Flea can be maddeningly uneven on a sentence level, too. In the book’s opening chapter, he writes lyrically of how a recent trip to Ethiopia returned him to the root of his motivations as a musician, and about the “burning thing inside me that has kept me always curious, always seeking, yearning for something more.” In the same chapter, he makes reference to “the godzzz,” uses a six-period ellipsis (twice!), and offsets the phrase “boom bap boom ba boom bap” into its own paragraph. The prose frequently mimics his playing: occasionally beautiful, occasionally outrageous, in conversation with a small group of predecessors but unwilling to follow anyone else’s rules.
This is what gives Acid For The Children its considerable charm, and Flea knows it. And it’s worth asking whether 400 pages of sober and reflective storytelling is what we want from the dude who played Woodstock ’99 naked. Taken on its own terms, Acid For The Children feels remarkably close to the bone, its author nuanced in his understanding of himself, his hang-ups, and his surroundings.