A Review of Scar Tissue

Scar TissueScar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boy. After reading Scar Tissue, I think Anthony Kiedis is a royal scumbag. And that’s disappointing. I wanted to like him. I’ve loved the Red Hot Chili Peppers since the mid-80s and have seen them in concert, but nothing prepared me for this drugged out orgy of sickness. Kiedis is shallow, vain, selfish, a royal asshole, a liar, a junkie and an all around scum bucket. This book really made me sick. And the thing that gets me is Kiedis doesn’t hold his beloved father accountable for the sickness that would become his son. His dad was a drug dealing wannabe actor he blew pot in his son’s face to get him high at age four and gave him his first joint at age 11. There are pictures in the book of Kiedis smoking this joint as a pre-adolescent. In fact, with his parents divorced and his mom living in Michigan and his father in West Hollywood, Kiedis had no short supply of parties, girls, drugs, etc. He even lost his virginity around the same age to one of his father’s teenaged girlfriends. It’s truly sick.

Now, it was interesting to read about how Anthony met Flea and Hillel in high school and how they started the band. It was fun to read about their antics, such as performing wearing only socks over their privates. But as Kiedis sinks into significant coke and heroin use, and as Hillel starts doing the same, it’s truly tragic to note that Anthony’s best friend died of a heroin overdose and it barely merits mention in the book, and if memory serves me, Anthony didn’t even go to Hillel’s funeral. And this book is all about buddies and relationships! So, a giant WTF is up with that one. When John came along to replace Hillel, there was some more interesting tales, but the book just starts to get redundant with Kiedis writing some songs, recording some with the band, then going on weeks-long drug binges while having meaningless sexual escapades with various models. Some became his girlfriends, but while stating how much he loved them, he clearly didn’t in his treatment of them. Just giving a girl a car isn’t proof of love, idiot!

After the first couple of rehabs, I hoped that Anthony would come back strong, but he kept relapsing and it got to be so ridiculously predictable that I literally lost count of how many times Kiedis relapsed and went on coke and heroin binges and how many rehabs he ended up at. It got old. The book wore on me after awhile. The girlfriends were all interchangeable. He never learned from his relationship mistakes. It’s funny, actually. He tries to be introspective at times, I think, but he’s not capable of true introspection. It’s like he’s emotionally and mentally stunted. I used to look up to him, but he was a jackass!

After John left the band and Dave Navarro came over from Jane’s Addiction to play guitar, things just kept piling up. Anthony was a mess, but he always went to rehab and recovered for … a few weeks, months, days. It’s pathetic. Dave lasts one album and John returns and the Chili Peppers are riding high again, and kudos to them for putting out good music through such a fucked up, dysfunctional era, but man, Kiedis is just lucky to be alive.

There were two things that were kind of telling for me. One, on page 461, he writes, “I don’t believe that drug addiction is inherently bad.” This, after hundreds of pages of him detailing how he messed up his life and the lives of others with his drug use. Second, this book was written a relatively short time after he finally got clean “for good.” Yeah, right. This book was published in 2004. I’m a gambling man, so I’m willing to bet that he’s relapsed four dozen times since he wrote this book and is still a junkie. It was always about getting high. He never learned. I can’t believe the publisher published the book from such a sicko. Scar Tissue might be a fitting name for the book because that’s what he left everyone he came into contact with. I’m giving this book three stars instead of two because I enjoyed reading about the music and the band. Otherwise, I’m sorry I wasted time on such a useless human being.

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