Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm on the porch 'cause I lost my housekey
Pick up a book, I read Bukowski

It has been steadily raining since sometime last night. It is somewhere in the 30's here in town, at 4000 feet elevation. The mountains which surround the town are socked in with clouds, and it is furiously dumping snow up there.

Finished Scar Tissue, the Anthony Kiedis autobiography, late last night. I have been a fan of the Chili Peppers since my college roommate, Rob from Huntington Beach, introduced me to them in 1987. Blood Sugar Sex Magic is one of my top ten favorite albums.

Damn, he did not pull any punches. I feel like I have gone through a wringer just reading about his life. It is strange how you start reading a book, thinking it will be about a musician who has been into drugs, only to find out it is about an addict who sometimes plays music. The records and the touring are less than half the book. The rest is injecting cocaine and heroin in seedy hotels for weeks on end, harrowing withdrawals, recovery, rehab, relapses, weeks of injecting cocaine and heroin in seedy hotels, withdrawals, lather, rinse, repeat.

At one point, he had been clean for five and a half years, sometime during the recording of Californication. Everything is blowing up for the band; they are finally raking in the dough, critically lauded, headlining huge tours. Then he goes to the dentist for an impacted wisdom tooth. They start with a local, but have to put him under due to complications. That was enough to trigger it. He gets a script for Percodan, takes all 25 within hours, and is on his way to downtown for another cocaine and heroin spree.

It ends with a minor upnote, as he has been sober for a little while and appeared serious about it for the first time in years, but after 30 relapses, you are waiting for the other shoe to drop. The guy is walking around with a 900 pound gorilla on his back. I hope he makes it, but I won't be surprised to pick up a paper and read that he died.

(P.S. I really don't make it a habit of reading rock star biographies, although I read No One Here Gets Out Alive and Hammer of the Gods in high school, which were fairly influential in my own personal exploration of music and subversive behavior. I am not sure why I picked this one up, other than curiosity, because the band has undergone such a transformation of style and has seen some real tragedy... It was a pretty good read, though.

P.P.S. Flea rules.

P.P.P.S. The last four or five books I have read have been written by or about heroin addicts. Strange.)