“I didn’t want to write a rock star book”: Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea reveals more about his new memoir

Patti Smith has written the foreword

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is set to release his long-awaited memoir this autumn.

The memoir, which was first announced back in 2014, is released on November 4 and features a foreword by Patti Smith.

In 2014, a press release stated that the bassist was working on a book that would see him “share stories from his intense and dynamic life”. It promised to document his suburban upbringing in New York to “his young, rebellious life on the streets of LA”.


Titled Acid for the Children, the 400-page autobiography promised to “[take] readers on a deeply personal and revealing tour of [Flea’s] 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.”

Patti Smith; Flea
Patti Smith has written the foreword to Flea’s new autobiography.

A new, official synopsis now adds: “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.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Flea, Hillel Slovak, Jack Irons and Anthony Kiedis, in Belgium, 1988

Speaking about his memoir in a new interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Flea said: “I didn’t want to write a rock star book. It was about setting a challenge for myself to write something that wasn’t about the Chili Peppers and that would have to stand on its own as a piece of literature.


“It seemed more interesting to me, and something I could be objective about. Because my childhood is over, but the band is still going. I’ve been asked to write a memoir many times but have never wanted to do it, because I didn’t like the idea of writing a celebrity book, and I didn’t like the idea of having a ghost writer, and I didn’t want to write a book unless I was really going to sit down and write one, and give myself to it.”

On the process of writing, Flea added: “I fell in love with the writing process. Every time I put my head down for an hour and wrote, when I came back up it felt so satisfying, like I was engaging a part of my creativity that I had never engaged before.”

The Red Hot Chili Peppers revealed earlier this year that they are currently working on the follow-up to their 2016 LP ‘The Getaway’, which was their eleventh studio album.

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