I have something embarrassing to admit. Before I read this book I could only have named about five Red Hot Chili Pepper songs.
Dani California was my favorite and I loved the video for By The Way but that was it. I knew they were talented and I’d heard about shuffling of band members but I had no idea.
This book is pretty long but at the end I wished it had been double in length. While this isn’t an unusual sentiment for me, it was unusual in the sense that I don’t really do autobiographies. But this one changed that for me.
This autobiography tells the incredible life of Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I describe it as incredible because his life has included some truly incredible events, that bit about Sonny Bono gets me every time. But also because of the person he is. I know autobiographies leave out some information and people try to make themselves look better, but I didn’t get that from Kiedis. It really felt like he was being honest about his life, both the good and bad. He admitted when he made mistakes, expressed regret over how that effected those around him and didn’t shy away from the ugly truth of addiction or unhealthy relationships. He also didn’t hold back on the good; the joys of creating music with your best friends and the rush of preforming.
It was also a trip to see some of those pictures. If I had to pick someone to model my hair after, I’m saying Anthony Kiedis Rolling Stones cover every time.
I admit the novel could be read for the included stories alone; they jump off buildings, meet girls, try drugs, tour with some amazing bands, visit far off places, and party hard. But I wouldn’t. I would say read it for the stories and for watching Kiedis’s growth. You experience the triumphs and tragedies almost as vividly as he did -I wanted to track down that dentist.
I think it’s the ending that really sets this apart from other rock star stories, he really seems to grow as a person. He continues to create but is leading a more healthy lifestyle overall. He doesn’t regret his past experiences, he learned from them and continues on, unapologetic in the best possible way. And it’s a joy to know that after all the heart ache, he seems to have found peace with his current life. And this was before he has his son! Now I hope his life is even more joyful and fulfilling!
Needless to say, I’m a big fan. Now I listen to them all the time (sorry roommates) and I’m super stoked about their new album. Also I may have bought two festival tickets so I could see them preform. And it’s not just because the music is good, but because now the music means something to me. So read it. It might not totally change your life but it will definitely change your perspective.
*I added the Lollapaloza picture after the initial post publishing.