I’m sorry, but the last thing an egotist like Anthony Kiedis needs is a tv show about his life. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with the Chili’s and BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK is, to me, one of the greatest albums of the 90’s, probably even all time. But as always happens, after the peak the tragedy of money and celebrity set in and begin to rot away the group. I don’t blame the other guys so much – the media hog gets it*.
Now all along it seemed that Kiedis already acted the part of the rock star, even long before he could necessarily be considered such. Glowing reviews in Thrasher magazine and shows at mid level venues are a looong way away from the big time arena level most associated with uppity and frivolous behavior, but there was Kiedis, allegedly rubbing his crotch in journalists’ faces and partyin’ hard enough to make the papers.
But whether any of this actually happened or not it was the Chili’s – it fit. Everything about their sound from the beginning had the vibe of larger-than-life shenanigans and it always felt like his whole persona was the perfect front for their firecracker psychedelic-funk-freakout, especially in the first incarnation of the group. Then lovely, lovely Hillel Slovak died and Jack Irons quit and the band was on a mighty tall ledge. The party was in jeopardy and the party crew faced a terrible reality. Yet out of tragedy of course comes growth, and soon the band was back and, in my opinion at least, at the top of it’s game with Chad Smith on drums and John Frusciante on guitar and goddamn it if even as a kid he didn’t (and still does) seem like the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix.
Everything was right in place and the Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded two amazing albums, the constant party still going on, but now more of a slick rock love-in that had as much to do with the 60’s and 70’s ingredients the band had worn on their sleeves in previous albums. The first era was the Peppers acting out to the skateboard-punk lifestyle as seen through kids as equally into Parliament and Funkadelic as Bad Brains and Minor Threat – Mother’s Milk and BSSM were them carrying on the traditions and adding something new to them.
But then John left and, with spirits no doubt low but expectations from studio and fans high the rest of the guys united with another troubled LA cock rocker, Dave Navarro, and recorded their commercial breakthrough – that god awful piece of garbage one hot minute. Suddenly a lot of us fans were forced to face a fact: the Chili’s were suddenly the next generation of Sunset Slut rock that bands like Motley Crue partied it up as in the 80’s. No enlightenment here, just gracelessly aging under-grounders getting their due and milking it for all it was worth. Cue the Meredith Baxter Bernie drama-synths ‘cuz this is where the endless parade of rock and roll posturing began.
I love Jane’s Addiction too, or did a lot more than I do these days, but there was never any really big question that they were glam and maybe more than a little bit superfluous. I mean, the first image I had of them may have been a bit later than some of my diehard Jane’s fans friends, but their film The Gift really made it hard for me to see through their bullshit and get at the more transcendental heart of the music. However, after much time I did. By the time they were a distant memory on the scene Jane’s was sacred to me. Unfortunately not too long after that one hot minute hit and they seemed to ascend right next to the Chilis – Navarro and his boys’ own date with mega-stardom seemed to have arrived as newly now established ‘alternative’ rock radio stations around the country began latching on to one particular track, need I name it? and beating it to death with the ridiculous assertion that, ‘hey man, we were always playing this’.
Of course with over exposure came the breaking point for me – it seemed the more I read about them and heard them speak the more I grew to loathe their alterna-guru attitudes and thus, I quickly became unable to listen to Jane’s with the same awe as before**. I just simply detest most of the people in the band, esp. Mr. Navarro.
Other than for trying to fill John’s shoes in the Peppers and failing miserably? Remember his solo album? And that video of him rolling around his room with no shirt on or whatever? EVERYTHING THAT IS OR EVER WAS WRONG WITH ROCK N ROLL in a nice succinct little package. I like my rock musicians and counter-culture icons to come sans hairdressers, sorry.
Now someone is going to make a show out of little Anthony’s fucked up life. Good Grief. Just what we need, another douche bag rocker who thinks he is more important than he is. How long before Kiedis, Tommy Lee and Navarro join forces to host a rock reality show where the contestants have to dress and act a certain way to advance to the next round and then finish out with a raging guitar hero dual to prove whose the prettiest poseur of them all? There, I’ve even named it for them – THE PRETTIEST POSEUR. Have at boys, anything to keep you’all from making anymore music.
* Granted, other than the shitty music they have been cranking out for the last couple of years one of the reasons I dislike Kiedis so much is his intolerable problem with Mike Patton. Back in ’99/’00, the last years of Mr. Bungle’s life as a band, they were scheduled to play some European festivals when at the last minute the promoters were forced to dump them from the bill. Why did they dump them you ask? Well, because the Chili’s were one of the headliners on the bill and it seems Mr. Kiedis harbored (and still harbors from what I’ve read) some idea that Patton had ‘ripped off’ his image. Okay, now, to be totally honest, watching Faith No More Live at the Brixton Academy again recently maybe the argument could be made that back then, Patton was how old? 20? And he was plucked out of Northern California and then slightly amateurish Mr. Bungle who were busy recording demo tapes like The Raging Wraith of the Easter Bunny or OU818 to go tour the world with a band that was on the blow-up media coverage wise and yeah, watching Brixton you can tell he hadn’t developed the confidence potion yet to be the dark, brooding genius he would undergo a transformation into years later starting around Angel Dust/King For a Day era. Maybe he did fall back on something he’d seen before. SO WHAT?!? That was yeeearsss before Patton left FNM and went full time with Mr. Bungle, years before he enacted his constant metamorphosis through a friendship with Avant Jazz guru John Zorn, collaborations with what seemed like everyone he possibly could. In other words, years before the festival in question. If Kiedis hadn’t been so fucking stagnant himself once his band made it to their successful platform maybe he would have realized that this was a guy who had done a LOT of growing up since the early nineties when he seemed a bit like a fish out of water on stage and that to out-and-out cock block another, hard-working and totally fucking original band from an opportunity like that was just a pure dick move and the underline for Kiedis to be revealed as the exact antithesis of everything that he once seemed to help stand for. Of course, his recent blatherings for the producers of the Showtime original program Californication to turn over all profits to his band doesn’t do anything but help prove my point. Turn over their profits? Why? Based on the idea that, what, he created the word? No, I believe he said something to the effect of Californication was the Chili’s signature album (WRONG! ask any fan who owns any of their albums from before 1995) and thus somehow that warranted their entitlement to profits earned by a show about a guy in California fornicating. Wow, I guess I should rename my screenplay about a bitter old rocker whose lost touch with his roots – Scar Tissue’s already taken.
** Although Slow Divers is still one of my favorite songs of all time.