Dec 03, 12
Read in March, 2008
I grew up too early for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. My college age son ravee about them, calling them the new Doors which make their lead singer Anthony Kiedis the equivalent of a modern Jim Morrison. There are some parallels between Kiedis and Morrison. Both crafted mind-numbing lyrics in the City of Light, trolling the back alleys, canyons and mountain retreats of the West Side. Both may have qualified as "erotic politicians", Morrison's clever depiction of the Doors to a stunned and befuddled media. Both were self-destructive semi-insance nihilists whose appetite for excess drove them to the edge (Morrison slipped over while Kiedis crawled back to write this engaging, moving testimonial).
Having read at least 50 rock bios over the course of my life (the lifestyle, decadence and the road are can do you in.. Long Time Gone by David Crosby, Somebody to Love by Grace Slick, I'm With the Band by Pamela Des Barres and Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugarman), I thought why not read about my son's favorite band and hopefully find some oommon point for musical discussions.
This book was funny, insane, tragic, inspiring ... a heartfelt confession from a rock legend. The tales from the early days of the Hollywood punk scene, the overdose death of Hillel Slovak, the bouts with rehab, the disappointments, the descriptions of lyrics and personal struggles ... all of this prompted me to buy a few CDs and give these guys a listen. This is an incredible band ... in my day our biggest rock heroes were sparse power trios like Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, sometimes fronted by lead singers (Doors, Who). The RHCPs belong in the same genre. I never bought into the phenom of rap music... it always reminded me of the playground jive talk and dissin I used to hear at our heavily intergrated high school except it was set to a boring backbeat. But the RHCP converted me ... probably because the testimony of Anthony Kiedis in Scar Tissue proclaimed that there is a lot of pain and bitter experience behind the music. Not your run of the mill tribe of nihilistic LA punks. I recently learned that Flea actually went back to study at USC in his forties. A worthy read.