Michael “Flea” Balzary, one of the music’s preeminent bassists, is ready to tell his self-described “epic” tale of hard drugs, bohemia and funk-rock glory. Grand Central Publishing, a division of the Hachette Book Group, has acquired the rights to the Red Hot Chili Pepper‘s as-yet-untitled memoir, written by Balzary himself.
“Grand Central is thrilled to publish Flea’s memoir,” says executive editor Ben Greenberg in a press release. “Besides being a voracious reader, he is an utterly unique musician, thinker and creative force – whether with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Atoms for Peace or his Silverlake Conservatory, which fosters music education in Los Angeles. His story is epic.”
The book – also planned as an audio edition – will chronicle Flea’s unconventional childhood (including his move from a “normal” life in the New York suburbs to a “bohemian” lifestyle in Los Angeles with his jazz-playing stepfather), his time of rebellion in the L.A. streets, his “sometimes complex friendship and collaboration” with Chili Peppers co-founder Anthony Kiedis and the overall “tumultuous creative journey” of the band, which formed in 1983. No release date has been set.
For Flea, a self-annointed literature geek, writing his memoir was a valuable experience – and it led to something more resonant than the tabloid-style backstage decadence that decorates most rock bios.
“I love literature deeply,” Flea says in a press release. “I view books as sacred things, and in writing my story, I’m going to do my best to honor the form that has played such a huge part in shaping who I am.”