Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman, Anthony Kiedis has had some pretty outlandish and crazy tales about himself over the years.
From an unconventional upbringing by his father to his life-long battle of heroin and cocaine addiction, to his insane on-stage theatrics, Kiedis never ceases to shock his fans and critics alike.
Read on to see some of Kiedis, as told by the singer in his autobiography Scar Tissue, wildest and craziest stories:
1. His Father Introduced Him To Rock Stars — And Drugs
Kiedis didn’t grow up with a typical family. His parents divorced when he was still a child, due to his father’s drug use and irresponsible lifestyle. His father has an acting career. That career also involved rubbing elbows with some rockstars and also using drugs.
Anthony Kiedis’ father, John Michael Kiedis (known by his stage name Blackie Dammett), moved to London where he partied with rock stars like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. The elder Kiedis would write letters to his son about spending time with these rock stars. Soon enough Dammett returned to LA, where he struggled as an actor.
In order to fuel his lifestyle, Dammett sold drugs and hung out with celebrities like Cher and Sonny. His son moved in with him in 1974 and he was just 12 years old. There, little Kiedis met Bowie, Talking Heads, Blondie, and many more personalities.
It wasn’t long after Kiedis arrived in LA when he and his father smoked a joint.
Not really the best father figure out there.
2. He Allegedly Had His First Sexual Encounter With His Father’s 18-year-old Girlfriend. And His Father Set It All Up
Larry Sloman, a ghostwriter of Scar Tissue, wrote about Kiedis’ first sexual experience. It was with his father’s 18-year-old girlfriend. The story goes as follows:
“One night, when Anthony was 12, he went with his father to the Rainbow Room and Blackie’s girlfriend is there dancing for him.
“And Anthony asks, ‘Dad, can I have my first sexual experience with your girlfriend?’ And Blackie says, ‘Sure, son.’
“So they go back to the house, and his dad builds a big bed out of four mattresses in his room and puts the girl in next to him.
“And that’s how he [loses his virginity].”
3. His Father Encouraged Him To Take Nude Photographs Of His 18-year-old Girlfriend
Introducing his son to drugs and sharing his girlfriend isn’t the only thing Blackie has done. He also didn’t mind Kiedis taking nude photographs of his girl either
After Kiedis has experienced his first smoke, Dammett then suggested that he take some naked photos of his 18-year-old girlfriend.
“Then my dad handed me an Instamatic camera and said, ‘I think she wants you to take some pictures of her.’ I instinctively knew that some form of skin was about to be exposed, so I said to her, ‘What if we pull up your shirt and I’ll take a picture of you?’
“‘That’s a good idea, but I think it might be more artistic if you just had her expose one of her breasts,’ my dad said. We all concurred. I took some pictures, and no one felt uncomfortable about it.”
4. He Smuggled $30,000 For His Father When He Was 12
It comes to no surprise that Dammett will get his son involved with his activities. In 1974, shortly after moving to LA, Dammett took Kiedis to Kenosha, Wisconsin for a business trip. Dammett spent three days selling drugs while he left his son to see the same James Bond movie while he did so.
By the time father and son returned to Los Angeles, they already had $30,000 in hand.
Kiedis recounts in Scar Tissue: “My dad told me I’d be carrying the money because if they caught someone who looked like him with all that money, he’d be busted for sure…so we rigged a belt piece, stuffed it with cash, and taped it to my abdomen.”
5. He Started A Statewide Manhunt When He Ran Off With The Daughter Of A Police Chief
It was in the mid-’80s when RHCP had their first national tour. After a show in New Orleans, Kiedis meets a woman backstage with him he describes as “a reincarnated southern version of Marilyn Monroe.” He then asked her to keep him company which the woman was more than happy to do so.
“She immediately threw off her clothes and we made love on the floor,” states in Kiedis autobiography. “I had known the girl for five minutes, but I was certain of my affection for her. We spent the night together, and I found out more about her, including the fact that she went to Catholic School. (She would be the inspiration for a later song, ‘Catholic School Girls Rule.’)”
The next day, the young woman accompanied the band to Baton Rouge. However, right after the show, the woman made a confession to Kiedis: “I have something to tell you. My father’s the chief of police and the entire state of Louisiana is looking for me because I’ve gone missing. Oh, and besides that, I’m only fourteen.”
Quite a turn of events for the frontman and not a good one at that. His reaction?
“I wasn’t incredibly scared, because, in my somewhat deluded mind, I knew that if she told the chief of police she was in love with me, he wasn’t going to have me taken out to a field and shot, but I did want to get her the hell back home right away.”
But not before engaging in intercourse before parting ways.
6. A Woman Approached Him And Claimed To Have Written An Ocean-Themed Poetry About Him While He Was Looking For More Drugs
“Sometimes I combined my passion for drugs and girls.” writes Kiedis in Scar Tissue.
After finishing a show in South Carolina, Kiedis then got half-gram of coke from a bartender. He consumed all of it quickly. But that wasn’t enough, so he went out for a hunt when a woman approached him.
“[S]he had our album, and told me I was her favorite poet of all time, and she gave me this letter that, among other things, suggested my dick was a dolphin and her pussy was the ocean and I had to go for a swim in the ocean.”
But Kiedis only had one thing in mind at that time.
“‘Can you get me some coke?’ I started.”
The two eventually found more drugs in a backwoods trailer park.
7. He Was Convicted Of Sexual Battery
Kiedis was convicted of sexual battery while on their 1989 Mother’s Milk tour. The incident occurred at a show in George Mason University where a woman accused the frontman of exposing himself and touching his crotch against a woman’s face without her consent.
This incident would follow Kiedis years later as it affected a condom ad he narrated. After this conviction came to light, the CDC withdrew the ad.
8. He Claimed He Saw Cher Without Clothes On
Dammett was friends with Sonny and Cher. Their son Chaz was only a few years younger than Kiedis. When he moved to LA, the young Kiedis spent some time with their family, often going to parties or accompanying them to skiing trips.
Cher separated from Sonny by the time Kiedis was in the 8th grade. In the rock star’s autobiography, Cher offered to babysit him one night. The two had a nice evening before Kiedis went off to bed. Cher then prepared to do the same.
The older woman believed that the Kiedis was asleep and began to undress. The teen watched her nearby.
9. He Popped The Question To Debbie Harry When He Was Just 15
Punk was taking the music scene in Los Angeles by late 1970. And Blackie Dammett was there on time.
Dammet spent a lot of time at a punk club called The Masque at the Hollywood Boulevard. He would often bring his 15-year-old son with him. There, father and son witnessed the first wave of New York punk bands.
Blondie opened for the Ramones at the Whiskey in February 1977. Kiedis and his father were present in the after-party. Kiedis soon found himself speaking with the frontwoman of Blondie, Debbie Harry.
“At that time, my favorite record was Blondie’s first,” recounts Kiedis in Scar Tissue. “Every one of those songs was indelibly etched on my soul, and I was totally in love with Deborah Harry.”
Harry apparently remembers the incident too. Although she thought he was a whole lot younger then.
“I did have one [proposal] from Anthony [Kiedis] from the Red Hot Chili Peppers when he was about 8!” recalls Harry. “I had to let him down gently.”
10. He Broke His Back Due To Jumping From A 5-story Building Into A Swimming Pool
Living the life he had known had made Kiedis into a risk taker. He met Mike Balzary, popularly known as Flea, in high school. The two formed a habit of jumping from apartment buildings and into swimming pools. This lead to working their way up to five-story buildings.
“I wasn’t about to dive into the pool,” recalls Kiedis in Scar Tissue. “But I started jumping off the building backward, doing Superman things.”
This dangerous hobby eventually gave Kiedis a broken back. He eventually recovered, but this injury had permanently affected his movement.
11. He Drove Drunk And Split Open His Head
It was in 1984 when Kiedis crashed into a tree after visiting. According to Scar Tissue, the story goes as follows:
Kiedis was on his way home from a bar, driving his mother’s Subaru. He blacked out and he stepped on the gas pedal too hard it was already on the floor. His vehicle veered across the road and crashed head-first into an elm tree.
Fortunately for Kiedis, a paramedic was nearby. He heard the accident and, along with the fire department, went to the rockstar’s rescue.
“The paramedics were hovering over me, asking me who the president was,” Kiedis recalls. “I answered each question perfectly, though I couldn’t understand why they were testing me for brain damage. I didn’t realize that my entire head had split wide open and I resembled a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.”
12. He Got Lost In The Jungles Of Borneo, Got Dengue, And Even Had A Cockroach Living Inside His Ear
After finishing RHCP’s 1992 worldwide tour, Kiedis immediately took a liking in the culture of the Pacific Island. The rest of the band returned home after wrapping up their tour in Australia and New Zealand. Kiedis remained in the Land Down Under.
Traveling to Borneo, the frontman sets aside an entire month to explore the country’s jungles. He was accompanied by Henk Schiffmacher, a Dutch tattoo artist. However, it didn’t turn out as Kiedis hoped: the trip turned out to be an absolute instant nightmare.
Kiedis got a splitting headache on their first night in the wild. A cockroach scurried out of the rock star’s ear when Schiffmacher shone a flashlight on it. It wasn’t long that even the official guides got them lost which lasted for a week and during that time Kiedis contracted dengue.
“I had these great images of myself swinging from vines and playing in the jungle and finding orangutans and dancing among exotic flowers,” Kiedis shared with Rolling Stone. “But it turned into more of a Vietnam experience. Everyone got brutally ill.”
13. He Got Momentarily Fired From RHCP Due To His Drug Use
Kiedis was already introduced to drugs at a young age courtesy of his father. His drug use had eventually followed him to his adulthood and his career.
By mid-’80s Kiedis’ addiction got out-of-hand that his bandmates temporarily dismissed him from the group. Fortunately, Kiedis recovered in the nick of time to help the band finish an album.
14. Jaime Rishar Carved His Initial Into Her Arm With A Razor Blade
In 1994, Kiedis was dating model Jaime Rishar. Their relationship wasn’t a stable one. Perhaps one of the most disturbing accounts came when the couple drove to Michigan to be with Kiedis’ family for the holidays.
When the couple stopped at a motel, Rishar went to the bathroom while Kiedis occupied himself with drugs. After a few moments, Rishar emerged from the bathroom and he saw that she had carved the letter ‘A’ into her arm with a razor blade.
15. He Relapsed In A Dentist’s Clinic While He Was Getting His Wisdom Tooth Removed
Kiedis was sober in January 1994, but that was going to change when he visited his dentist to get a wisdom tooth removed. He didn’t want to take narcotic painkillers due to his previous addiction. The dentist obliged but halfway through the procedure, he realized something was wrong. Kiedis was then convinced to take valium through IV.
16. He Thought Claire Essex Overdose And Asked For Help. However, When She Showed Signs Of Consciousness, He Returned Getting High.
During the Californication tour, Kiedis and Essex were getting high in a hotel room one night. However, Essex started convulsing and almost stopped breathing. Kiedis panicked and dialed 911.
But when he was still on the line, Essex regained consciousness, which prompted Kiedis to hang up.
The front desk of the hotel called back, but Kiedis declined that someone overdosed. Authorities were eventually called to the scene to check. Kiedis covered his paraphernalia and told Essex not to tell anyone she overdosed. The sheriff showed up but left once they recognized Kiedis.
17. When Drunk, He Gets Naked And Knocks On People’s Doors
During their early days of touring, Kiedis and Hillel Slovak didn’t do drugs while on the road. Instead, they consume Jagermeister. According to Kiedis, the drink “that gave us the feeling closest” to being high on drugs.
While stoned, Kiedis has a habit of getting naked, wandering around hotels, and knocking on the rooms of random guests.
18. He “Purified” His Blood With Ozone To Prevent Hepatitis C
Kiedis tested positive for Hepatitis C in the early 90s. He then invited a young woman into his home to inject him a substance called ozone. The singer then claimed that he was able to be cured due to the substance.
Ozone therapy is not fully approved by physicians or other health professionals. This doesn’t stop Kiedis from testing it though.
19. He Acted In A Movie With Sylvester Stallone
With a father for an actor, it’s no surprise that Kiedis was able to snag some movie roles.
It was in the mid-’70s when Kiedis tried his luck to be a child star. Thanks to his father’s connections, he got small roles in movies such as Jokes My Folks Never Told Me. He was cast in the 1978 F.I.S.T. where he played the son of Sylvester Stallone’s character.
Kiedis shared in his autobiography that he wanted to be on excellent terms with the Italian star, but it didn’t go well.
“‘I’m playing your son, so I thought that we should get some hang time in so I could develop -’ Stallone interrupted me. ‘No, I don’t think so,’ he said and looked around for a PA. ‘Somebody come and get this kid. Get him out of here,’ he screamed.”
Check out the short clip where Kiedis makes a short cameo. He’s the boy with the red sweater:
20. His Grandmother Disowned Him For Thanking Satan
Rockstar or not, be careful what you say on TV….Grandma might disown you.
RHCP were MTV stars in by the early 90s. They won three awards in the 1992 MTV Video Awards and they also performed one of their hit tracks “Give It Away.”
When the band was accepting an award for “Under the Bridge”, Kiedis read off a long list of artists he would like to say thank you— the first one was Satan. His grandmother didn’t see this as a joke and subsequently disowned him. Kiedis, wanting to get rid of any misunderstands, had to write a letter to her reasoning that he was not worshiping the devil.