Flea shares the “most magical” moment that shaped his musical career

By mbrooks on November 7, 2019
INDIO, CA – APRIL 14: Musicians Flea and Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers perform onstage during day 3 of the 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 14, 2013 in Indio, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

By Matthew Brooks

Flea says he removed the “best parts” of his new memoir.

He wants books to be many things, but not about its shock value, according to a Forbes interview.

“And in the editing of it, I took out a lot of stories that were great stories, they’re wild and entertaining, and I wrote them well, and they’re some of my best parts,” he says.p

After four decades in the business, as the bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers, he knew he had more to share than crazy stories.

“But I realized I have this in for shock value. And I don’t want to go for shock value just for shock value. Everything has to be something that really shaped me. And it has to be honest and it has to be something that made me who I am, like the insecurity of being a kid who wet his bed until he was 11 years old, or my dysfunction in relationships, or my acting like an obnoxious asshole thinking I was being funny,” he adds.

The memoir, Acid For The Children, focuses on his growth in music starting all the way back to his youth in Australia and New York.

“The most magical thing”

He writes about a “life-changing” moment that happened when he was a small child.

His introduction to a powerful form of music changed him forever. He called it being like a “door opened up to something I didn’t know existed and it was the most magical thing I ever could have imagined.”

He and his newly-separated mother moved into their own place in New York.

“We got a little house down the street and Walter has the first jam session that I ever see. And Walter plays bebop jazz. It’s a form of music played by Charlie Parker invented in the ’40s. It is violent, revolutionary, poetically ethereal, but it’s a music that engages the body and the mind in the most cerebral, sophisticated way. You have to be enormously skilled to play it well and these guys play it well. They set up in the living room and they start playing. I remember they were playing fast and Walter played the upright bass. … All these guys — saxophones, trumpet, drummer, vamping piano, deep groove. It was like the music took me. I started screaming and yelling and laughing and staring at them,” he writes.

He says the process of writing the memoir made him deal with and find peace with his past.

“Without doubt, it was a transformative process for me, learning about myself and writing about myself and the vulnerability of sharing it with the world in the hopes my loneliness will help make other people feel less lonely,” he reflects.

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