As soon as I land in California I can’t seem to help but put on the Red Hot Chili Peppers. RHCP are one of those bands who define a state and a mood for me like no other, and as I begin a business trip in LA I figure there’s no better time than now than to share one of my all time favorite songs, and the song that first put RHCP in my ear, “Under The Bridge.”
This tune was originally a poem that lead singer Anthony Kiedis scribbled into his notebook one day while they were recording their first album, and one of the best rock albums of all time, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. When the legendary Rick Rubin (who when you check out his Wikipedia page you’ll quickly recognize he may be the most influential person in music history, completely serious) read the lyrics to “Under The Bridge,” he convinced Anthony it should be a song on the album. Lo and behold it was, and ended up being one of their biggest hits.
For those that have not read Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography “Scar Tissue” I urge you to. It’s a fascinating read for music fans or anyone interested in people with amazing and unique life stories. In it you will find info on this song which describes how the lyrics “under the bridge downtown/it’s where I drew some blood” refer to Anthony’s battle with heroin addiction and how he literally used to go under a bridge in downtown LA for weeks at a time getting high. Definitely read the book, then listen to the song again. It puts it in a whole different light.
Until then, enjoy the classic 90’s video accompanying this great song: