Updated: Mar 2, 2022
Acid For The Children is one hell of a read. It takes you on a wild ride through the mind and life of Flea. This book is one of the most raw and honest books that I have had the privilege to read. Seeing the title and knowing the guy who wrote it, I did not know what to expect. When it comes to Flea, who does? It is 400 pages, which is long. But it is an easy read because of the way it is written and with some chapters being only a page or two. The book is written in sporadic thought, stream of consciousness, with a lot of humor (and humility), and with unwavering honesty. Flea does not make excuses for the life he has lived, the person he is, or the things he has done. He does not sugarcoat or write it to paint himself in a positive light only. He showcases and talks about his best days but more often, his worst. The book was extremely relatable to people who have struggled which is all of us. Talking about his parents’ divorce, his dad leaving, the effect on him, his struggles with fitting in, finding himself, and the adventures he got into running around unsupervised at a young age were all very relatable to me personally. Some of the stories he told mirrored my personal experiences detail by detail. It was scary but refreshing to know that somebody else knows exactly how I feel and was affected by it in similar ways that I was. We are doing what people call “trauma bonding” and Flea does not even know it…. yet. A theme early on and throughout is that he feels most comfortable by himself, in his own thoughts, and has always struggled with feeling like he fit in with groups of people, no matter who those people were. That hit home for me and can resonate with many others too. The book is so entertaining to read and really digs into every aspect of his childhood and young adulthood. He mentions so many characters he has met along the way that left an impression on him no matter how quick the interaction was with them. It made me think of all the crazy, random adults I met throughout my childhood & life and the little sayings, wisdom, & things that I have taken from them. I might have never saw them again, but they left me with memories that I still think about to this day. At the end, he even gives us a rundown of memorable albums, concerts, movies, and more that he enjoyed throughout his life. The title of the book might scare some away but even it has a purpose and meaning that is laid out by the end of the book. Acid For The Children is full of gems, life lessons, and vulnerability. This book is one that a seasoned reader or somebody who barely reads could pick up, get through, and enjoy. Those are always the best books to me, the ones that appeal to any and everybody.
Title: Acid For The Children
Author: Michael Peter Balzary aka “Flea”, a popular bass player for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir
Plot: A read about Flea’s childhood and formative years. The book dives into his adventures in Los Angeles, Southern California, Australia, and everywhere else in between. It focuses on his unconventional childhood, moving from “normal” New York to “bohemian lifestyle” Los Angeles, where anything goes. He writes about the characters he meets along the way (like his jazz playing stepfather), and the years before he was in the ultra-popular SoCal band you might have heard of, RHCP. As Flea himself describes it, it is his origin story that “ends where the Red Hot Chili Peppers begins.” His coming-of-age story chronicles his experiences through poetry, humorous anecdotes, and stories of danger, mayhem, & chaos. While trying to escape his turbulent home life, he finds family in communities of punk kids, outcasts, musicians, and artists who live on the edge. This leads to him finding music, himself, and friends, past and present, who he fondly remembers throughout the book in a witty, raw, entertaining way.
Find the book at your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or here is the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Acid-Children-Memoir-Flea/dp/1455530530
Some funny/cool moments from the one and only Flea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGmC0Qn5WYA
Extended sit down with Flea talking about "Acid For The Children": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK5xJMMYCsg
Original article posted on Bookwormr: https://bookwormr.home.blog/2021/12/24/guest-post-acid-for-the-children/?fbclid=IwAR1pSrFBg2x6edSrz1KYuAGn92N2Ioug7faYt0SixEZhZPu3BDrHaorbXWA