The Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been a huge inspiration to me. The story behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers is very interesting. Anthony Kiedis, Micheal Balzary, and Hillel Slovak all went to Fairfax high school in California. Hillel Slovak taught Micheal Balzary how to play bass guitar. Anthony Kiedis has many talents of writing poetry and songs. Micheal Balzary encouraged Kiedis to keep up his writing talents and turn them into better songs. After adding drummer Jack Irons, they soon began to play in strip clubs in bars in California under the name Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. In 1983, they changed their band name to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Micheal Balzary began to go by the name “Flea.”
Tragedy struck the band when guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988. Kiedis and Balzary were not sure if they wanted to keep the band going, but after going through two guitarists and a drummer, they decided to add Chad Smith and John Frusciante to their band. Once this happened, the band skyrocketed in the music industry when Blood Sugar Sex Magik came out. They sold roughly seven million copies in just the United States. They went on to produce Californication, By the Way, Stadium Arcadium, I’m With You, and The Getaway, and are currently working on their next album.
I listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers since I came out of the womb. I always remember hearing them in the car on the way to my grandparent’s house for holidays. One Christmas, my parents bought me a little pink CD player. I ventured out to the car to grab a CD and I picked the Stadium Arcadium album because I thought it looked pretty. I listened to it the rest of the night.
My parents often asked what the song name was to the lyrics they were singing. I did not exactly know the names of the songs, but I could definitely tell you what track it was on the CD. This band has inspired me so much in this lifetime. In seventh grade I read Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography Scar Tissue. The book opened my eyes to so many different things: feelings of loneliness, what California was like back then, and the hard impact that drugs had on his body and career. I learned a lot from that book and decided to jump even farther into their music.
On the weekends, or even when I had nothing to do, I would study their lyrics. The lyrics were never straightforward and I had to analyze what Anthony Kiedis was trying to portray in this music. It is poetry. Sometimes the similes and metaphors dive a little deeper into life and the universe. I found that the lyrics touched on many different subjects. The women Kiedis dated, loneliness, and drugs.
For example in the song Wet Sand:
“I’m betting now where we collide,
The universe will shift into a low” (10-11).
Another example is in the song Desecration Smile:
“Desecration is the smile on my face,
The love I made is the shape of my space” (11-12).
There were many times that drugs interfered with his relationships and even his career. It was eye opening to me because I never actually realized how much drugs could affect a person.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still very prominent in my life. I could not tell you a day I have gone without listening to at least one song by them. Each song has had a different impact on me because of the time period I was or am going through. I listen to them like I am experiencing
finding them all over again. I even have their band logo marked on my body because they will always be a part of the person I am today and will further become. I highly suggest listening to this funk rock band and falling in love with them just like I did at such a young age.