Anthony was now living with his father in Los Angeles in what was to become a well known alternative upbringing. Blackie in the documentary, Help My Kid’s A Rockstar, clearly outlines the plans he had for his young son. He wanted him to be open to all the world had to offer and not just settle for a blue collar job somewhere:
I think it was a great thing for him, the way he grew up. He got the traditional, mid-western upbringing; no nonsense… and out with me, a wild maniac who wasn’t afraid to take him anyway or do anything…”
Blackie took and sold drugs and moved in circles where drug use was commonplace and in the same documentary, he talks about how normal it was under those circumstances for Anthony to start to experiment with drugs himself.
“Do you want to smoke a joint?” he [Blackie] asked me.
Back in Michigan, I automatically would have answered no. But being in this new environment made me adventurous. … I took a little drag and then passed the joint back to him. It went around the table a few times, and soon we were all smiling and laughing and feeling really mellow. And then I realized I was high. I loved the sensation. It felt like medicine to soothe the soul and awaken the senses…But I didn’t become fixated on it, even though my father was a daily pot smoker. For me, it was just another unique California experience.”
‘Scar Tissue’ Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman; pages 26-7
The alternative upbringing didn’t just end there, and in probably the most infamous story from Anthony’s childhood, he was to lose his virginity in another typical Kiedis family episode;
“One night shortly before my twelfth birthday, we were all up at the Rainbow. I was as high as a little kite on a quaalude, and I got up the courage to write my father a note: “I know this is your girlfriend, but I’m pretty much sure she’s up for the task so if it’s okay with you, can you arrange a situation where I end up having sex with Kimberly [Blackie’s current girlfriend] tonight?”
He brokered the deal with a flash, she was game, so we went back to the house, and he said, “Okay, there’s the bed, there’s the girl, do what you will.” … I was nervous enough as it was, but Kimberly did everything. She guided me the whole way, and was very loving and gentle, and it was all pretty natural. I can’t remember if it lasted five minutes or an hour. It was just a blurry, hazy, sexy moment.”
‘Scar Tissue’ Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman; page 39
Such experiences immediately led to father and son forming a strong bond and adjusting quickly to their new life together. Anthony mostly loved the whole experience of LA and living the wild life with his father who was now dealing drugs after developing a habit of his own and dropping out of film school. The younger Kiedis would accompany his father on drug runs and at weekends when he set up ‘shop’ in clubs like the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. Anthony soon became as much a part of the scene as his father was and in fact, the two became a sort of double act with the son gaining a fast-track education in the seedy underbelly of LA and the father having a partner in crime to help and accompany him. Meeting famous actors, musicians from all walks had to have a major effect on the impressionable teenager and there was no shortage of such characters crossing the doorstep of the Rainbow, or sometimes even knocking on Blackie’s own door, in search of drugs.
In fact, being at home meant constant disruptions and parties at night with the occasional trauma that a drugs bust would produce and Anthony usually had to fend for himself during the day while his father slept of the excesses of the night before. However, this never seemed to be an issue for the younger Kiedis since it gave him time and the opportunity to experiment with his own drug use. Teenage Anthony made a number of close friends, several of whom came from equally dysfunctional homes as his own. The street kids would steal money, drugs or Anthony would take any leftovers from his home he could find. One minute they would be acting as normal children skateboarding and listening to music but getting high the next; Anthony’s life was peppered with episodes like the time he broke into the school cafeteria with his eight grade best friend, John, and used the stolen funds to buy drugs. (Scar Tissue; page 42).