The new Red Hot Chili Peppers album I'm With You was surprisingly good, considering the departure of sonic cornerstone John Frusciante, but one song in particular stood out for its achingly bittersweet beauty. The track is Brendan's Death Song, a ballad the band wrote for their late friend Brendan Mullen (founder of 70s Hollywood punk club the Masque), who played a chief role in the alignment of planets for RHCP to become what they would.
One fateful day way back in 1983, Anthony Kiedis and Flea showed up at the club with a boom box and asked Mullen to listen to their demo. He did, and offered them an opening gig for Bad Brains.
As Rolling Stone reports: "It was a huge step for us to get that gig," Flea said in an interview in 2009. "But in a much more important way, I felt profoundly validated to be accepted and acknowledged by Brendan Mullen, who was a crucial part – a hub – of a scene that for me had mythological status."
Mullen continued his friendship with the band until his death in 2009. At the time, he was co-authoring the 2010 RHCP book An Oral/Visual History with the band.
The premiere of the jazz funeral-themed video for Brendan's Death Song took place at Rolling Stone. The clip was was shot in one day in New Orleans and directed by Marc Klasfeld. Check out our review of I'm With You right here.