Flea to Chronicle Drugs, Rebellion and 'Bohemian Life' in New Memoir - Rolling Stone
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Flea to Chronicle Drugs, Rebellion and ‘Bohemian Life’ in New Memoir

“I love literature deeply,” said the bassist. “I view books as sacred things”

Flea Red Hot Chili Peppers performsFlea Red Hot Chili Peppers performs

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers performs in Indio, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

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. 

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“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.”


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