Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of The Red Hot Chili peppers, has lived a life that simply astounds me. The things that he has done and the things that have happened to him are difficult to come by in a person’s life. From his childhood split between his father in L.A. and his mother in a small town in Michigan, to the forming of his band, to his drug addiction and rehab. Anthony Kiedis’ life has ranged from passed out in gutters, to being on stage with thousands of adoring fans screaming his name.
Anthony Kiedis was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father, Blacke Dammet, left his mother while she was pregnant with Anthony. At age 7, Anthony moved to Los Angeles to live with his dad. He had a small apartment on Sunset Blvd. Blackie exposed Anthony to many things that a young boy should never be exposed to: Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Blackie was one of the most well-known drug dealers in Hollywood. Many famous actors and rock stars would visit Blackie in their home. Anthony did his first line of cocaine when he was 12 years old.
Anthony attended Fairfax High School. He befriended Michael Balzeary (Flea), who was a trumpet prodigy. Michael had a band with one of their friends, Hillel Slovak. Their band would play clubs all over Hollywood. One night a club owner asked Anthony to to perform an opening act for Mike and Hillel’s band. Anthony wrote a short song called Out In L.A. It was nothing special but Anthony had such an amazing stage presence and natural talent for entertaining that the crowd loved him. The club owner kept asking Anthony to come back and perform night after night. After Mike and Hillel’s band broke up Anthony decided that they should start a band. They called themselves the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were all well known on the club scene in Hollywood. They became so well known that they were offered a record deal with Warner Bros. records. There fame was almost instant.
The band had a serious drug problem. Anthony and Hillel were the worst. They would go on drug binges and nobody would hear from them for days. One day while Anthony was out with his girlfriend, he got a call from Mike that Hillel had overdosed on heroin and had died. After that traumatic experience for the band, Anthony slowed down on his drug usage, but never fully quit. His drug usage continued when the band replaced the deceased Slovak with John Frusciante. Anthony had a new drug partner and they used just as heavily as before. Anthony finally went into rehab in 2001 after finally realizing that drugs would end his life if he didn’t stop. Anthony hasn’t injected anything into his body since 2001 (except for his weekly Ozone injections that he has to take for the Hepatitis B that he got from eating some bad shellfish).
The Red Hot Chili Peppers just released their most recent album I’m With You. It is the band’s first album since replacing John Frusciante with Josh Klinghoffer. Anthony Kiedis has been a clean man for over 10 years. It is no question that his heavy drug use was due to the things he was exposed to by his father at such an impressionable age. Though, without Anthony’s drug use and rehab, we might not have one of the most talented performer that has ever lived. Anthony is no doubt the best front man that has ever lived. He lives happily with his wife and children in Los Angeles, just 20 minutes from where he had his first drug experiences with his father.