The iconic bassist and co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers tells his fascinating origin story, complete with all the dizzying highs and the gutter lows you’d want from an LA street rat turned world famous rock star.
In Acid for the Children, Flea takes readers on a deeply personal and revealing tour of his formative years, spanning from Australia to the New York City suburbs to, finally, Los Angeles. Through hilarious anecdotes, poetical meditations, and occasional flights of fantasy, Flea deftly chronicles the experiences that forged him as an artist, a musician, and a young man. His dreamy, jazz-inflected prose makes the Los Angeles of the 1970s and 80s come to gritty, glorious life, including the potential for fun, danger, mayhem, or inspiration that lurked around every corner. It is here that young Flea, looking to escape a turbulent home, found family in a community of musicians, artists, and junkies who also lived on the fringe. He spent most of his time partying and committing petty crimes. But it was in music where he found a higher meaning, a place to channel his frustration, loneliness, and love. This left him open to the life-changing moment when he and his best friends, soul brothers, and partners-in-mischief came up with the idea to start their own band, which became the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Acid for the Children is the debut of a stunning new literary voice, whose prose is as witty, entertaining, and wildly unpredictable as the author himself. It’s a tenderly evocative coming-of-age story and a raucous love letter to the power of music and creativity from one of the most renowned musicians of our time.
An Amazon Best Book of November 2019: Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, born Michael Peter Balzary, has penned a soulful and absorbing memoir of his journey from his early childhood in Melbourne, Australia, to stadiums around the world as a first-class rock star. The Balzary family moved to the States when Flea and his older sister were four and six, first to New York City and later Los Angeles. A shy, quirky kid, Flea was an outsider, and as things deteriorated in his home he spent more and more time running the streets. Flea was introduced to jazz music at a young age and it became the great love of his life. Always a kid who pushed boundaries, in Los Angeles Flea found kindred spirits in music, drugs, and embracing life on the edge. Flea pours his heart onto these pages: his insecurity and longing for family, his innermost thoughts and dreams, even his pain and guilt over the death of his beloved friend and bandmate, Hillel Slovak. Before Flea enters into his complex but unbreakable friendship with Anthony Kiedis, he writes: “I’m scared to poison things between us, or scare the magic out of it by trying to understand it, but so be it. Here I go.” Flea’s writing style—with its full-stop honesty amid lyrical musings and meanderings—is both startling and riveting, like a burst of jazz trumpet rhythm. Musician, poet, reader, friend, troublemaker, seeker, hoops enthusiast, writer, Flea is a many-faceted individual, and readers will see all sides. Acid for the Children is equal parts wisdom and wildness, from a man who has only ever cared about the music. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review
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