The song 'Transcending' by the 'Red Hot Chilli Peppers' is dedicated to River.
One of River's best friends was 'R.E.M' lead singer - Michael Stipe. The R.E.M album 'Monster' which was released in 1994 includes a dedication to River inside the cover.
Ellis Paul wrote a song about River after his passing called 'River'.
Other singers who have written songs about River include Belinda Carlisle, Natalie Merchant & Milton Naschimento.
One of River's favourite books was 'The Prophet' - this book was also featured in a scene in the movie 'Walk the Line' which starred his brother Joaquin.
The name River comes from Hermann Hesse's novel 'Siddhartha.' His middle name Jude comes from the Beatles song 'Hey Jude.'
He was supposed to be the interviewer in 'Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles' (1994). Christian Slater took his place, and donated his entire paycheck from the movie to all of River's favorite charities.
He was almost definitely set to star as Izzy Singer in 'Safe Passage' (1994). Sean Astin got the part instead.
Dated actresses Martha Plimpton, Samantha Mathis, and Suzanne Solgot.
Was set to star in 'Total Eclipse' (1995), the story of a young gay poet. The part was given to Leonardo DiCaprio.
He disliked flying and travelled everywhere by car or by train.
Was an involved environmentalist - he bought up several hundred acres of rain forest in Costa Rica and Brazil, not to develop them, but to just keep them so they would not be cut down.
He was a very talented writer, songwriter, and sketch artist. Often wrote songs while he was driving to work.
Ironically, despite his reputation for healthy living, River was a chain smoker. Peter Bogdanovich recalled, "He'd say about meat, "That's not good for you, man, that'll kill you." And he'd be smoking a cigarette, and he'd look at it and say, "I know, man, I know."
River had 2 dogs - a german shephard mixed with a doberman, and a pure-bred german shephard. Their names were Jupiter and Justice.
River had to put on 15 extra pounds to play Chris Chambers in Stand By Me - because he was a 14 year old playing a 12-13 year old, and the producers thought that the fatter you were, the younger you looked.
River was fluent in Spanish.
The character of Wolfgang in Explorers wears glasses - while filming, River hated being seen in them by girls, and took them off whenever girls approached him.
River claimed he had a vision of his future wife and would meet and marry her in 2002. He carried a composite sketch of what he thought she would like like.
Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985) was River's favourite movie.
Before going on camera he would drink warm soda, such as Dr.Pepper or Coke.
He collected baseball jerseys.
River financed the first House of Blues along with Dan Aykroyd, Aerosmith, Paul Shaffer, James Belushi and others. It opened on November 26 1992, in the Harvard Square commercial district and retail area of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This original location has since closed, but the hands-in-concrete driveway where members of the Blues Brothers and others left their mark, is still there.
EXCERPT FROM - A CONVERSATION WITH RIVER PHOENIX AND DAN AYKROYD By Michael Cartel (1993)
Phoenix is Aykroyd’s new partner. They are opening up The House of Blues in Cambridge, MA and will soon have a franchise of nightclubs and blues accessories around the country. “Help ever, hurt never,” the card slogan reads. “I can’t stand parties and I hate bars,” Phoenix says after being asked about his participation with the new venture. “…but I love music.” You might see a scheme that snares this naïve kid into gambling a considerable bankroll on Aykroyd’s new project. Soon, It’s clear that Phoenix wants to invest on his own. “Blues,” he says, “aside from the Native American music, it’s true, it’s the only true indigenous American music…”Phoenix turns to Aykroyd for help. “Right? Blues…? Umm…”
THE INFORMATION BELOW IS FROM AN OFFICIAL RIVER PHOENIX FAN CLUB NEWSLETTER, PRINTED IN 1987: My favourite recording artists and groups are: Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, The Doors, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Traffic, Squeeze, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, early Carole King, The Fixx, U2, Modern English, The Smiths, Roxy Music, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Steele Pulse, Talking Heads, UB40, Jimmy Cliff, CCR, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, early Rolling Stones, early Michael Jackson, The Eagles, The Pretenders, Cat Stevens, and many more. Some films that I have enjoyed are: My Life as a Dog, Brazil, Salvador, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The 2000 Year Old Man, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Some Like it Hot, The Twelve Chairs, Spinal Tap, Gandhi, The Little Shop of Horrors, Innerspace, Woody Allen films, and many more that I just can't think of.