Acid for the Children: A Memoir

Grand Central. Nov. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9781455530533. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781455530526. MUSIC
Rock bassist Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, recalls his adolescence in this sensitive, well-written coming-of-age memoir. Flea was born Michael Peter Balzary in 1962 in Australia to a customs official father and a mother who never relished the traditional role of wife and mother. The family moved to New York for a job opportunity, but by the time Flea was seven, his conventional family fell apart. He and his older sister were shuttled off to Los Angeles to live with his mom’s new hippie jazz musician boyfriend. Perhaps as a result of this family fissure, Flea admits that he has often felt out of sync with others. But this is also a memoir about friendships as Flea lovingly remembers those with whom he did connect, such as his first best friend, Stephen, with whom he spent hours reading. In high school, Flea found a kindred spirit in Anthony Kiedis, and the two embarked on drug-fueled adventures before forming the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
VERDICT Readers will find much to relate to in Flea’s life story and will hope that this isn’t the only entry in his writing career. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]

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