Former RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS star JACK IRONS has paid tribute to late band member HILLEL SLOVAK, claiming the guitarist could have been one of the world's greatest had he lived. Irons left the Red Hot Chili Peppers after best friend Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988 and has never rejoined the prolific rockers. The drummer, who founded the band along with Slovak and MICHAEL 'FLEA' BALZARY, suffered a breakdown after the tragic death - and is still in therapy to come to terms with his loss. Irons says, "What happened to Hillel still haunts me today. I was devastated, torn apart and totally wrecked emotionally. I'm still suffering depression and still being treated for it. "It was like my world was shattered too when he died and the dreams we dreamed died with him. "But I'm overjoyed by the band's success today. What they've achieved is a massive tribute to Hillel. Had he lived, he would undoubtedly have become one of rock's legendary guitarists."