The Nerd Daily's Reviews > Acid For The Children: A Memoir

Acid For The Children by Flea
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it was amazing

Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray

Michael Balzary. You probably know him as Flea, bassist and co-founder of the iconic band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Observing him in the public eye, playing intensely energetic rock shows for over three and a half decades, one may think Flea is just your typical “rock star” – an over-the-top persona. However, after reading his memoir, it is clear this would be a monumental misrepresentation and oversimplification of a quite complex human soul.

In Acid for the Children, Flea shares, in great detail, the first 20 years or so of his life, from his childhood all the way up to the inception of the band that would forever change his world (and that of rock music). As readers may expect, this memoir has no shortage of wild and crazy tales. From family and friends to music and drugs, this book covers it all. (Even the influence of literature on Flea’s life from a very young age! Did you know that he is an avid bookworm, influenced by the likes of Vonnegut and Bukowski?!) The short chapters, filled with little vignettes – specific scenes he recalls from his past – keep the book moving forward at a good pace, providing the life highlights of a man who surely has many more tales to tell and adventures left to experience.

Readers are, however, likely to be surprised by the deeply touching nature of the narrative. Flea moves on from simply telling these stories to create a much richer context by embedding them in the surrounding emotions, the impact of the events, and even sharing insights that are only visible now looking back into his past. He examines how his childhood experiences have caused him to struggle with finding a sense of self and loving others, explores how using drugs opened him up to a new spiritual world (at least initially) and helped him feel free to express himself.

Reading this book is akin to having a conversation with the man himself: candid and stripped down, like hearing Flea speak his own story aloud, just as a memoir should be. There is a lyrical lilt to Flea’s prose. His voice is clear and authentic, without a tinge of pretension. His enthusiasm for life, the way that he has always been unapologetically himself, is evident through his writing. Despite being a self-defined “outsider,” his purity of heart shines through, as he is clearly an individual full of kindness and empathy who seeks interconnectedness with those around him and with the universe on a larger scale. Perhaps most importantly, this memoir is utterly thought-provoking. It challenges assumptions. It reflects on the past, shining a light on how decisions have a ripple effect throughout our days. And it meditates on the beauty inherent in both life and those who walk through it with us.

I highly recommend picking it up! You are certain to walk away from the reading experience feeling as if you actually know Flea himself.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 22, 2019 – Shelved

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