a lot of people wish that they read more. i am one of them.
so i’m making my own valiant effort to get a book under my belt every month.
last month was the new donald miller.
and what an amateur thrill to get to the afterword and be that excited that i finished it. i have an enormous habit of reading a quarter of a book and then losing interest. i have stacks of “i only read to chapter 3” books.
octobers was another book that almost fell victim to the same habit. i had picked up “scar tissue” by anthony kiedis back in cape town sometime in june. i started reading it, got distracted, and it felt no love for a couple months.
then i strictly implemented this goal and since i didn’t want it to be yet another book i sort of read, i picked it up again.
the lead singer of the red hot chili peppers has lived an insane life. an insane life.
it took 465 pages for his life to unravel so i can’t exactly sum it up well, but he has done and felt and been everything under the sun.
he has gone full tilt since infancy and its this awesome, awesome story. and it wasn’t even the typical he-did-a-lot-of-drugs-and-bed-a-lot-of-women story (even though he did those things in excess). he did it with this huge, real-life pumping and beating heart, just like everyone else has, and the emotion and awareness behind his story speak higher than just the typical rock-and-roll lifestyle.
he had a wild father who was lord of the sunset strip. he started smoking dope at 11, was quietly schooled by george clinton and mentored by sonny bono. he went out dancing in a frock dress with no underwear and black combat boots and faxed love poems to his girl, sinéad o’connor. he spent new years with kurt cobain and helped put a then unknown pearl jam on the map by giving them an opening gig.
here are some of my highlighted lines:
“go get out of yourself and do something for someone else, voila, you don’t feel like shit anymore.”
“i’ve wanted to feel pleasure to the point of insanity. they call it getting high, because it’s wanting to know that higher level, that godlike level. you want to touch the heavens, you want to feel glory and euphoria, but the trick is that it takes work. you can’t buy it, you can’t get it on a street corner, you can’t steal it or inject it or shove it up your ass, you have to earn it.”
“to me, my life was what was in front of me.”
i love that he articulated this, because it is so, so true: “a lot of times people will judge you on their perceived idea of how you’re acting. if you’re in a room and you’re feeling shy and you don’t want a certain amount of attention, you’re not going out of your way to make friends with everybody. then someone’s going to walk away going, “that arrogant motherf*cker, he didn’t even try to talk to me.” you’re trying to lay low and not make a big deal about yourself, but they’re seeing you as this guy who’s all that and a bag of f*cking chips.”
“time and distance have a way of playing tricks with your best intentions.”
talking about drug addiction, “you’re not creating the ripple of love; you’re creating the vacuum of shit.”
and the clutch quote:
“i had a distinct feeling, even though i didn’t have a concrete means of achieving it, that whatever i ended up doing with my life, i wanted to make people feel the way this music was making me feel. the only problem was that i wasn’t a guitar player and i wasn’t a bass player and i wasn’t a drummer and i wasn’t a singer, i was a dancer and a party maniac, and i didn’t quite know how to parlay that into a job.”
he turns 47 today. so hey, happy birthday mr. kiedis.