Ultimate Guitar are running a lengthy interview with Michael Beinhorn about his career as a music producer and obviously RHCP are mentioned in it and within that Anthony Kiedis. Unfortunately, it’s referring to a bad period in Anthony’s life but for the sake of completeness I’m posting about it here. These are the relevant extracts about Anthony from the interview:
Anthony Kiedis was going through a heavy heroin addiction at the time so that must have made those sessions pretty hard, right?
It was interesting because it was really what I needed more than anything at that point in time. It was a true baptism by fire. I went from being someone with very, very little experience as a record producer [into a project like this]. I remember going around to people and trying to get them to hire me. One guy said, “To hire you on a record right now, Michael, would be a crapshoot.” I was like, “What?” but in hindsight the guy was not wrong. I didn’t really know what I was doing.
What were those sessions like?
Here I am with this band that basically their record label can’t stand. On top of that, the minute I land to go to work with these guys – I can’t remember who it was who picked me up and I think actually Jack Irons picked me up at the airport – someone along the way casually mentioned, “By the way, two of the guys have got little drug problems.”
That must have freaked you out?
I was kinda like, “Oh.” I was a naive, innocent young man and I’m not sure what this means. I figured, “Well, maybe they’re smoking a little too much pot or they’re doing a little too much coke.” It turns out I’m smack dab in the middle of dealing with a semi-functional and a completely non-functional heroin addict, hahahaha.
There were two guys on heroin?
One of the guys was Hillel [Slovak] who was shooting dope. I think he did it to the extent where he was able to kind of go to work and at least show up and do stuff. But Anthony was absolutely AWOL. He wouldn’t show up for weeks at a time.
Yeah, it was bad. When he did, he would come into the studio and his face would be green. He was all pockmarked from scratching and stuff. He’d have a bag of candy with him and be there for like 20 minutes and go into the bathroom and get sick and leave.
Was Anthony Kiedis still doing heroin?
A lot of things had changed. Anthony had straightened out and there was a lot of animosity between him and Flea.
It didn’t help things at all. Yeah, it was really bad actually. They never dealt with it at all. They never went to one another and sat down and were like, “Look, dude. We’ve known each other too long for this to affect what we’re doing.” I really kind of had to keep the show going especially since the two principals, the two original guys in the band and one of whom was the singer, didn’t come to the studio ever.
Anthony and Flea wouldn’t come to the studio?
Hahaha. It was an interesting thing but it was funny because all of a sudden they were the cause célèbre at the record company. All of a sudden the president of the record company is going down to visit us at Ocean Way Studios and it’s like, “Oh, sh-t. He only does this for the really big artists. I guess he’s got a lot riding on these guys all of a sudden.” Through EMI Manhattan and they were expecting great things from them.
Full interview can be seen HERE