When famous people write their autobiographies, they often leave out the most interesting parts. However, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis left no stone unturned, and he later regretted his decision.
Kiedis released Scar Tissue in 2004, and although it was incredibly honest, revelations in the book have negatively impacted his reputation. However, many people also resonated with his traumatic childhood and understood this was the catalyst which caused his dangerous behaviour. Although, some of the actions he admitted to are inexcusable.
In the book, Kiedis details his relationship with drugs and his long, tumultuous road to recovery. Harrowingly, the singer was first introduced to Class A substances after moving to Hollywood with his father at 12, and at 14, he first tried heroin after mistaking it for cocaine.
Furthermore, the frontman lost his virginity, aged 12, at the hands of his dad’s girlfriend, who was then 18. These were all traumatic events which took courage for Kiedis to recount and re-live. Years later, the singer admitted that part of him wishes he had kept these secrets hidden away.
“I did regret the book for a while as there was some pain caused,” he told The Sun newspaper in 2016. “But then, I started seeing the long term positive reverberating. People were reading it in hospitals, in prisons and schools and it was having a positive effect.
“I realised that the whole point of writing that book wasn’t for me, but to show that somebody can go all the way down and come all the way back and have a productive, successful happy interesting life.”
Kiedis continued: “And so whatever shame, pain or difficulty or discomfort I went through, then it was worth it because I get so many people coming up to me saying their kids had read it and got their act together because of it.”
Scar Tissue includes anecdotes about relationships that reflect extremely poorly on Kiedis and paint him in a dour light. However, on the other hand, it’s been a helpful resource for individuals battling their demons.
It would have been more straightforward for him to have diluted his stories and provided a more palatable collection of memoirs for the general public, but that’s not Kiedis.
He’s made plenty of mistakes throughout his life, and while Kiedis shouldn’t be celebrated for his grave errors, most rockstars choose to keep their skeletons firmly hidden in their closet. In contrast, Scar Tissue has helped people on the road to recovery.