Flea, A Memoir. Love in a Bad Place.


Hello, and sorry to those that might have missed my absence the last couple of weeks, but as you know the world has gone into directions none of us has really dealt with before. I do hope that you are well and keeping safe in these uncertain times. I have managed to stay pretty safe but as someone who suffers from mild anxiety and depression, I have found it to be pretty stressful at times. I have really tried to get back into writing but this whole situation has left me in a blank state of mind.


It seems like I’m not the only one who been struggling to find some creativity lately as this pandemic seems to be causing all sorts of issues. I guess watching endless hours on television news footage will do that to you.  Thankfully, I finally found Michael Peter Balzary’s biography aka Flea and thankfully it gave me the tranquillity I had been searching for. In fact, Acid for the Children didn’t turn out to be the book I expected it to be, it was actually the book I really needed at this moment in time.


I listened to the audio version of this book that is narrated by the man himself which makes it feel even more heart-warming. I say heart-warming but this book is very dark and he goes to some really uncomfortable places throughout. I will say that through all the pain, there is also a very positive tale of a man who is trying to find some peace in life, come to terms with issues that he has endured and maybe help him let go of the feelings associated with them.


Flea tells us the story of his childhood to becoming an adult, all the way from Australia to sun-soaked palm trees of California. Drugs play a big part in his story but you learn to understand the reasons how and why they came into play. I was never really aware of Flea’s background and how family tragedy, trauma and a real struggle had affected his life and those closest to him. In one chapter he talks about the death of his close friend and a founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hillel Slovak, you can hear the anguish in his voice and the pain in his heart as he opens up about his relationship with him. To be honest, it might sound a pretty bleak read at this point but there is always a feeling of hope throughout the book, maybe hope alone is the wrong word, maybe forgiveness and a belief that we can all find happiness in life, regardless of the hand we are dealt. The way he talks so openly about the people in his life is so wonderfully descriptive, you almost feel like you are stood right next to him on his journey and I certainly hope this isn’t the last time he puts pen to paper.


Creativity is the key, I’m pretty sure Flea’s love for music helped save his life and I guess learning to put those emotions, good or bad into his craft has produced some amazing work for him and his bandmates. He talks about loving what you create and when he left the band FEAR and finally joined what would be become the Red Chili Peppers, that love made them an overnight success. I love writing about the things I enjoy but sometimes I feel worried about how my work will be perceived. It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day and I just need to realise and remember that this is my way of expressing myself and I feel better for it.


It’s no surprise to me that the misfits and so-called undesirables are the most affectionate people on the planet. There is a great story about Flea and best friend Anthony Kiedis as they both struggle to hitch a lift back to California, eventually, they finally get a ride from a woman, only to find out it was really a man. I guess this tale sums the book up pretty well, life isn’t perfect, its better than that, it’s unique and unpredictable and some of the best moments you encounter come from the places you least expect. I know that is certainly true in my experience.

bob Gruen Sid Vicious, USA, 1978

I was born in England in the ’70s and my idol was Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols and I can understand now, just how destructive that must have made me feel. the whole “Live Fast, Die Young” attitude was perfect for fuelling my narcissistic idea of life. Funny thing is, when I look at back at pictures of Simon John Ritchie, he was still a child. Luckily, as I have grown older, I have found something far more enjoyable and satisfying in life. It was refreshing to listen to Flea speak about his love for nature and showing love to others, its sounds pretty simple but its possibilities are endless. The book reminded me of friends I have lost, relationships that have gone sour, how I can grow as a person and my place in the world. This book has given me that little bit of positivity I needed at this moment in time, and writing about it has made my week a whole lot better. I’m ready for the next chapter . . . . . .

Thank you for reading, be kind and stay safe, until next time my friends.