Flea: “If I wrote a book about the Chili Peppers, it’d be like cheating”

The RHCP bassist on why his new memoir doesn’t cover the band’s stardom.


Image: Nicholas Hunt

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Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has opened up about why his new memoir, Acid for the Children doesn’t cover the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ rise to fame.

Acid For the Children was released on 5 November this year. Flea explained his reasoning to the BBC, not only that writing about the Chili Peppers would be “cheating.” He went on to explain that he wanted a bit more challenge in the writing, saying “if I could write a book about my childhood that could exist on its own merits, without the band, then I deserved to write a book. That was the challenge I set for myself.”

The book instead covers his childhood experiences, including the collapse of his parents’ marriage and his unstable, often violent stepfather. He explained the effects the violent episodes had on him, saying “I would go to school the next day feeling hungover and in a daze, really upset. But when you’re a kid, you don’t see the forest for the trees. It’s just your experience and you’re trying to make sense of it.”

However, he went on to explain that he’s managed to put the trauma behind him: “Going around holding grudges and resentments saps your spirit so, in a selfish way, for my own personal wellbeing and being the best dad I can, I need to forgive.”

Acid for the Children doesn’t entirely eschew music, however, delving into his early Jazz influences, and learning the trumpet before he picked up the bass.

Recently, Flea’s music school saw its annual fundraising gig, where the Red Hot Chili Peppers were joined on stage by Edder Vedder.

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