was replaced in November 1988 after the group held a lengthy open auditions and eventually chose drummer Chad Smith.

Songs performed

Tour overview

Out of the album's eleven songs, "Walkin' on Down the Road" is the only one to never be performed live. Flea mentioned that "Behind the Sun" was played live only one time in 1987, but the band was not very happy with the result, so they never played it live again. During the tour the band played a Jimi Hendrix tribute show on September 2, 1987. Kiedis provided vocals on a cover of "Foxy Lady" while Bob Forrest and members of Fishbone provided vocals on the other songs with the Chili Peppers as the backup band. The band also played a special show minus Kiedis on April 2, 1988 with Bob Forrest fronting the band. The tour also marked the first appearance of an instrumental jam that later became "Magic Johnson" on their next album, Mother's Milk.

This tour marked the last time "Battleship", "Buckle Down", "Jungle Man", and "No Chump Love Sucker" were performed live.

Opening Acts



  1. 1 2 Mullen, 2010. p. 165
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 (2002) "Behind the Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers episode". VH1.
  3. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 208
  4. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 216
  5. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 219
  6. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 221
  7. Page, Scarlet (July 2004). "Red Hot Chili Peppers: The LA Punks Who Defied Death, Grunge And A Burning Crack Den". Mojo. Bauer Media Group.
  8. "Hillel Slovak; Guitarist in Flamboyant Rock Band". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. June 30, 1988. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  9. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 224
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