In 1983, four self-described “knuckleheads” burst out of the mosh-pitted mosaic of the neo-punk rock scene in L.A. with their own unique brand of cosmic hard-core mayhem funk.Over twenty years later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, against all odds, have become one of the most successful bands in the world. Though the band has gone through many incarnations, Anthony Kiedis, the group’s lyricist and dynamic lead singer, has been there for the whole roller-coaster ride.
Scar Tissue is Kiedis’s searingly honest memoir of a life spent in the fast lane. Raised in the Midwest, Anthony migrated to Los Angeles at the age of eleven to live with his dad, Blackie, who was the hippest purveyor of pills, pot, and cocaine to the Hollywood elite. Before he turned thirteen, he was sharing Blackie’s girls and drugs during nightly bacchanals that included such prominent Sunset Strip luminaries at Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, and Alice Cooper. After a brief child acting career, Anthony dropped out of UCLA and plunged headfirst into the demimonde of the LA underground music scene. Living on the couch circuit, stealing food, sneaking into concerts, shooting speed, coke, and heroin, Kiedis haunted after hours clubs every night searching desperately for the next deep kick.
He finally found it in his music. As Anthony collaborated with three high school buddies, for the first time his life had a meaning: to liberate the libido and propagate the Chili Peppers’ party-hearty line of the original Uplift Mofo Party Band. Crisscrossing the country, the Chili Peppers were musical innovators and influenced a whole generation of musicians. Scar Tissue is peppered with great stories of the celebrated artists who have crossed paths with Anthony.
But there’s a price to pay for both success and excess, and in Scar Tissue Kiedis writes candidly of the overdose death of his soul mate and bandmate, Hillel Slovak, and his own ongoing struggle with an addiction to drugs that left him a homeless multimillionaire who shot speedballs with Mexican gangbangers beneath highway overpasses in the barrio of Los Angeles. Hitting rock bottom, Anthony embarked on a spiritual journey that took him to India, Borneo, Thailand, and New Zealand, only to find that the key to enlightenment was buried in his own backyard.
Whether it’s recollecting the influence of the beautiful, strong women who have been his muses, or retracing his journey that’s included appearances as diverse as a performance before half a million people at Woodstock or an audience of one at the humble compound of the exiled Dalai Lama, Scar Tissue is compelling reading. It’s a story of dedication and debauchery, of intrigue and integrity, of recklessness and redemption - a story that could only have come out of Hollywood.
Ok, first can we just talk about how that’s the cutest book name ever???? I’m so in love with it.
But yeah, this is a really great book. Kiedis is ridiculously honest and real and it just really spoke to me. I loved reading about the Chili Peppers’ beginnings, even though a lot of it was really sad. And he’s just..he’s such a great guy. Like loving and excitable and it’s just really impressive how incredible he was able to come across through an autobiography.