Thursday, September 24, 2009

notes from the otherside

For the record, i would like to state, that prior to September 1, 2009, my knowledge of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was paltry at best. Sure, Californication, Under the Bridge, and Give it Away crossed my path thanks to the reigning "alternative" radio stations of the 90s and the surprisingly "grunge" taste of my grade school classmates (at a strict private school, mind you), but this band never held a spot in my heart like Lauryn Hill did. Never did I make the trip to Tower Records to pick up a copy of Blood Sugar Sex Magik after school in 2nd grade. The RHCP fan-girl persona seemed to be an absent part of my fate.

A chance meeting between me and a copy of Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis' quick-and-dirty memoir documenting his evolution from goofball California pothead street kid to "serious" musician, I attached whatever brain activity was lingering in my head at the time to full-on rockstar obsession, studying this intriguing group of characters. Aware only of the Chili Peppers' mainstream and industry success musically, Anthony Kiedis' modelizer past and present and Flea's naked antics, I made it 24 years in this world virtually unaware.

Let me just say, I will not claim to appreciate RHCP based upon John Frusciante's "radical ability to shred" or the "funky soul x rock and roll" musical innovations. It all started rather superficially.

Yes, I am a woman, and thoroughly intrigued by Kiedis' sexual freedom and spiritual passion for all that is my species, I was initially hooked on taking a piece of his spirit from reading the book. But what is a girl to do when suddenly, she goes from hipstering out, listening to Girls and The Raveonettes new albums to rocking out to Blood Sugar Sex Magik on her car stereo. Blasting it at full volume I ingest the almost laughable baritone words AK exhales. "Girl please me, be my soul bride" quickly followed by a full on head-bashing get-in-my-pants-now "blood sugar, baby, shes magik, sex magik", I could not and still cannot, get enough. A full-on, diehard convert, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, chugging down every cup of horny-thoughtful-soul-fuck-sex-love RHCP juice I can get my hands on. It's in my head, on my ipod and saturating my being.

Starting with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, on to By the Way, One Hot Minute, and Californication, I have just scratched the surface as far as discography goes, but have preoccupied myself with a tour-de-youtube scouring the internet for pieces of history I was unable to experience with my lack of MTV and, well, my born-too-late-to-appreciate situation. I'll admit that my pre-teen years were filled with visions of Zach Morris and Kelli Kapowski, sadly devoid of Anthony Kiedis' bare chested humpfest.

I am all at once turned on, turned off, obsessed, and frightened by their lifestyle; for it is easy to love it on paper, less easy to live through 20 years of addiction, tortured friendships and abundant sexual opportunity. The more I study them the less I become focused on AK's sexual energy or John Frusciante's long hair; the spirit of these men is enough to carry me for, well, apparently a good solid 2 weeks so far.

Delving into this band's cast of characters, I have become fascinated on a personal level, notably by guitarist John Frusciante. He stimulates my psyche in terms of creative output, both educating me on the effects of massive drug-intake and the beautiful product that results from such activity. Respectful of the individual turmoil and destruction of this period of his life, I selfishly take it into my being as a beautiful reminder of the human mind. I am dosed by his raw uninhibited energy, the eerily perfect gift he gave by documenting verbally and musically this journey he was meant to have, feeling as though I can experience it on some other level through him.

While I may be destructive in other ways, I strive to write a line like
Folding pain tightly so it knows what it means,
for its silent vowels to be all that bleeds,
like me it knows the sides,
and of what it means to keep trying

Cause I’m a pretend me,
And I’m real cause I can hit me softly,
and bleed blood I can hear,
Cause I’m here now

Cryptically unintelligible, I can appreciate the rhythm and honesty in which he speaks throughout the eerie short film made by Johnny Depp touring his artfully trashed Hollywood Hills home. I feel a tiny bit of his pain and relate it to my insecurities and lost search for how I will eventually unearth the knowledge I ingest on a daily basis. For it doesn't get more real than being out of your mind, and to be out of your mind while free of substances is another challenge altogether.

Dismiss me as a straight up fan-girl, but I think that everything comes to us for a reason, and this band currently and consistently consumes my mind as a way to improve myself and to be in touch with the reality of everything around me. To say what I mean, to be content with silence and to leave the meaningless behind. To adopt a playful seriousness, and to absorb and internalize the wonderful beings I encounter everyday; not to take advantage, but to simply take it all in, so that I can in turn regurgitate it uniquely without inhibition, thoughtfully injecting inspiration where needed. To take the mundane and to keep trying.

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