I’ve recently read “Scar Tissue” by Anthony Kiedis (frontman from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and it’s inspired me to investigate the creative sources in our lives.
…Where do we get the inspiration to pick up a guitar and create a new piece of music?…
At the core of the respective highs and lows accounted for in his book, there’s a common theme that runs throughout; Relationships, Dependencies and Creativity.
Anthony Kiedis documents on numerous occasions the different approaches the RHCP adopted over the years to the song-writing process; jamming on a “telepathic” level, through to individually approaching the rest of the band with a melody, song structure or lyrics.
Reading this book led me to consider in more detail the various aspects that contribute to a fruitful creative process. Where do we get the inspiration to pick up a guitar (or any musical instrument for that matter) and create a new piece of music? What inspires an artist to pick up a brush and paint a masterpiece?
These are fairly open ended questions and I’m aware the answers differ depending on who we are, and the many circumstances we find ourselves in.
“Scar Tissue” is an interesting read, mainly due to the fact Anthony Kiedis is refreshingly honest throughout. There’re times when you’ll laugh out loud, gasp with shock or marvel at his lifestyle.
I’ll openly admit that I’ve been influenced by the music the RHCP has produced over the years, notably the guitar playing of John Frusciante and Dave Navarro.
Since reading “Scar Tissue”, I’ve listened back through some of my favourite Chili’s albums (Blood Sugar Sex Magik, One Hot Minute and Californication) and Kiedis’ lyrics really struck a chord with me. Like his book, the lyrics are often honest and open, providing an insight into the various aspects of his life that inspired him to put pen to paper.
Life presents us all with mix of challenges and opportunities, all of which can be used as inspiration to write a killer guitar riff or a new song.
In addition, I recently heard an interesting talk describing how the possible “idols” in our lives can have a knock-on effect. I don’t mean idols in the sense of a famous musician or sportsman per se, I’m eluding to the underlying “idols” that are presented in other guises; the hunger for money, a high-flying career, success, fame, addiction, relationships… the list is almost endless.
One could argue that many of Anthony’s “inspirations” could be interpreted as his personal “idols” (relationships, dependencies, addiction etc).
Anthony Kiedis’ honest account in “Scar Tissue” led me to appreciate and reflect on many aspects in my own life, including the possible “idols” that may be a driving force in my current life stage.
I guess we can all relate to Anthony Kiedis in some way, as we all experience to a varying extent the common theme I mentioned at the beginning of this article; Relationships, Dependencies and Creativity – it’s just what you do with those, and where you draw your inspiration from, that differs from person to person.
At a time when Kiedis was finishing a rehab programme, he notes: “Everywhere I went, I felt and saw the existence of a creative intelligence in this universe…”.
It’s fun being creative. Like Kiedis, some say we are all creative beings, created by an ultimate Creator. I’ll let you make your own mind up about that.