Let's take a little journey back to 1995. A time, pre-children, when I had the energy to care, to give a rat's, to come out fighting, over the big things in life. A recent rummaging through a mystery box of crap residing under my desk at work revealed an odd little treasure: my correspondence with Drum Media, a popular culture free newspaper which may or may not exist these days; I am long past checking what the current week's gig guide has to offer.
This is the review of Red Hot Chili Peppers' My Friends by Ross Clelland which got my blood boiling:
"You know," said one marketing man in a suit to another, "once we got them to wear more than socks over their old fellas, all we needed was the nice ballad, show how cute the boy Kiedis is, and world domination was ours". And now, attempting to repeat the mega success of Under The Bridge, One Hot Minute's acoustic strummy thing becomes the new single that even your maiden aunt won't ask to be turned down when it comes on the radio, (and it will). By no means bad, but Coffee Shop ("we can dance like Iggy Pop") and the non-LP Let's Make Evil kick somewhat more.
This is the venomous spew I sent the way of Mr Clelland by return post (don't mess with my boys buddy):
In reference to Ross Clelland's review of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' My Friends in the 31 October issue of Drum Media: Well, excuse-bloody-me, you cynical bastard. While I would be the first one to jump on Mr Clelland's cynicism bandwagon when it comes to about 90% of what passes for popular music, I must voice a protest at this unfair castigation of one of the few truly inspired bands of the last decade. Yes, the Chili Peppers have been around for a decade. They didn't just appear on the whim of some "marketing man in a suit" to make a few bucks on the strength of some mournful little balland and that "cute... boy Kiedis".
For a start, anyone half familiar with the history of the band and their music would know that it all comes from their souls, from personal experiences with death and love and joy and despair and, above all, friendship. If they were simply after the quick bucks surely they wouldn't have waited for four years to come up with a follow up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik (and Under The Bridge).
It can't be that difficult to churn out boring old crap (as you are suggesting this song is) on a predictably regular basis - just ask Michael Bolton, Jimmy Barnes or one of the countless other "rock icons" who drown us in their meaningless blather. Please do not disregard the Chili Peppers as simply one of that lot - they are head and shoulders (and cocks?!) above the mediocre rabble. Next time try a bit of background research before you cast your judgement!
Gee, it didn't take much to get me going 14 years ago! How self righteous and hilarious. I guess nothing much has changed though. I'd still fight to the death for my precious Chili Peppers. I may be a lot older, a fair bit fatter and a great deal grayer in the hair department but it's good to know their music still makes me feel stuff, even when I think my jaded old heart has forgotten how to feel anything at all.