Just this past week, famed frontman Anthony Kiedis of the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers, celebrated another year of life. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the eccentric singer turned 53 on November 1st. Granted 53 isn’t much of a celebratory age, but nonetheless it gives us an excuse to look back at Kiedis’ life and honor all that he has contributed to the world of music during the past decades.
1983 was the year that Kiedis and his high school friends hit the LA music scene, officially revealing The Red Hot Chili Peppers to the world. The band’s fame quickly sky rocketed after their 1991 release of BloodSugarSexMagik, which was a true career breakthrough for the band. As a result, Anthony Kiedis soon became a household name in the rock and roll genre. Despite the whirlwind of success that the band experienced, Kiedis’ rise and journey into fame was quite the rollercoaster ride.
Influenced by the world of art, sex, and music, and plagued early on by substance abuse – prior to the age of 14- the singer lived the crazed rock star lifestyle well before he became one. However, it was his complicated childhood, struggle with cocaine and heroin, relationships, and unfortunate losses that fueled his music and led to the sensational lyricism present in all of the RHCP’s songs.
In 2004, Kiedis released his autobiography, Scar Tissue, named after the band’s massively successful track. The candid autobiography vividly provides insight not only on the controversial and troubled life Kiedis lived, but additionally discusses the dynamic range of influences behind some of our favorite RHCP music.
Early in Kiedis’ career- his nude playing, tube sock wearing days- comical songs filled with sexual innuendos and angst were the basis of his musical composition. After the loss of band mate Hillel and his hard dive into the world of drugs, Kiedis’ lyrics took a dark shift. ‘Under the Bridge’ from Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was the first discourse from the band’s chaotic rock and roll vibe, and dealt with the anguish and disconnect Kiedis felt. In 1995, when the band recorded One Hot Minute, drugs similarly proved to be the driving lyrical inspiration. When the 2000’s rolled around and Kiedis turned to sobriety, rebirth and romance became the prevalent thematics on the following two albums: By The Way (2002) and Stadium Arcadium (2006).
In Kiedis’ 53 years of life, he has released ten albums with the RHCP. There are current rumors floating around of more music to come, however in terms of ranking the worst and best RHCP albums, By The Way and Stadium Arcadium prove to be fan favourites, while I’m With You (2011) falls toward the end of the spectrum. Nonetheless it is a personal decision and choice of preference, and each album is filled with the heart and soul of Kiedis.
Whether you are, were, or never found yourself to be a RHCP’s fan, we can all agree that Kiedis is an undeniably talented writer, musician, and a one of a kind spirit. He’s an open canvas, who continues to share his passion for music with the world around him; and while it should be interesting to see the creative musical path Kiedis will take next, for now we are appreciative of all the music, craziness, and life experiences he’s shared with us throughout the years.
In 2013 we filmed a Red Hot Chili Peppers press conference in Sydney. Check out the clip below.