this thread is getting longer and longer and I couldn't stop myself from adding my comment .....
RHCP is one of the tightest act out there in commercial pop/funk/punk scene. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadium_Arcadium
look how much money they are minting) They are successful from the last 13 years. Had Chad been not the most innovative dude around for this kind of music bordering on punk and art, then RHCP and their producers and music label has enough muscle (read money) power to get even Dave Weckl to back up Flea and Anthony.
I haven't heard Chad speaking in private conversations, but i once on TV heard an informal interview with Flea about his musical opinions and influences. Now this bassist is not the half mad crazy a*** rebel like he portrays as an RHCP member onstage .... I saw this guy to be very down to earth, has been influenced by very deep musicians, and knows his stuff more than the brand image marketing guys with Sony or BMG would like the kids there to know. ..... Chad must have sufficiently impressed Flea to be with him for so many years .... and we are talking about professionals here, not the amateur band on the block who finds difficult to get musicians.