Anthony Kiedis wrote an autobiography 7 years ago called Scar Tissue. In case you haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, allow me to fill you in.
It’s a well-known fact that Anthony Kiedis, of extreme Red Hot Chili Pepper fame, is a dingle. A lot of “rock stars” lack self-awareness due to fame, money, and people telling you how amazing and talented they are, when maybe they aren’t. So it’s no surprise that Scar Tissue is mostly a detailed account of the women and drugs that Kiedis has plowed through (YAWN) but I’m going to come right out and say something controversial… maybe it wasn’t entirely his fault. I know, I know, how could I even say that? Why would I ever stick up for someone who wrote the line "What I've got you've got to get it put it in you?" Well, there is one person who out dingles Anthony Kiedis, and that person is his father, Blackie Dammett (formerly Spider, formerly John Kiedis, more on that later).
Spider taught his son about having one really long fingernail for cocaine and one really short fingernail “…so I won’t hurt the ladies down below…” and I’m not even going to finish that quote because barf.
Peggy and John Kiedis were married in Michigan when she was 17 and he was 20. A few weeks into their marriage, John started cheating and ran away to San Diego to avoid being “tied down.” Upon catching wind that Peggy had started seeing a new man who owned a monkey, he became insanely jealous and rushed back to Michigan. The next day, baby Kiedis was conceived (this book has a lot of TMI on subjects you'd just rather not). Once the baby was born, Peggy wanted to name him after his father, and John wanted to name him Courage Kiedis or Clark Gable Kiedis, because he is an idiot. They settled on Anthony. John ran away a few more times before he finally decided to get it together and enrolled in a film program at UCLA, bringing the family with him to LA. Peggy and John divorced soon after due to more cheating.
John was really good at making films, but hopes of a directing career were quickly derailed by his discovery of marijuana. AT THIS POINT HE BLOWS POT SMOKE INTO FOUR-YEAR OLD ANOTHONY’S FACE. Peggy and Anthony returned to Michigan and John went to London to become a hippie. Once he returned to LA, Anthony got to visit and was introduced to a new non-stop-party-time-weed-growing-and-smoking kind of Dad.
“One time I even rhymed metropolis with acidophilus.”
Weed Dad turned into Dealer Dad (cocaine and Quaaludes mostly) and rebellious 6th grade Anthony convinced his frazzled mom to let him move to LA to be with his ultimate role model. Anthony is around 11 or 12 and cool dad commences guardianship by asking his son if he’d like to smoke his first joint while photographing an 18 year-old girl’s breasts. There are so many lame details to share; I’ll just tick some off. John started going by the name Spider. Anthony was a weed mule for Spider. Anthony and Spider went to clubs like the Rainbow Room every weekend high wasted on booze, Quaaludes, and other drugs (Spider would put drugs in bananas if the taste was too bitter for his pre-teen son).
Somehow Anthony was waking himself up for middle school during the week and managed to do pretty well by charming his teachers into giving him good grades. Shortly before his 12th birthday, Anthony was high at the club when he wrote Spider this note: “I know this is your girlfriend (referring to Spider’s 18 year GF of the month), but I’m pretty sure she’s up to the task if it’s okay with you, can we arrange a situation where I end up having sex with Kimberly tonight?” AHHH! And Spider brokered the deal! And she AGREED! AHHH!!!
Drugs lead to more drugs and Anthony both snorts heroin and shoots coke at his Dad’s before he turns 15. Dad eventually got busted with all the drugs and lost everything. He then decided to switch to acting and legally changed his name to Blackie Dammett. That’s right, Blackie Dammett. Blackie and Anthony drifted apart when money became tight and Blackie started trying to enforce weak curfews when Anthony was in high school.
"Funky crime, funky crime / Don't you know love's color blind."
Anthony met Michael “Flea” Balzary and Hillel Slovak in high school. They drugged around together, stealing stuff and pulling pranks all over the place! They dressed weird and danced weird and felt like outcasts at punk shows. It was time to form a band that let you dress and dance however you want—enter Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Hillel was good at guitar and taught Flea how to play bass, Jack Irons played drums, and Anthony rapsang. People loved this funky new band, especially after they changed their name to The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Record deals and George Clinton. Girls and sex and girls and sex and sex with underaged girls and sex with virgins and sex with every girl ever plus cheating on your girlfriend. Socks on dicks. Heroin and buying heroin and not being able to find heroin and shooting crack even when you have lots of money and crack and heroin together at the same time all the time.
"Dave Navarro didn’t carry with him the mysterious essence of funk, but we weren’t stressed about that; we were prepared to explore other territory."
Anthony would see a girl and declare her to be his soul mate before learning her name. A short period of dating would follow, ending in the casual mention of “things didn’t work out.” Fellow Funky Monks, Hillel and Flea are also his soul mates, yet we never really hear much about them through the constant din of severe drug abuse and self-absorption (Flea got married and had a baby during the timeline of this book and neither event was addressed). When Hillel died of an overdose, there was one page of grief, Anthony did not go to the funeral, and the drugs went on. There were musings of what sobriety is like / would be like if you could do it more often, and several rehab stints followed by six months' sobriety and then shooting up on a whim.
There were a lot of failed relationships and Anthony managed to find a correlation between a relationship ending and a drug relapse (whoa!) but who even cares since it’s the same exact scenario every time (the monotonous storyline seems like you lost your place and have been re-reading the same page for much of the second half of the book). Drummers and guitar players weave in and out of the story while Flea and Anthony remain the steadfast Chi Pepps, despite their raging drug problems and eventual problems with each other.
"My love is the Zulu groove."
Anthony Kiedis must have been one functional junkie though, since he was barely sober throughout his entire career up until 2000 (according to this book, published in 2004). And don’t I remember him naked or at least shirtless most of the time in press photos? He’s managed to look pretty decent I guess, give or take some weight changes and terrible fashion choices. His hair always looked good though. Always.
Nearing the end of the book, Anthony finally sobered up (“this time for good”) and gets IV treatments for his Hep C that he now has. The book wraps up abruptly, with something like “I’m sober now, I have a dog, and I never want this dog to see me high.” The end.