Friday, May 2, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Snow ((Hey Oh))
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album: Stadium Arcadium (2006)

I didn't like the Red Hot Chili Peppers off the bat.

When everyone was fawning over Blood Sugar Sex Magik and "Under The Bridge," I thought both were just okay. They kind of annoyed me to be honest. They were more a spectacle than anything else, keeping people wondering what silly little thing they would do next.

Next was John Frusciante leaving mid-tour while in Japan to become a full-fledged addict.

Next was replacing the prodigious Frusciante with Dave Navarro, a move that nearly ended the Chili Peppers existence altogether.

Miraculously, Frusciante didn't die during his prolonged love affair with drug addiction and when he proved to be committed to living a clean and sober life, the decision was made to bring him back into the fold.

The result was Californication. That is when I got on board.

This song is the embodiment of everything I have now come to love about the post-Navarro Chili Peppers. Melodic, layered guitars, Frusciante's harmonizing with Anthony Kiedis, Flea's distinctive basslines and Chad Smith rattling on the drum kit in fits-and-starts.

[This song is] about the repeated failure to start your life anew and how difficult it can be to get rid of old ways of thinking, and destructive ideas we become so attached to.
- Anthony Kiedis

And there is the other part that makes this a favourite of mine.

While the quote works in reference to the Chili Peppers themselves - the band continued to abuse drugs and alcohol following the death of original guitarist Hillel Slovak in 1988 and watched Frusciante leave to become a professional addict - that message resonates with me on a personal note as well.

Over and over and over following my parents divorce I told myself that I would never grow up to be like my old man, only to see myself constantly repeating his mistakes. I too cheated on loved ones, squandered every penny I had and didn't know when to stop heading to the bar. At one point, I had nearly pissed everything completely away.

Saying you want to be better and actually taking the necessary steps towards doing so are two totally different things and it took me a long time to start making those steps. But I eventually righted the ship and found a better course.

Just like the Anthony, Flea, Chad and John.

I got your hey oh...

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