I’ve recently started reading Scar Tissue, a memoir by Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
It’s a great read filled with–you guessed it–sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. However, there are a few things that irk me that I have to get off my chest.
First, the book is written by Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman. I’m not really sure how the world of book-writing works, but it’s very confusing because I’m never quite sure who’s voice I’m reading. For example, at one point in the first chapter, Kiedis describes his mother as being “cuter than the dickens.” Really? Cuter than the dickens? What is this, 1820? I can’t tell if this is Kiedis speaking, or Sloman’s adaptation of Kiedis’ description.
Second, Kiedis has a great vocabulary. This isn’t a problem, but it’s definitely weird to read about some girl getting on her knees for a blow job and then reading the words “reconnoitering”, “clime” or “ilk” in the next paragraph.
Next, Kiedis tends to use the same words and phrases to describe things. For example, whenever he needs money for something, he always has to “scrape together” the money. That phrase is used on about every other page. Also, whenever Kiedis is describing the 1980s L.A. architecture, he always calls the buildings “classic.” It gets old after a while.
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I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer. I really do enjoy reading this book. I was just disappointed in a few things and wanted to call attention to them.
At the same time, the passages about drug use are brutally honest and sometimes hard to read. Here is one example:
“I had been fastidious about using sterile rigs and sterile cotton when I first started shooting up, but by now I didn’t care much. If I had to, I’d use a syringe that I found in the street. Instead of sterilized cotton, I’d use a section of my sock or, more commonly, the filter of a cigarette. At first I’d use only sterilized spring water to dissolve the stuff in, but now I’d just pull the back off a toilet or look for a lawn sprinkler or even a puddle.” – Scar Tissue, p. 141-142
After reading this passage, I wanted nothing more than to take a hot shower, and crawl up under the covers and hide.