Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book #48

I finished reading Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis earlier this month, and I'm just getting around to writing about it.  I like music.  I read memoirs.  I am intrigued by rock stars (sometimes).  So, this book has been on my "to read" list for years.  I finally got around to it.

The good:  Anthony Kiedis is brutally honest.  I don't think he went into this project worried about what others would think about him.  He told his story from his perspective with complete openness and honesty (so it seems; those close to him may feel differently).  I give him credit for that because often I wonder if a publicist is standing over the shoulder of some other memoirs' writers making sure the subject still is painted in a picture they choose.  Kiedis had an interesting upbringing, became the lead singer of an influential band, shared many relationships with others, and succumbed to the readily available drugs.  He shares these stories in detail. He is unapologetic.  He seems to come from the mindset "I am who I am.  Take it, or leave it."  I applaud his honesty.

The bad:  Kiedis openly shares in detail about the romantic relationships that played an important role in his life.  That's fine.  Integral to his story.  What I found to be "bad" was the AGE of some of his female partners.  For instance, in the 1980s, he was in a long-term relationship with the actress Ione Skye (best know for her role in "Say Anything").  He met Skye when she was 15, turning 16.  He was mid-twenties.  Nowadays, that's criminal activity.  He published a picture of her topless when she was 18 (okay, that's legal).  She's not the only one.  He dated and/or had sex with groupies that were younger, some at an age that made me extremely uncomfortable.  Laws have changed.  Some parts of society have changed.  I know it happens.  But, I'm just not cool with his unapologetic story about him hooking up with a 14 year old groupie. His current girlfriend is 20, and he's 52.  Hey, at least she's legal.  Again, I know it happens.  I'm not a prude.  I've read other memoirs with rock stars doing the same thing (Ted Nugent, Steve Tyler, etc.), but they seem to acknowledge that the young age of the female partner was not the greatest thing, but it was something done at the time. 
Anthony Kiedis with Ione Skye
The ugly:  Although Kiedes is honest, yes.  He tells some nasty, dirty tales especially when he discusses his drug use, binges, rehab visits, relapses, overdoses, and the unsavory characters and circumstances surrounding this world.  He admits to his selfish behaviors.  But, what I found to be "ugly" is the fact that he seems to lack any introspection.  He tells the stories and experiences but tells us little about the effects he had on others and shows little to no remorse for this pattern of selfish behavior.  He comes off completely as a  self-absorbed, narcissistic, ego-maniac.  Actually, I think he is an ugly person.  Even after he got sober.  I still liked the book.  I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I just don't have to like Anthony Kiedis.

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