12/2003 (Foreword date) Kerrang! Legends RHCP Edition

Please note: This magazine still appears to be on sale HERE (I bought my copy from this link; it took about a month to arrive but it was a working website) and as such, I’ve only coped a couple of pages for reference and to show people who are interested in buying the book what it looks like.

 

The magazine features articles published in previous Kerrang! magazines; album reviews, articles and full page photos- the scan of the index shows what’s included.

Thanks to Kathie Davis for the transcript.

Mister Muscle (not scanned)

 Shortly after the release of ‘Mother’s Milk’, Kerrang! met up with Anthony Kiedis in LA.  Poised on the edge of worldwide success, the singer had one thing on his mind – his contentious ‘sex diet’.

 

Los Angeles, 1990, was the perfect time and place to meet the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  They were the face of the future.  That they chose to combine rock and funk was hardly original, but the way in which the Chilis did it was.  In an era of hair-teased, MTV-motivated, money-worshipping mindlessness, the Chilis stood out like a beacon.  When they came along, it suddenly seemed there might be more than just shite and the end of the tunnel.  The Chilis refused to conform, and actually set themselves as hard against the grain as they could go.

Often, that led to trouble.  But instead of deterring them, the Chili Peppers just seemed inspired by the blustering reactions their then only semi-famous presence could provoke.  When they performed live on a Jonathan Ross TV show a few weeks before, Flea had dangled upside down from a rope during the performance, and Kiedis had startled Ross by bounding over his desk and running amok among the audience.

In person, they were no less mood-enhancing.  At the photo session which followed this interview, Flea leapt from the third-floor balcony and hung from it by his fingertips then decided “this is boring – we need something else”.  Anthony had driven me there in an old jalopy he’s had for years and which “doesn’t go right unless I drive at top speed”.  You might say that he and his band approached life the same way…

WHEN HE appears in the doorway, I’m immediately struck by how small he is.  Onstage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis looks like one of those classical Greek statues: Large, musclebound, big willy dangling.  But in person, the singer with the original ‘hardcore, psychedelic, sex-funk band from heaven’ looks much more manageable.  Five feet eight, long straight tea-coloured hair, looking younger than his 27 years.  Dressed in shorts, T-shirt and sneakers.  Still with the big muscular arms, though.

As for the willy?  Well, he never showed it to me, which is a shame.  If he had, I might have sued him and made some money out of it.  He explains how a similar situation came about…

“It was backstage after a show and I was changing, and there was this girl there.  We were all joking together, and when she left no one was under the impression that she was perturbed by my nudity in the dressing room.”

Within 24 hours, however, the girl, a student at the George Mason University, in Virginia, had sworn out a complaint and Kiedis was tried and convicted on misdemeanor charges of ‘sexual battery’.  He was fined $1000 on each count.  He paid the fine for indecent exposure, but is appealing against the sexual battery charge.  The girl claimed Kiedis had dangled his dick in her face.  Had he?

“No,” he says sharply.  “I’m not that type of person.  I’m a very fun-loving, friendly person.  The fact that I was guilty of misdemeanors and given a nominal fine pretty much indicated to my attorney and to hers that it was a pile of shit.”

Unlike the singing voice, which has rapped, yapped and crowed its way through four albums with the Chilis, the speaking voice is even-tempered, almost monotonous, or would be if what he had to say wasn’t so interesting.  We meet on a typical  Los Angeles day:  it’s pissing with rain.

“I love the rain,” Kiedis tells me.  “It’s very important to LA; the air pollution is so deadly here that without rain we would die.  So, you know, we’re lucky to have rain today.”

We digress to discuss the environment.  Kiedis says it needs all the help it can get.  I don’t argue.  Then the conversation steers itself back onto safer ground; more sex crimes.

In March, performing during MTV’s spring-break party at Daytona Beach, Florida, Flea and Chad Smith, were arrested after they had leapt off the stage to much commotion, and the bassist allegedly threw a young woman over his shoulder while Smith spanked her.  Both face charges for battery, with Flea facing additional charges of ‘disorderly conduct’ and ‘solicitation to commit an unnatural and lascivious act’.  Kiedis remains tight-lipped on the subject.  It’s clear he thinks the whole thing has been blown out of all proportion.  Maybe if it had been solely a Chilis gig instead of a variety show, the girl would have understood…

“Most people who come to our shows understand that there’s a humor element to what we do, and it’s not necessarily intended to offend anyone,”  Kiedis says.  “The first amendment of the American Constitution gives you the freedom, you know, to do what you will from the stage.”

Tell that to governor of the State of Minnesota, who is trying to introduce an over-21 law for all major league concerts in the state.

“That’s a terrible concept,” says Kiedis.  “I hope they fail miserably.  Creativity has always been threatened by certain right-wing factions of society.  But they’ve never succeeded and I don’t see why they should now.”

Nevertheless, the last Chilis album, ‘Mother’s Milk’, came complete with ‘Explicit Language’ stickers plastered on its sleeve. [The practice was rare at that time]

“That doesn’t bother me,” he says.  “Our lyrics are very explicit, whether it’s about sex or friendship, or love for life in general.  If they wanna inform the public that it’s explicit, I have no problems.”

However, when a certain large chain of American stores wanted to by 50,000 copies of the album, they baulked when they saw the sleeve and so the band’s record company got round the problem by redesigning the sleeve to make the image of the Chilis bigger, in order to obscure more of “Mother’s breasts.  Kiedis says he is comfortable with the decision and denies any implications of selling out.

“The art of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is first and foremost that of our music, and we never change our music as a compromise for anybody’s desires or tastes.  That we should have to enlarge ourselves on the record is really not that big a deal.  It’s what’s inside that counts.  These things are so arbitrary, anyway.  Nobody kicked up any fuss over our T-shirts…”

The two most notable shirts being the legendary socks on their cocks and one that has a picture of a woman masturbating.

“It’s a drawing of Madonna masturbating and she’s dreaming of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” Kiedis explains with a straight face.  “I think if she saw it, she’s want one – that’s the type of girl she is.  I mean, I don’t think Madonna’s ever denied masturbating.  Or denied masturbating to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for that matter.”

WHAT ABOUT the serious side of the Chilis, though?  Does it concern Kiedis that some people might not be able to see past the silly faces in their photos, the smutty T-shirts, the whole zany, crazy jive?

“But that’s like people going to see Jimi Hendrix play and coming away with nothing more to say than, ‘Wow, that guy can play with his teeth!’“ he says.

“This is show business, and we are here to entertain.  The visual side of it is there, but there’s a lot more to it than that.  People who are truly interested will find that out eventually.”

On the other hand of course, some people take the Chilis almost too seriously.  To the point of actually wanting to be them.  Faith No More’s Mike Patton, for instance.

I ask Kiedis for his opinion on the matter: did Patton rip you off hook, line, and sinker, or what?

“Yeah,” he says, no hesitation.  “My drummer says he’s gonna kidnap him, shave his hair off and saw off one of his feet.  Just so he’ll be forced to find a style of his own.

“It used to really bother me.  I thought, ‘What a drag if people get the idea that I’m actually ripping him off!’.  But after it stewed in my stomach for a while, I just decided to accept it.  He is just a kid.  Besides, without his left foot he’s going to have to change…”

In America the Chilis have just received a gold disc for ‘Mother’s Milk’.  It is only now that the they’ve started to make any serious inroads into the British or European markets.

How important is it for the band to be a success this side of the Atlantic?

“Everywhere we go in the world we play our hardest every night we play.  That’s basically what we have to offer Britain. It’s nice to expose what you have to offer to the entire world.”

Do the Chili Peppers like it in the UK?

“To be blatantly honest, England is not our favourite place to go.  It isn’t because we’re not as well-known as we are in America; it’s the weather we don’t like, and it’s very far away, and the food’s not very good – they tend to overcook the vegetables.” He adopts a teasing, bitter English accent:  “Y’know, steak’n’kidney pie is not really me favourite…

Sooner or later, though, it’s inevitable that we will conquer England, as well as Scotland, Ireland and the rest of the world.”

“It’s very much like the long-term process of making love to somebody:  you start off with the foreplay, you kiss them and you suck their neck and you titillate their sensory areas with your fingertips, with the first couple of records.  Maybe you start giving them head with the third record, then you finally slip it in for the fourth.  That’s essentially what we’ve done with our career up to this point.

“‘Mother’s Milk’ was incredibly well received in America.  Basically, we’re still involved in the foreplay section with the rest of the world, since they didn’t really get our first two records.”

IT ALL comes back to sex with Kiedis.  Almost as soon as we met, he told me he was on a ‘sex diet’.  And he has the love bites – one either side of the jugular – to prove it.

“I’ve got a new girlfriend.  She’s 18 and demands rigorous sexual activity several times a day.”

Kiedis’ sex diet consists of “no fattening foods, lots of protein, and a lot of exercise before you eat”.

How does that work, in practice?

Basically, you just can’t afford to have an ounce of fat because a sexual diet is for performance.  But it’s also for aesthetics:  she’s a model and she’s quite perfect in her physical structure.”

So is this love, Anthony?

“Love is a word taken much too seriously sometimes,” he says enigmatically.  “People are afraid to say they love somebody, but the fact is I do love her.  I’m not gonna marry her and I’m not gonna dedicate my whole life to her, because I need to devote time to myself and to my music.

“But she understands.  I just broke up with the girl that I lived with for two years.  To get out of the frying pan and to go straight into the fire would be stupid right now.  But I do love her.  She’s the biggest sexual genius I’ve encountered in the last 10 years…”

When he’s not devouring his new girlfriend, Kiedis says he likes to spend his spare time reading (Charles Bukowski is a big influence) and listening to music (Sex Packets’ by the Digital Underground is a current favourite).  But mostly, he has sex.

“The only exercise I ever get, unless I force myself to do push-ups, is sex and onstage.  Onstage is the cardiovascular scenario:  you know, an hour-and-a-half running around every night.  And sex.  You’d be surprised.  I mean, you’re holding yourself up above a girl any length of time.  You know, utilizing your pelvis or whatever.”

He strikes a post-coital pose and lights a cigarette.  Smoking is his one remaining vice.

“My guitar player (John Frusciante) is such an avid smoker, and he really loves the quality it gives my voice, the raspiness.

Once upon a time, of course, smoking a cigarette was the least of Kiedis’ problems.  Heroin abuse and alcoholism had both had threatened to take him over. Then his guitarist, friend and co-conspirator in the twilight world of drug addiction, Hillel Slovak, died. “Like me, Hillel had the disease of drug addiction,” says Kiedis, “He didn’t die of an overdose – he died from having a disease.

“No one wanted to accept that this young man with so much to offer was just wiped out in a second.  But in a strange way, we found strength from that.  It forced me to make a choice.  I could either join Hillel or I could try and finish my life.

“I’ve been completely off all alcohol and drugs for 21 months now.  I mean, completely.  I don’t drink or use any more.  But I don’t do it by myself.  Hillel tried to do it by himself and he died.  I do it with the help of other addicts that have cleaned up.  That’s the only way I know how to deal with it.”

A NEW Red Hot Chili Peppers single, ‘Taste The Pain’, the third to be taken from the excellent ‘Mother’s Milk’ collection, is released by EMI to tie in with the UK shows.

ANTHONY KIEDIS

VOCALIST, 1983-Present

THE 41 –YEAR-OLD,

5’ 10’ Scorpio Anthony is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors.  A vegetarian, whose interests include art collecting, surfing and world travel, Anthony is self-employed and financially solvent. Blessed with an artistic temperament, boyish good looks and bags of confidence, he has put years of heroin addiction behind him, and is looking forward to settling down and raising children with his perfect match.

CHILDHOOD  “From age 11 to 16, my father and I lived together like brothers, which was really beautiful – but it was also very sad.  A lot of things happened during that time that would be major contributors to the illnesses and psychotic episodes of my young adult life.”

EARLY DAYS “What we set out to do initially was to be the complete and utter perpetrators of hard-core, bone-crushing, may-hem – sex-thugs from heaven.”

SONGWRITING  “Sometimes I just have to listen to the music and start writing and the lyrics will be there.  But at other times it’s painful and methodical, like figuring out your next move in a chess game.”

FAME  “If feels funny having a lot of people screaming at you and wanting to take your picture.  I could take it or leave it.”

WOMEN  “Like so many millions of other men on this planet, I love women.  I love their essence and the way they think and the way they talk and the way they move and the way they feel.  I don’t think that’s terribly unusual.  Yes, I have a strong appreciation for women.  But that doesn’t mean I’m a womaniser.”

SEX “I didn’t grow up with any sexual shyness or sense of sexual taboo.  Sex is a simple and natural function of life, and to deny it, or be afraid of it, or to bide from it is something that ends up causing psychological ailments.”

DRUGS  “Drug addiction is a bizarre and cunning enemy and it doesn’t really plug into logical reason.  You can’t just go, ‘Okay, this is bad, this kills, this hurts people and makes life miserable’ when you’re in the throes of it.”

LOS ANGELES  “Los Angeles is a part of me.  This is where I got turned on to the magic of life and music and sex and drugs and movies and all the friends that I’ll be with for the rest of my life.  It’s the greatest place in the world.”

ROCK”N”ROLL  “Being in a band has kept me youthful at heart.  It’s mental and emotional exercise as well as physical.”

GROWING UP  “I kind of miss the blustery naïveté of young Anthony.  I love that guy.  Sometimes life’s so much cooler when you just don’t know any better and all the painful lessons have not hammered your head open yet.”

THE FUTURE  “Life is a mysterious thing full of ups and downs.  Just when you think life really sucks you turn the corner and there’s something beautiful waiting for you, and just when you think you’re on easy street and you turn the corner and there’s something devastating waiting for you .  I feel like we’re just getting started.”

ANTHONY FACTS!

  • Born November 1, 1962 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

  • Anthony’s parents John (aka Blackie Dammett) and Margaret (aka Peggy) divorced in 1968.  Anthony lived with his mother in Michigan until he was 11, then in California with his father

 

  • Anthony has two sisters – Julie and Jen – a brother James.

 

  • Supermodel Heidi Klum, actress lone Skye and former Spice Girl Mel C are among the famous women that Kiedis has dated.  “I’ve slept with a couple of girls that have slept with lone Skye,” Kiedis revealed last year.  “I’ve been in a bed with a girl and she’ll be like, ‘You know, that last person I had sex with was your ex-girlfriend’.  I’m like, ‘Well, you don’t say!’”

 

  • In 1989, a court in Virginia convicted Kiedis of indecent exposure and sexual battery, after a college student mad a complaint.

 

  • Anthony was encouraged to write poetry and stories by Fairfax High English teacher Mrs. Vernon.

 

  • He made his movie debut at 16, playing Sylvester Stallone’s son in the movie ‘F.I.S.T.’.  On the credits he was listed as Cole Dammett – as in ‘Less Than Zero’.  Later movie credits include ‘Tough Guys’, ‘Point Break’ and ‘The Chase’.

 

  • At 16, Anthony broke his back after he misjudged a leap from a rooftop into a swimming pool.

 

  • Kiedis crashed his Harley in 1997, breaking 11 bones in his wrist.

 

  • Anthony supports the LA Lakers basketball team.  His all-time favourite player is Magic Johnson.

 

  • A keen boxer, Kiedis once fought an exhibition bout with former WBC welterweight champion Oscar de la Hoya.

 

  • Anthony shares his home with a Rhodesian Ridgeback called Buster. He considers Rhodesian Ridgebacks “soulful” dogs.

 

  • Kiedis collects art and has originals by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Robert Williams, whose work is featured on the cover of Guns N’Roses’ ‘Appetite for Destruction’ album.

 

  • Kiedis cites David Bowie, the Dalai Lama, Iggy Pop and his father as his heroes.

 

  • Kiedis has an unusual affection for natural disasters – earth-quakes, floods, tornadoes, etc.  “not to be light-hearted about it,” he once said, ‘but it’s very amusing to watch the world crumble.”

 

  • Kiedis finally kicked heroin with the help of Venice Beach drug counselor Gloria Scott.  When Scott was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kiedis rented an apartment for her overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Her memory is celebrated on ‘Venice Queen’.

 

  • Anthony doesn’t actually like hot chili peppers.  He considers the fruit “too acidic”.

 

 

[TATTOOS]

 Physical Graffiti

 In their perpetual state of semi-nakedness, RHCP have has ample opportunity to show off their body art.  But what does it all mean?

 SPENDING TIME in a tattooist’s chair is a rite of passage for a Red Hot Chili Pepper.  The one piece that is most identifiable as a chili tattoo is Anthony Kiedis’ terrifically detailed tribal eagle which spreads across his back.  The inspiration and meaning behind the tattoo comes from the singer’s fascination with Native American culture and the artist who created it was Dutch tattooist Henk Schiffmacher.

Kiedis first visited him during a trip to Amsterdam in 1985 – on a short promotional tour of Europe in support of ‘Freaky Styley’.  Then, Kiedis opted for the portrait of a Native American on his right arm.

If you drift along upon the sweet aroma of Amsterdam’s myriad coffee shops, brothels and sex shops there is a museum housing artefacts spanning the history of the once primitive artform.  The building – located at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 130 – also doubles as a studio for Schiffmacher and a spiritual second home for the band.

Schiffmacher was born March 22, 1952 the son of a butcher.  He was, worryingly, dismissed from the army on the grounds of mental instability but made a connection with the band who entrusted him to render beautiful, indelible works of art into their arms, legs and backs.  Schiffmacher – more commonly known as Hendy Penky – has also tattooed members of Pearl Jam, Van Halen, the Ramones, the Foo Fighters and many more.

A couple of years after his first visit to Schiffmacher’s studio.  Kiedis chose a design that would cover his entire upper back.  The tattooist warned Kiedis that his tribal design would take many six-hour sessions.  The singer jokingly remarked that, given his own schedule, it would also take several years to complete.

During the preparation for the recording of 1989’s ‘Mother’s Milk’, the band made Schiffmacher’s studio their unofficial base.  The artist concentrated on Kiedis’ extravagant design but while the singer took time to recover from the shock his body went into after hours of continual tattooing, Schiffmacher took time out to drill, among other pieces, a languid, pink octopus onto guitarist Frusciante’s right arm.

Schiffmacher, also a gifted graphic artist, designed the tribal tongue illustration that is central to the Chili Peppers’ breakthrough album ‘BloodSugarSexMagik’, with the inside of Kiedis’ right forming the image for the back.  Upon it is the asterisk which is part of the band’s logo and symbolizes chaos – an apt choice for a band whose personal lives have been anything but peaceful.

I’ve never regretted any of my tattoos, and I still want more,” Kiedis says today.  “It’s beautiful to watch them grow old and fade and become like worn-in jeans.  They’re all representative of times in my life, so I can’t imagine ever wanting to erase any time in my life.”

2 Responses to 12/2003 (Foreword date) Kerrang! Legends RHCP Edition

  1. Krystal says:

    Im not sure that edition of Kerrang is still available, as I followed the link, selected a country then when I went to continue there was an error and it wouldn’t proceed with ordering the mag.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the update; I just tried it again and it wouldn’t go through. I got a copy for a friend from eBay.co.uk so it’s worth checking there if anyone wants to buy it.

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