Dave Navarro

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With his six-string skills best described as a merger between heavy metal, psychedelia, and modern rock, Dave Navarro became one of alternative rock’s first true guitar heroes (with such notorious bands as Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Born on June 7, 1967 in California, Navarro became mesmerized by the guitar as a teenager due to his discovery of the incomparable Jimi Hendrix. This led to an appreciation of a wide variety of musical styles; in fact, when he initially met singer Perry Farrell, he was in a speed metal band (along with drummer Stephen Perkins). Navarro, Perkins, Farrell, and bassist Eric Avery formed Jane's Addiction in the mid-’80s, and alt rock has never been the same since. Navarro was one of the first rock guitarists not to confine his playing to one style — something that had become commonplace in the ’90s, but was virtually unheard of in the ’80s (could you have really pictured Eddie Van Halen guesting on a punk rock record?). His playing on such landmark Jane's albums as 1988′s Nothing's Shocking and 1990′s Ritual de lo Habitual was like a breath of fresh air — Navarro knew when to shred away, and when to lay low and add textures to the compositions. Unfortunately, the band’s fondness for hard drugs made them split up by 1991, while Navarro battled heroin addiction. Finally clean and sober, he and Avery resurfaced with the somewhat experimental band Deconstruction, who issued a self-titled debut in 1994, but broke up soon afterwards. Navarro kept himself busy with session work in the meantime (guesting on Nine Inch Nails’ Further Down the Spiral, Alanis Morissette’s mega-seller Jagged Little Pill, Porno for Pyros’ Good God's Urge, and others). After a try-out with Guns N' Roses didn’t pan out, Navarro joined another immensely popular band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers — his live debut with them was at Woodstock ’94. His studio debut with the Peppers, 1995′s One Hot Minute, was a hit, but proved to be lackluster (Navarro himself even admitted in interviews around the time that he wasn’t exactly a fan of all the compositions). After a lengthy worldwide tour of arenas, Navarro re-joined Jane's Addiction’s for a brief U.S. tour in 1997, recording a few new tracks with them (issued on the spotty compilation Kettle Whistle). With rumors circulating that he’d fallen off the wagon while on tour with Farrell and co., Navarro abruptly quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers soon after the Jane's reunion tour wrapped up. He immediately threw himself into his next musical project, entitled Spread, and worked on a book of photography. Trust No One marked his solo debut in summer 2001. ~ Greg Prato