Backstage With Paul: Getting Naked With The Chili Peppers

I always have some fun when I am around the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I first met them when they played a small club in Chicago. They were kind of young, and quiet back then.

Later, when I was on tour with The Rolling Stones in New York City in 1989, I went to visit a friend of mine at Warner Brothers. She asked me if I had any free time the next day. When I replied that the next day was a day off, she told me she wanted to set me up for a shoot with the Peppers. The next morning she sent a limo over to my hotel, with the Peppers in the back seat. We headed for Central Park, talking about basketball all the way. Flea was wearing a Lakers jersey. I told him how wrong that was, as that was during the Bulls first three-peat (Michael Jordan era).

When we got there they took their shirts off (they always try to be as naked as possible) and proceeded to climb all over anything they could find in the park. The following year, I photographed them on stage after sound check, acting wacky, as per usual. The following year, they were checking out of the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. I met them in the lobby and we headed out to the street in front of Water Tower Place, where they had no problem dropping their pants and putting a spotlight on their genitalia!

– Paul

About Paul Natkin

Paul Natkin learned photography in the trenches, working  with his father, the team photographer of the Chicago Bulls. He shot sports in the Chicago area for five years before he discovered music photography in 1976. Since then, he has photographed most of the major music stars of the last half of the 20th century, shooting album covers for artists such as Ozzy Osbourne and Johnny Winter and magazine covers for Newsweek (Bruce Springsteen), Ebony (Tina Turner), People (Prince), and music magazines around the world. See his work online at

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Cory Lorentz

Cory Lorentz

Cory Lorentz is the Artist Relations Manager at Shure. He enjoys weekends, tacos and has a soft spot for the kind of lite rock music you’d hear in a dentist’s office.

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