Anthony Kiedis: “Opening for the Rolling Stones?  A shitty job"

Anthony Kiedis: “Opening for the Rolling Stones? A shitty job”

Open a concert of Rolling Stones it has never been and will never be easy. The reasons are many: Anthony Kiedis, voice of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in his beautiful biography “Scar Tissue”, released for the first time in 2005 and reprinted on countless occasions in the wake of the great success it has achieved, tries to explain why supporting Mick Jagger and his associates is a dirty job, or rather verbatim on page 323 of the Mondadori edition, “a shitty jobwhich I don't recommend to anyone.” Obviously there is a lot of truth in the story, but also just as much ironyin true Kiedis style: the voice of “Californication”, in reality, today he is an admirer of the Stones, despite never having been a big fan of their music. And this, precisely, does not prevent him in the book from explaining in a colorful way the reason for some irreverent and unscrupulous considerations. Furthermore, everything must be put into context: Red Hot today is a band that has written important pages of rock music, at the time they were still climbing to the top and it is therefore understandable how some visions may have changed.

But let's get to the facts and the anecdote. We are in the mid 90sRed Hot, after the group's first release John Frusciantereplaced by the guitarist Dave Navarroare working and taking part in the recordings of the album “One Hot Minute”, released in 1995. In this period the Californian band continues to play live, they tour America, make some appearances at festivals in Europe and magically they are called by the Rolling Stones as the opener of their concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in October 1994.”They make you this proposal and you think: 'they are the second most important rock band in history after the Beatles, so by playing with them we should touch upon history' – Kiedis writes with a probable sneer – but the fact is that today the Stones' audience is made up of lawyers, doctors, accountants and consultants. It's a conservative, wealthy group.” Then he continues: “The whole show is designed, edited and prepared for the Stones and you are put in a corner. They told me: 'ok guys, you can move between here and here and please don't step on the teak wood floor where Mick dances'. You basically do the concert while eighty-five thousand wealthy, bored, old-fashioned fans, are taking their seats. Nobody pays attention. We were the accompanying music, the background for sitting down, getting snacks, buying clothes. A nightmare”.