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Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

Scar Tissue

by Anthony Kiedis and Larry Sloman
First published in 2004

ISBN 1-4014-0101-0 (Hardback, 474 Pages)
Regardless of what hard-line or tolerant personal views the reader might have concerning subjects such as drug-taking, alcohol abuse, underage sex or petty theft, this book still makes for an uncomfortable read. The writing style makes it difficult to tell if Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis is being openly frank and honest during the recollections of his life, or is instead just bragging about some of his more shocking exploits.

Whenever I got any money, I'd go on a drug binge. The problem was, I didn't have a home to do the drugs in. So I'd start off using somebody's house, and when they got finished, I'd go off to get more. I began to do a roaming drug-shooting thing where I'd get the drugs, go into underground parking garages, hide out in a corner behind someone's truck, set up, and then shoot up. I'd get all crazy high and go walking the streets, and then I'd find an alley or a school yard, or go behind a bush and do some more.

The whole narrative is of a very graphic nature and written in a very matter-of-fact kind of way. As a result, the book certainly makes for compulsive reading as Kiedis exposes the reader to both the highs of the success he experienced with the Red Hot Chili Peppers through to the extreme lows of his life-long drug use.

Around the middle of the book, Kiedis recalls his relationship with River's A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon co-star, Ione Skye.

Rejoining the band wasn't the only think that I talked to Flea about when he called me in Michigan. While I was away, Flea had a part in a science-fiction movie called Stranded, and he'd met a beautiful young actress named Ione Skye who he was certain was my type. We made plans for an introduction when I came home. From the moment I laid eyes on Ione, I knew that goddess was going to be my girlfriend. It was a few days before her sixteenth birthday, and she looked like she'd come out of a fairy-tale book.

Ione came from an alternative-lifestyle Hollywood family. Her dad was the folksinger Donovan, but he wasn't really in the picture. Her mother, Enid, was a beautiful hippie with blond ringlet hair. Ione dressed like a hippie child and had an ethereal sixth sense about her, an extra gift. She was also way too sexually curious about everything. It was an energy that she didn't verbalize, but it worked for me at that age. She was probably the most beautiful, smart, sexy, caring, and nurturing young girl in all of Hollywood, and our attraction was mutual, thank God. A few days after we met, she was introducing me at her birthday as her boyfriend. It was mind-blowing, how quickly I fell completely and deeply in love.

Nevertheless, it's only a few chapters later that the author lements about his time with Ione and how "I'd let this beautiful angel of a girl who was willing to give me all of her love, and instead of embracing that, I was downtown with gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge." On a more positive note though, it would be as a result of this relationship that Kiedis first met River.

I don't want to give the impression that we were monks the whole time we recorded. We'd often invite friends up to the house and have these elaborate dinner parties. One of the people who was around then was the actor River Phoenix. I met River through Ione, who'd done a film with him. John and River had jammed at a party that we all attended, and they got close. I don't want to go off on River's trip, because his family is excruciatingly sensitive about it, but since I'd known him, he had drunk heavily and used cocaine heavily, and it was no secret to me or anybody who knew him that he was quite out of control with this stuff and it would be just a matter of time before bad things started to add up. River was around a lot during the writing and recording of our album. He was a big supporter of our band, and I even wrote a whole verse about him in "Give It Away": "There's a river, born to be a giver, keep you warm, won't let you shiver/His heart is never going to wither, come on everybody, time to deliver."

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