Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was born on November 1, 1962 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When Anthony's parents divorced in 1973, he moved with his father, Blackie Dammet, to Los Angeles, California. Kiedis landed several minor roles as an actor during the following years, thanks largely to his father who was involved in the industry.
Without adequate parental supervision, Kiedis fell into all sorts of trouble. It is rumored he lost his virginity at 12 and started doing heroin at 14. At Fairfax High School, Anthony would find a friend of his in a headlock by another guy. Anthony broke up the fight and became best friends with Flea, the belligerent teen who would become the Chili Pepper's bassist. The two also met and befriended Hillel Slovak, who taught Flea how to play the bass guitar. Flea performed in several local bands, including the punk band Fear.
Hillel and Flea were performing in the Rhythm Lounge one night when Anthony came on stage and rapped "Out in LA", a poem he wrote. The manager was so impressed that he asked the three to return. Adding drummer Jack Irons (formerly of What is This, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were born in 1983. A string of mostly unsuccessful releases followed: Freaky Styley in 1985, The Uplift Mofo Party in 1987, and Abbey Road in 1988.
While performing at the Kit Kat Club one night, Anthony came up with the idea of performing wearing nothing but socks. It is rumored this was the strategy he used to get rid of a girl he didn't like in his apartment. "Socks on cocks" became one of the most famous club incidents and propelled to underground stardom.
In 1988, Hillel Slovak, who had quit the band by now, died of a heroin overdose. Both he and Kiedis had been heavy addicts, and the death would cause Irons to leave the band. Kiedis didn't take the death very well himself, isolating himself in Mexico for weeks before coming back to LA, but the band moved on, obtaining drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante. Later, Kiedis would write "Knock Me Down", a tribute to his deceased friend. The next year, Kiedis and his band would see the release of the breakthrough Mother's Milk album and the monster 1991 release Blood Sugar Sex Magick, which featured "Under the Bridge", originally a poem by Kiedis. The song chronicles Anthony's heroin adiction and, at the same time, is one of the greatest tributes to the City of Angels to date.
In 1993, John Frusciante quit the band. Though his official reasons were different, it was very clear he was going the same route as Hillel Slovak. In 1994, Dave Navarro joined the band but everyone's attentions were on Frusciante. One Hot Minute failed to meet expectations and many thought the band was broken. This rumor was reinforced when Kiedis got in a motorcyle accident in 1996, breaking his wrist and arm in multiple places. In 1997, Kiedis admitted to MTV that he had been taking drugs again the past year while claiming to be clean. He has been clean since then.
In 1997, Dave Navarro left and Frusciante came back, after being helped out of his drug problem by Kiedis, Flea, and Smith. 1998's Californication would top the billboard charts and would be hailed as the best Chili Peppers release of all time.
Notes: I am sorry if I am making any glaring ommissions; there are very few sources for Anthony Kiedis information online (the band is easy; the singer is not). Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Here are my sources for this writeup: