Lex Neon on Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Fight like a brave
Don’t be a slave
No one can tell you
You got to be afraid

On the days when I didn’t feel like my mask as an “A-minus” student at Canoga Park High School, I would stay at home, fake a cold (relatively easy since I used to love hanging out in high school with my friends ) and ultimately wander out to Hollywood.  On Fairfax Avenue, there used to be a small club / hang out called the Anti-Club where local bands used to play.  On the days when the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I’d skip school, coordinate with other music heads like me, and take my ass down to the Anti.  I must have seen the Peppers there at least half a dozen times.  They were young, sweaty, loud, and I couldn’t understand anything other than the vibe they put across to those of us in the audience.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers made me feel like I was not the 18 year old music geek that had just passed through Canoga Park High School with jocks, Madonna wannabes, and stoners (which we lovingly referred to as “heshers”).  I felt alive with the pounding, funky beat of “Fight Like a Brave” coursing through my body, and that rebellious lyric rushing through my fevered brow.  The voice behind that lyric was Anthony Kiedis.

Of course, I’d glide through life with “Fight Like A Brave” on nearly every single mix tape I created in my bedroom.  The song gave me a shot of “brass balls” with an attitude that said to me, “I’m invincible, I’m alive, and I am vital.  I am not a sheep, so don’t screw with me or you’ll get more than your feelings hurt.”  It may have been just some false bravado drenched in the testosterone of youth, but the feeling was all mine.

When the band released Blood Sugar Sex Magik, I thought that it was about time that they got the recognition that they deserved.  They had slugged it out with four albums before BSSM, and on this one, their fifth, the world finally got to see the many facets of this band.  For my money, it was the best and funkiest album of ’92.  There were a lot of other bands finally getting their due in ’92, like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many more.  As for me, I’ll stick with my fellow Angelenos to the death – it was all about the Chili Peppers!

They continue to inspire a load of bands that mix rock, funk and rap (today known as “funk rock.”)  But no one will ever be able to do this better than the Peppers.

Inside my 40 year old body, there is an 18 year old who is playing this song at top volume inside of a dark copper colored ’72 Mercury Capri (with a spoiler).  When I first heard this gem from the Peppers’ Uplift Mofo Party Plan, it sounded like the start of my life outside of high school.  It made me feel different; it freed my mind, and my ass definitely followed, for over 20 years now.

This November 1 marks the birthday of Anthony Kiedis.  I just wanna say happy birthday, Anthony.  Thank you for giving me fight, swagger, bravado in the face of fear, and a soulful strut that I carry with me everywhere I go.  You are the man, my man.

(Lex Neon is the musical mastermind behind the music of indie sunshine pop / rock band Poppermost.  For more info, go to http://www.poppermost.com/)

Please note: Uplift Mofo Party Plan was originaly released on September 29, 1987.

Currently listening :
Uplift Mofo Party Plan
By Red Hot Chili Peppers
Release date: By 2003-03-11
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~ by Poppermost on November 9, 2008.

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