PASADENA, Calif. — On a Thursday in mid-October, Flea sat in a patio chair he’d dragged down to the lawn, looking out at the green lake in his backyard. As the late-morning sun beat down on his graying skull and the tattoo-dotted arms under his Vin Scully T-shirt, he curled his battered bare toes in the grass just centimeters from an ashy fossil that was once a piece of dog waste, and began reckoning with the unanswerable:
“Like, your heart, your spirit, who you are — does it come out no matter what context you get put in?” he asked, “Or is it shaped immeasurably and irretrievably by your circumstances? I don’t know.”
He’s just written his first book, a memoir called “Acid for the Children” that’s out Nov. 5. In it he recounts how he took up bass guitar, learned to thumb and finger-pop its strings and formed a band with three high-school buddies: Hillel Slovak, Jack Irons and Anthony Kiedis. That band became the Red Hot Chili Peppers and persevered for three wild, shirtless decades, weathering the loss of members to addiction and attrition, not to mention the waning of alternative rock as a commercial force.
Flea Had a Wild Life. Then He Joined Red Hot Chili Peppers.