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Music

The unlikely band Anthony Kiedis thanks for saving his life

@josephtaysom

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis has always been open about his battles with addiction which drove him to the edge. Thankfully, the cathartic work of one band brought him back from the brink.

Since he was a teenager, Kiedis has grappled with substances, and drugs were simply a routine part of his childhood. His father, John Michael Kiedis, was a failed actor who moved to Los Angeles to fulfil his ambitions to make it in Hollywood but instead became a drug dealer to the stars.

His father’s connections meant that Kiedis grew up surrounded by musical royalty, and The Who’s Keith Moon was just one of the famous folk he saw as a family friend. The late Sonny Bono was his godfather, and Cher even regularly babysat for him. In 2011, he spoke to Interview Magazine about his crazed youth and recalled: “I never really thought in terms of the concept of being a rock star — being around people like that just seemed like normal day-in-the-life stuff to me.

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“Those were just the surroundings I grew up in. I think the concept of rock stardom has turned into something shallow and meaningless. I don’t really believe in that concept anymore of, ‘Oh, you’re a rock star so you can live excessively’ or whatever. There probably hasn’t been a bona fide rock star since the late ’70s.”

However, the normalisation of narcotics in his life eventually led to problems down the line. Thankfully, he’s been clean for decades, but during the early stages of Kiedis’ career, drugs were his everything, and it almost led to him being kicked out from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

During the darkest times, there was one artist who Kiedis found himself returning to, which gave him the courage to carry on when everything was falling apart. Surprisingly, it’s the sunshine-tinged harmonies of the Mamas and the Papas led by Mama Cass that Kiedis turned to when he desperately needed a reason to continue.

“I do love The Mamas and the Papas, and maybe, subconsciously, I am inspired by them, especially Mama Cass,” he once told Rolling Stone. “There have been times when I’ve been very down and out in my life, and the sound of her voice has sort of given me a reason to want to carry on.”

Kiedis has fought through more strenuous periods of hardship than most could ever imagine. Yet, when he’s found himself at the bottom of the barrel, the uplifting sounds of The Mamas and The Papas provided the perfect antidote to the seemingly insurmountable barricade before him