Flea: "Playing bass gets you into this hypnotic state - you’re not thinking because you’re just a conduit for the rhythm"

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Image credit: Don Arnold/Getty Images)

"That’s a whole lot of reading, man,” observes Michael Balzary, as nobody calls him, informed to his evident surprise that I read his new book in a couple of hours. The reason for this is that Acid For The Children, out as you read this interview, is an easy read. Dealing with the Australian-born, California-raised bassist’s life from birth until 1983 or thereabouts, his autobiography is split into short chunks, some only a couple of paragraphs in length, so it’s simple and fun to digest.

The much bigger point, though, is that in Acid For The Children Flea, as everybody calls him, speaks to and connects directly with the reader. This is no easy feat, but he pulls it off, drawing you into his early life - an intoxicating but unnerving blend of unreliable parents, and the beauty of nature - and beyond. 

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.