After reading “Acid for the Children”, I sometimes wish Flea decided to become a writer instead of a world-famous bassist for one of the most famous bands.
Though it starts with his birth and ends just as the Red Hot Chili Peppers are taking off, it allows you to take a personal look into Flea’s upbringing and the importance of music. You understand why Flea plays bass (and why his name is Flea), the struggles he went through for the first 20 years of his life, and the most important influences in his life.
Flea (Michael Peter Balzary) was born in Melbourne, Australia on October 16th, 1962. His parents, Mick, and Patricia Balzary moved him and his older sister Karen Balzary to New York for a job his father got when Flea was just four years old. His discovery of jazz music from his stepfather, Walter, changed his life forever. It set a feeling in his body and soul he had never felt before.
Flea had always been an outsider, and when he moved to California as a young teenager as the new kid, running the streets was all he knew. He made friends, but the bonds he made with Anthony Kiedis and Hillel Slovek would guide him through things he could not imagine.
Flea’s attitude and spirit are so contagious; he is consistently saying how emotional he is and how he allows himself to feel everything. If you have ever watched a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, you can see him fully submerge into the world of his music, separate from anything else. It is an emotional roller coaster.
One quote from this memoir I most heavily relate to is “from when I was a tiny little I have felt alone. Sometimes I’m cool with and sometimes, um, not so much.” His vulnerability and raw truthfulness are beautiful.
“Acid for the Children” is a beautiful love letter to his childhood, and this memoir will resonate with all who read it, whether they are fans of his music or not.