Addiction and rock and roll often go hand in hand, and because a lot of lives were left behind, many of today’s musicians are a lot savvier about drug abuse today. Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has seen enough addiction and death over his career, and has spoken out about it for Time.
”I’ve been around substance abuse since the day I was born,” he says. “All the adults in my life regularly numbed themselves to ease their troubles, and alcohol or drugs were everywhere, always. I started smoking weed when I was eleven, and then proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and twenties.”
Flea personally lost three of his closest friends die from drugs, and they all died before turning 26. He also admits he “had some close calls myself.”After becoming a father, “I finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing my life force. I cut them out forever.”
Je has often been tempted to go back, “temptation is a bitch” he says, and when he’s gone through hard times in his life, he would think, “Man, drugs would fix all that in a flash.” Instead, he exercises, prays, talks to therapists, and chooses to work through his pain. “What I’ve learned is to always be grateful for my pain. What worked for me was learning that the best way to grow is to consciously experience the hard times. I had a burning desire for good health and love, and found that I had to go through periods of suffering to get there.”
Flea concludes that “a clear head has allowed me to walk through to the other side of pain and addiction, and there I’ve found real success, joy and strength.”