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An Interview with Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ legendary frontman gives it away on his final day.


So how do you want to go?
Death by evaporation. May the saltwater wind that gets shot out of a barreling wave blow me away like an old puffy dandelion into the sky.

Will you be going to heaven or hell?
You’re familiar with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell?" Well, consider me “Side Streets to Purgatory.”

Your new album is called I’m With You. Who would you come back to Earth to haunt?
I’ll go with haunting as a good thing and come back to lovingly haunt you, the reader of this.

You often sing about your hometown, L.A. What’s one thing you definitely won’t miss about the city?
Geico billboards.

You’re a vegan. For your last meal would you go for a fatty steak or just some tempeh?
I’m not a true vegan. I dabble in sustainable fish and dawdle in the consumption of eggs. Steak doesn’t speak to me, and tempeh is so-so. I’ll savor a solitary apricot that’s been kissed by my baby.

If you were putting together a jam session in the afterworld, who would you want to be a part of it?
Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer would be my first choices. If they weren’t yet available, I’d ask for Luis Buñuel, Charlie Parker, Keith Moon, Django Reinhardt, Billie Holiday, Jaco Pastorius, Johnny Cash, Richard Pryor, Eddie Hazel, and Thelonius Monk.

What are people saying over your casket?
The casket will have to be metaphorical…and I hope whatever they say makes me laugh my ass off. If they wanna throw in that I was a good and loving papa, that’d be cool, too.

You’ve been sober for over a decade. Any remaining vices?
My sobriety isn’t up for discussion, but as for vices, I seem to hack away at them with my invisible machete from dawn till dusk. The vice of “more” is an ongoing theme.

While alive, what did you spend the most money on?
In the ’70s it was skateboards, in the ’80s it was drugs, in the ’90s it was art, and now it’s my family.

What’s the wildest thing you ever did while you were alive?
I grew up.

What woman did you always want to sleep with?
What woman didn’t I want to sleep with?

You and Flea have been BFFs since high school. Want to bring him with you into the afterlife, or are you glad to finally be rid of him?
Bring him with! And the rest of my crew, too.

Which one of your songs is playing on repeat in heaven? In hell?
That’s a brutal question. Anything on repeat is going to turn heaven into hell. Let’s send heaven “Brendan’s Death Song” (it’s new), and we’ll send hell something mellower, like “Porcelain.”

Do you have any deathbed confessions?

I turned down the role of Harry Potter.