The Californication hitmakers reveal they reached out to Bowie in the hopes of having him produce their 2002 album By The Way and 2006's Stadium Arcadium, but the Brit politely declined each time.

However, the way Bowie turned them down was all class - and it earned him nothing but respect from the band.

Frontman Anthony Kiedis tells Classic Rock magazine: "He wrote us extremely thoughtful, kind letters explaining why he couldn't - whether he was busy or just into something else at the moment.

"But a true gentleman, not a guy who just blows you off without an explanation."

The Red Hot Chili Peppers weren't the only rockers to be snubbed by Bowie - Coldplay singer Chris Martin previously admitted the late legend had denied him a collaboration because he wasn't impressed with the song offered, while Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl asked Bowie to lend his vocals to a track he had written for a movie, but David was not a fan of the film.

The Fame icon died from cancer in January (16).