Flea's new memoir, Acid for the Children, tells the story of the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist's upbringing, but it ends just as the iconic band is starting up. That may be disappointing for rock fans looking for juicy Chili Peppers tidbits, but for Flea, it was important for his creative process to not rely on those stories.
"I thought if I wrote a book about the Chili Peppers, it'd be like cheating," Flea tells the BBC.
"But if I could write a book about my childhood that could exist on its own merits, without the band, then I deserved to write a book," he explains. "That was the challenge I set for myself."
Acid for the Children makes up for the lack of Chili Peppers content with personal, emotional stories about Flea's life growing up, including his tumultuous relationship with his stepfather.
"After some of those really traumatic episodes at my house, I would go to school the next day feeling hung over and in a daze, really upset," Flea says. "But when you're a kid, you don't see the forest for the trees. It's just your experience and you're trying to make sense of it.
"So I just waited for that feeling to end, and I'd go play basketball or play in the band and hope for the best," he continues. "But it was very difficult many a time."
Acid for the Children is out now. For dates on Flea's current book tour, visit RedHotChiliPeppers.com.
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