Anthony Kiedis’ Michigan Moments: Q&A with the Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer. Anthony Kiedis talks to John Sinkevics of The Grand Rapids Press – MLive.com Published December 28th, 2011.The Grand Rapids native’s sometimes-unrestrained rise to stardom began when Anthony Kiedis helped form funk-rock’s Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 1980s, a band that has since sold 70 million albums worldwide and won seven Grammy Awards.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and are currently touring in support of their tenth studio album, “I’m With You,” which has also been nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in 2012.
Q: The Red Hot Chili Peppers soared back to international prominence in 2011. What was your personal or professional highlight?
Anthony Kiedis: Thank you for the flattering usage of the word “soaring” as it pertains to my band. Professionally speaking, releasing our record, “I’m With You,” was the highlight and something like giving birth after a 24-month pregnancy. We were dying to get it out.
Q: What was your lowlight?
Anthony Kiedis: Ah, what would life and its highlights be without a few lowlights? Honestly, I have little or nothing to complain about. My personal setbacks … are nothing to what I see around me. It’s hard to watch friends and family struggle with health or other spiritual issues, but it’s got to be there for a reason. Lowlights are the great catalyst for growth. … (NBA’s Los Angeles) Lakers losing to the (Dallas) Mavericks in the Western Conference finals was a lowlight.
Q: What will be the headline for you a year from now?
Anthony Kiedis: “Kiedis Kidnapped by Nude Female Surf Aliens.”
Q: If you could visit only one place in Michigan, where would you go?
Anthony Kiedis: Mom’s kitchen. An old dirt road along the shores of Lake Michigan. The smell of pine needles baking on the sandy shores of some forgotten bend in a faraway creek.
Q: If you could never visit Michigan again, what food or restaurant would you miss the most?
Anthony Kiedis: Ha, ha. I don’t associate Michigan with great restaurant food. Boo, hiss. I like the organic blueberries from various farmers markets.
Q: Which Michigander do you admire the most — dead or alive, famous or not famous?
Anthony Kiedis: I admire my grandpa Ted. Though he’s no longer with us in the flesh, his influence lives on. Ted Walker managed to balance a life of true integrity without judging others along the way. He lived a life of humility and humor while quietly going about the daily business of love and service. His talent for carving and creating objects out of wood was superb. I have one of his tables in my bathroom. … Meanwhile, Michigan has not been shy about sharing profound humans with the world. I could never name them all, but here are a few that brought beauty, joy and wonder into the world: Magic Johnson, George Clinton (not born but lo-o-ong time resident), Charles Lindbergh, Iggy Pop, Gilda Radner, Sugar Ray Robinson, Del Shannon, Stevie Wonder and Charles Lautner.
Additional comment from Anthony Kiedis’ mother, Peggy Idema, “Anthony’s Grampa Ted was Blackie’s stepfather. He was so important to Anthony and is partly responsible for his existence today.”
Q: As you travel around the country, what misconception do you hear most about Michigan, and how do you respond?
Anthony Kiedis: I feel like Michigan has a pretty good reputation around the country. It definitely does in California. People may not realize just how much natural beauty the Mighty Mitten holds, but that’s part of Michigan’s charm. It’s not an over-populated mess.
Q: Will the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tour make a stop in your hometown?
Anthony Kiedis: Hard to imagine that we would not be playing in Grand Rapids come 2012, but I haven’t actually seen it on the schedule. Could be an arena-availability thing. Fingers crossed for a Grand Rapids show. Have a great new year, all ye Michiganders.
Red Hot Chili Peppers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2012
Red Hot Chili Peppers nominated for Grammy for best rock album for I’m With You