When One of Your Fave Musicians Writes Your New Fave Book.

When reading Flea’s memoir “Acid For The Children”, I fell in love with it before the hundredth page.

It suddenly makes sense that I watched and rewatched his solo interview on my recorded copy of the Muchmusic special on the band, Red Hot Chili Peppers. And this is back when you had to rewind a VHS tape! (What a charming pain). Do you remember VHS? For that matter…. Do you remember Muchmusic? A music channel that introduced me to new talent and genres, played music specials and music videos nonstop, and had interesting and insightful interviews with the band members. When they started playing reality TV shows, it was over for me. I was only there for the music, especially the new music or alternative music they played later at night.

During the Muchmusic special of RHCP, they had interviews with the solo members of the band, and Flea was my favourite interview. He seemed so smart, insightful, and sensitive. Reading his book just solidified that impression. After reading his memoir, I feel that I know him. It felt as if I just had a conversation with him. It’s the best feeling to have after reading that genre.

Our childhood experiences differed, but our feelings about a lot of things are the same: which books touched us, our wonder with the world (especially the mundane things most take for granted), feeling like an outsider. I don’t want to sound creepy, but I had a lot of “me too!” moments while reading Flea’s book.

Reading page 13 called ‘In a Circle’ brought tears to my eyes because he has written down what I have always felt. (I don’t want to write it here, you will just have to read the book).

The page talks about feeling like an outsider, in a way. It reminded me of the time I met a man who considered himself a shaman. After a considerable conversation, he told me my spirit animal is a chameleon. I can’t remember the exact wording, but to paraphrase what he meant: He said, the chameleon suits you perfectly because you can blend in to surroundings when you want to, remaining unnoticed which allows you to be unobserved and an outsider. This serves you because you can assess a situation before jumping in and find out the true nature of people. He continued to say, “I bet you’ve always felt like you were the outsider; ignored in a group, in a way, or the wallflower when you’re at parties. That’s because you’re the chameleon. You’re what people need, when they need it or you blend into your surroundings when you want to.” Which I almost always wanted to. The outsider. Not in a terribly lonely way. Just in a square peg, round hole kind of way.

Flea is well-read and loves clever books. He also spent full days reading in his childhood, same as I did. There were other things that struck me. The poetry in his soul, his lyrical way of writing, the lists in the last pages (I love making lists), people remarking “he’s sensitive” (I’ve heard that, too). I could also relate (on a less violent scale), to his having to walk on eggshells to keep things on an even keel during his childhood, but feeling the tension in the air so deeply. Other things, too.

Flea being my fave Peppers bandmate makes sense now. After reading his memoir, the sort of kinship I felt towards him makes more sense. Sometimes you just get a feeling about people, even when they’re famous, you don’t actually know them, and you’re doing a lot of reading between the lines.

I was overjoyed to see RHCP in Japan, the tickets a generous gift from a student of mine, which I can never repay. The experience was incredible. I watched Flea nearly the whole time, weirdly thinking, “I know you. I get you” and then laughing at my own thought, immediately thinking, “What a stalker fan thought” but not being able to stop it from crossing my mind again. I bet thousands of people think that thought every concert!

Reading his book, I realize now I wasn’t wrong, not entirely. He makes a lot of sense to me. I bet we could have been buds growing up. But I bet, when you read this book, you will feel that way too, like you just had a conversation with a friend. What a wonderful feeling.



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