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About a rock star
on 17 June 2008
Anthony Kiedis. Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was interesting to read Anthony's autobiography and understand the meaning beyond some of the lyrics he has written so far. I do need to separate book from "facts" however.
The book: 465 pages in tiny print describing a life of excesses in every sense became at times a tedious read, mainly because Anthony's life is self-described and delivered by what I define a rather flat narrative. A repetition of events -and most often, a vicious circle, literally- that failed to engage me in full in a few parts. That does not mean that I did not "appreciate" the content. If anything, his is an often brutal testimony of what a serious drug addiction can do to a human being (I felt that this book was more about his drug addiction than about his life or the RHCP).
The "facts": oh, I would have a thing or two to say about his upbringing, I am itching to do it. But. Anthony comes out to be so non-judgemental, so not-critical, so loving towards his family, which he clearly loves to bits to this day, that I am discouraged to say anything more about it. And I respect him for not pointing any accusing finger, about back then or later on. He is not blaming anyone, or at least, that's the way I have perceived the core of this book. In his words, it was mostly all about "the shortcut", which brought him to jump fences instead of walking on a proper path, figuratively and literally. The drugs, his love stories, his songs, the band, the friends he has lost to drugs, the rehabs, and drugs again... An indefinable sense of hopelessness, sometimes peppered with sober, more productive moments, where the love towards life shines in full. I think that it is at this point that he chose to write the book, after a few years of sobriety. And I hope the process of retracing his past has added to the self-healing and helped to stay clean and sober, appreciating life to the full.
Would Anthony have become what he is without experiencing what he went through? I do not know. We are what we do, or so they say. But as much as this book conveys the dispiritedness, desolation and utter despair connected to drug addiction, it is uplifting to see that it is POSSIBLE to get out of it. Tough, difficult, hard, but possible. An inspiration for those ones who are still struggling.
I read somewhere that Anthony recently had a baby (last year). Not an epilogue to his story, but another, wonderful, beginning.