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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of drugs, dark side of fame, dark side of life in the fastlane
Anyone coming for an autobiography of the Red Hot Chili Peppers might be a little disappointed in this book. Kiedis focuses more on his personal journey through life, and especially on his formative adolescent years. The Chili Peppers are a part of his life, to be sure, but this story is truly Anthony's personal struggles to be a sober, straight-living man...
Published on January 18, 2006 by Jessica Lux

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108 of 117 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good read
I have never been the worlds biggest Red Hot Chilli Peppers fan. Sure I think they are a good band with some really good records, but I've never felt the need to drive far distances to see them live, collect all their albums or any of the other stuff usually assosated with fandom. But Anthony Keidis' autobiography "Scar Tissue" interested me for a few different reasons...
Published on June 19, 2005 by Ben Dugan


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108 of 117 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good read, June 19, 2005
By 
Ben Dugan "Ben Dugan" (Flying Monkey Killer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
I have never been the worlds biggest Red Hot Chilli Peppers fan. Sure I think they are a good band with some really good records, but I've never felt the need to drive far distances to see them live, collect all their albums or any of the other stuff usually assosated with fandom. But Anthony Keidis' autobiography "Scar Tissue" interested me for a few different reasons. One, I do enjoy they're later period softer rock music, which for my money is some of the best alterna-pop you're likely to find. Two, I thought he would have some good stories since he was around in both the early eighties hardcore punk scene and the mid-ninties alternative rock boom. And three, in interviews he comes across as a pretty cool guy.

So on those fronts I was not dissapointed by "Scar Tissue". It was a pleasant and good book, full of surprising honesty and compassion even if at times it fails to go too deep below the surface. You learn a lot about his life, but not as much about him as you might like.

Now if you're not into what I call "junkie" books then you should probably stay away from this book. A large portion of the book is devoted to Kiedis' herion addiction which I have to admit was handled about as well as I have ever read. It is a cautionary tale with the typical body count of friends and loss loves, but rather then shaking his finger at himself and those around him, he tells it honestly and doesn't try to make apoligies about his behavior any more so then he needs to. This is refreshing and good. He's saying not to use drugs mind you; he's just going to tell you how it really is.

At times the book is written with a somewhat pedestrian writting style, but for the most part I sensed it came from Kiedis and not his co-author. It has, at it's best times, a conversational vibe that makes reading it that much enjoyable.

So I really liked the book, so why do I only give it three stars? Well, because there is a drastic rating inflation on this site. To me, a five star anything means the thing is flawless, four means it's in the top of it's league but not perfect, three means it's good but I've read/ seen/ heard better, two means it bathes in it's mediocrity, and one means that it's godawful horse manure. And Kiedis' book fits the three to a T. It's a good book, I enjoyed reading it. It's not one of the best books I've ever read, nor is it one of the worst. It's a good book that I'm pretty sure if you're interested in you'll dig.

And what more can you ask for?
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of drugs, dark side of fame, dark side of life in the fastlane, January 18, 2006
By 
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Paperback)
Anyone coming for an autobiography of the Red Hot Chili Peppers might be a little disappointed in this book. Kiedis focuses more on his personal journey through life, and especially on his formative adolescent years. The Chili Peppers are a part of his life, to be sure, but this story is truly Anthony's personal struggles to be a sober, straight-living man.

Anthony spends a significant amount of the book on his teenaged years. He was essentially his father's roommate (not his son, not his "charge) in Los Angeles from the age of 12. He experienced more drugs and debauchery before the age of 18 than most people could live through in their entire life. In describing his experiences, however, Kiedis used an inviting tone; he never bragged about his exploits or tried to paint himself in an excessively rosy light. He simply invited the reader along to explore his personal experiences and emotions.

Scar Tissue is truly a book about drug addiction, about the lifelong slippery slope of trying to obtain (and maintain) sobriety. It is amazing that Kiedis can keep his dozens of periods of abuse and relapse straight in his mind, much less transform them into a compelling narrative journey for the reader. Life on drugs was in no way glamorous--Kiedis spent many years at rock bottom, barely surviving, and scrounging for his existence. He also fooled many people about his drug use, and managed to escape any arrest or scrutiny for possession. Reading about how Kiedis has to consider and seize his sobriety each and every day (he's been clean since 24 December 2000) will surely inspire anyone who is struggling with their own personal demons.

It's amazing that the Chili Peppers have been as successful as they are, considering their poor record management in the early days, the excessive personnel changes, and the rampant drug abuse. I'd love to read a tell-all from Flea next!
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Knew???, July 5, 2006
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Paperback)
I've read a lot of rock star bios and this one sticks. Why? Kiedis's unflinching honesty, graphic depiction of a life lived without structure and the fact that he has lived to tell the tale. It's all here. The drugs, the booze, the sex, the debauchery. So what, you might ask, is so unusual about that? Don't all rock star bios share these elements? Yeah, most of them do. But the difference here is Anthony Kiedis's story is a bloodletting without being preachy and full of predictable fluff. He never judges, he never steps up to the pulpit and warns the world. He never shoves 12 step sensibilities down anyones' throat. He tells his tale with charm, kid bravado and, surprisingly, humility. He admits his faults. He admits his immaturity. Through every chapter we watch him grow. He takes two steps forward, then ten steps back. Then he takes five steps forward and two steps back.

What I particularly found refreshing was the stories Kiedis tells about his inspirations for many Chili Pepper songs. Here is a man who cared (s) about the finished product. (If you doubt that, check out their latest effort, Stadium Arcadium. It's a masterpiece.)

You want to cry with Kiedis and you want to laugh with him during the entire bumpy ride. And I personally was wondering how his father was able to take a series of pictures of his eight year old son smoking pot without the folks over at the Fotomat running interference when he took them to be developed. Unless, of course, they were Polaroids. Then that point is moot I guess. Nevertheless, I hated his dad for the things he exposed Anthony to at such an early age. We're lucky Kiedis turned out as good as he did in the end.

Nevertheless, this is a rock star bio worth the effort. It's long, it's detailed, yes. Some details come off as too much information. But still, it's never a boring read. No fluff, no filler. Just a cautionary tale told with the best of intentions. And if he had to name his bio after a Pepper's song, Scar Tissue was the perfect choice.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Memoir by an Artist and Addict, November 14, 2004
By 
James "theaxman" (Mission Viejo, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
I've always found Anthony Kiedis to be unusually articulate -- especially for a rock star. Consequently, I was looking forward to reading his autobiography. The book is riveting for a number of reasons. First, Kiedis is pretty unflinching in describing the sordid events in his life revolving around his addictions to heroin and coke. At certain points, you get frustrated that this guy, who seems so smart and introspective, keeps falling into the same self-destructive patterns. His account has given me a new perspective on drug addiction. Second, I am a long-time Chili Peppers fan (Uplift MoFo Party Plan is probably my favorite album) and learned more details about the history of the band and the guys who have played in it over the years. Third, this guy's sexual history is truly impressive. From "sleeping" with Cher as a kid to his steady stream of actress/model girlfriends as an adult, he recalls his romances in a way that is neither exploitive nor sugar-coated. Fourth, I'm about a year younger than Kiedis and his descriptions of life in the '70's and '80's were often so vivid that I felt nostalgic for those times more than once. This is a well written book and I highly recommend it. Kiedis' story will be of particular interest to fans of the RHCP but I think many non-fans will also enjoy reading it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heart in the right place, but still has a ways to go, December 26, 2008
By 
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This review is from: Scar Tissue (Paperback)
I wasn't a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan in their day - for one thing, I always thought of them as more a tribe of half-naked Hollywood junkies than a viable musical act, and this book seems to back up my opinion. However, this book isn't really about the RHCP but more about the life and times of recovering addict Anthony Kiedis. It was recommended to me by several people, one of whom was involved in the LA music scene around the same time and praised the book for its honesty.

On the one hand, I applaud Mr. Kiedis's skills as a writer, as well as his ability to craft a reasonably decent adult life following a pretty dysfunctional childhood with seemingly no animosity towards either of his parents. And the book is clearly honest about the realities of junkie-dom in a way that "A Million Little Pieces" was not. You never get the feeling the author is gilding the lily or exaggerating; he doesn't have to. As the son of a Hollywood drug dealer turned actor, who had his first sexual experience with his father's teenage girlfriend (with father's own blessing, no less) at age 11, and who went on to have sex with multiple girls, act in films, hang out with Sonny Bono and share a bed (platonically, but erotically) with Cher all before his midteens, and wind up fronting one of the world's biggest rock bands...nobody writing fiction could possibly top that. Juxtaposed with exciting world tours and girlfriends and groupies galore are the more sordid tales of ripoffs, dope sickness, failed withdrawal attempts and the like, that have peppered every true-life junkie tale since "Confessions of an Opium Eater". Somehow, Anthony manages to stay positive through all of his ups and downs, including the death of his friend/ bandmate, rehab, a relapse back into addiction supposedly caused by a dentist's malpractice, and rehab again. He generally comes off as a good-hearted likeable guy who doesn't seem to have let fame go to his head and realizes that addiction is a spiritual disease as well as physical.

On the other hand, unless this fellow's emotions are completely dead, I would have expected some recognition that his upbringing wasn't the greatest. It's awesome that he has a good relationship with his family, and I'm not looking for "Mommie Dearest" confrontation levels here, but Kiedis seems to completely gloss over the point that a father providing his preteen son with ready access to drugs (and sex) and involving the kid in his own drug trafficking activities is, to put it mildly, NOT a good idea. Instead, Kiedis just seems bemused by the whole thing, even admiring of Dear Old Dad. A number of other books in the true-life addicts genre, including Danny Sugerman's "Wonderland Avenue" and Papa John Phillips' autobiography, are much more direct about coming out and saying that young teens running loose on the Sunset Strip popping pills was a lot of fun, but in the end, bad with a capital B. Kiedis can't seem to get himself to admit that.

A goodly part of the book also details Kiedis's relationships with a long series of women and his erotic encounters with many more in a curiously detached manner. It's understandable that he'd have lots of women given that he's a handsome rock star living in Hollywood, and some of his detachment can probably be written off to the toll that addiction and recovery takes on one's emotions. But reading about a grown man seeing a woman for two minutes at an elevator, deciding on the spot that she could be his future wife (until she gets on the elevator and disappears forever), and then breaking up with his long-suffering committed girlfriend who has, by his own admission, done nothing wrong - he's just not in love with her any more for no good reason - sounds like Anthony's maturity meter got stuck at about age 14 rather than him being "honest". He seems more drawn to women who fight with him rather than women who are nice to him, yet we never get any real insight into why. By the end of the book, our hero is middle-aged and still doesn't appear even close to settling down with anyone (plus, since writing the book, he has reportedly fathered a child by another girlfriend and then split from her). Perhaps the kind of self-realization needed to explain this pattern is still down the road in Anthony's recovery journey, or perhaps it was just too intimate for the book, but it's hard to see Anthony as a fully evolved recovering adult when his closest and healthiest relationship appears to be with his dog.

Overall, this is a reasonably interesting tell-all in the "junkie survivor" genre and makes Anthony Kiedis seem like the slightly sad sweetie he looked like in the "Under the Bridge" video. I wouldn't call it super honest though - go read "Wonderland Avenue" if you're looking for that. And if you're looking for a book about the band, that's yet to be written. I don't think the story of the Chili Peppers could be adequately told by one person given the number of musicians with strong personalities (Flea, John Frusciante, etc.) involved over the years. It would be great if the band decided to do something along the lines of Motley Crue's "The Dirt" with each band member chiming in.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diary of a junkie, December 7, 2004
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
This really isn't so much about the Chili Peppers as it is a diary in the life of an LA junkie. And for an honest account of an addict and addictive behaviour, its an excellent but at times quite depressing read. Although Anthony is clearly dealing with his addiction demons, he still completely fails to account for his other flaws - like basic social skills and awareness of impact of actions on others (instead of making out it's their problem exclusively). I would also have liked to hear more about how he felt toward Blackie (his father)... there is not one condemnation there and that is amazing considering Blackie gets the gold medal for worst parent in the world. thus the boy-man still gives the game away - still quite immature in many ways for a forty something and probably always will be so... but then its almost impossible to dislike him, in spite of everything - he is not the sort of bloke people say awful things about - if anything the guy just has the gift of endearing himself to even the worst people-hater. buy it - if for anything its probably more honest than most auto bios on the shelf.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, honest and brilliant., October 20, 2004
By 
Pete Capra (Brisbane, QLD Aust) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
AK's autobiography is uncensored, completely honest and without-a-doubt the best autobiography I have ever read. Of course it is co-authored, but all rock books are and AK's book still captures the heart and soul of his life while keeping you interested at every point. More than just a historical account of AK's life and RHCP, Scar Tissue is a glimpse at AK's own feelings and emotions about the rollercoaster that is his life.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Biography Ever, Ever, Ever, Ever!, September 20, 2004
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
This book is an awesome, can't put it down, laugh outloud, bring you to tears, insightful and thought provoking book. It is one you will want to read and re-read. Anthony Kiedis is so eloquent even when telling you about all the juvenil mayhem he conducted. I learned so much about him, his life, and the band. He tells a story that corrects some of the information that has been published about him and the band. There are also awesome pictures of Anthony and his family and friends with his descriptions, dates, etc. You will definately want to buy this book and keep it for a lifetime!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Band, Great Singer, Great Book!!, October 19, 2004
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
First off I want to say that several of the other reviews on here are misleading for all the wrong reasons. Obviously many of the other reviewers bought the book expecting to read all about the chili peppers, bad mistake on their part. If you wrote the story of your life would you talk all about your job, or would you talk about the experiences that made you who you are today. With that aside, the book is an amazing collection of all the things that Anthony has been through as an addict, punk, lover, fighter, survivor, friend and human. There are many detailed stories of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. Some might see this as repetitive but it is the life he has lived. If you truly are a red hot fan you will love the book as it gives insight as to where many songs came from, and the man behind the music. It is great to hear all the tales of a funky punk madman who helped create one of the best and most unique bands of all time. Bottom line if you are reading this you obviously like the band, so do yourself a favor get the book, read it with an open mind, and enjoy!!!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not as great as it should have been..., October 11, 2004
By 
Gorilla McGee (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scar Tissue (Hardcover)
First off, I am a longtime RHCP fan. I've been to 7 shows over the years, and I love the band and their music. I was incredibly excited to read this book, but the finished product wound up being a bit lacking.

THE GOOD: The book is definitely a great read, and it is hard to put down. In fact, I finished it in one night! Kiedis provides a very honest view of his childhood and his life-long struggles with drugs and women. He comes across as being somewhat self-absorbed and prone to addiction. Surprisingly, the book seems to suggest that Kiedis will never truly be free of his heroin addiction, as he has slipped many, many times over the years. Neither his best friend's overdose death nor his visit to the Dalai Lama prevented him from using again, so there is really no reason to believe that he will stay clean now. This is not a negative comment--rather, I think that Kiedis's honesty allows the reader to draw these less-than-positive conclusions. Kiedis does not pretend to be something he isn't, and that should be commended.

Kiedis also gives exceptionally detailed accounts of every girlfriend he has ever had--unfortunately, they all blur together. Each one just seems like a co-dependent for his drug use, with no real identifying personality. Towards the end of the book, I could have used about 50 pages less about his most recent girlfriend, and about 50 pages more about his music. This leads to...

THE BAD: There is not nearly enough info on the band! Obviously this is Kiedis's autobiography, but he spends barely any time discussing his lyrics, his performances, his creative process, etc... Instead, we get chapter after chapter about girlfriends and drug abuses. These chapters are interesting, but they really needed to be balanced with more info about his music. We get almost no information about the writing/recording of "Californication" or "By the Way", as if Kiedis feels that these albums are inconsequential. He only mentions his bandmates in relation to various confrontations about his or their drug abuse.

In a similar vein, Kiedis never mentions his film appearances. It is like his artistic life was off-limits for this book, while only his sordid sex & drug stories were deemed worthy for publication!

Overall, I do not know whether or not to recommend the book. I don't want to give it a bad rating, because it is a good read and many people will find Kiedis's life an extraordinary tale. However, the book could have been much, much better.
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Scar Tissue
Scar Tissue by Larry Sloman (Paperback - October 19, 2005)
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