The Tragedy Behind Anthony Kiedis’ Lyrics In ‘Venice Queen’

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Red Hot Chili Peppers lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis’ father, John Michael Kiedis, widely known as Blackie Dammett, was an actor and part-time drug dealer who affected his son’s life for good. Kiedis’ parents got divorced when he was only three years old, and he began living with his mother, Margaret ‘Peggy’ Noble. Also, the singer would visit his father, who lived in Hollywood every summer, and those trips became unforgettable and too crazy for a child.

Kiedis was surrounded by lots of drugs and women above his age all the time because of his father’s second profession and a life full of crazy parties. The musician even had sex with an 18-year-old girl who was Dammett’s girlfriend at the age of 12, and also he used marijuana and cocaine during those times. Then, Anthony met with heroin for the first time when he was 14 after he thought it was cocaine which was the beginning of his serious addiction problem.

The Sad Story Behind Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Venice Queen’

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Unfortunately, even though it’s too sad to admit that, his father had a significant role in Kiedis’ battle with drugs which would last for a long time until he realized that he wouldn’t have any other chance to get rid of it. The Red Chili Peppers icon went through hard times because of his addiction problem. He lived between relapses and rehabilitation, which turned into an inescapable labyrinth first built by his father.

Kiedis didn’t understand the heavy consequences of using drugs until his bandmate and friend Hillel Slovak passed away due to heroin overdoes on June 25, 1988. Slovak’s death devastated him and became the main reason behind his decision to enter a rehabilitation center to recover. That was when he met drug rehabilitation therapist Gloria Scott, a former drug addict who wanted to help others.

Scott and Kiedis became friends, along with the therapist’s supporting him to stop using drugs, but she couldn’t be with them for a very long time. Scott bought a house in California’s Venice Beach before she died because of cancer, and both Kiedis and the other RHCP members wanted to pay tribute to her. The band released their eighth studio album entitled ‘By the Way’ on July 9, 2002; one of the songs was the last goodbye to Scott.

Many RHCP fans and music critics find the album and Kiedis’ lyrics more profound and personal than the band’s other albums. So, the singer and the rest of the band wrote ‘Venice Queen’ as an ode to Gloria Scott, and they stated in the lyrics that they all love and miss Venice’s best queen. Losing the drug rehabilitation therapist inspired them to write the song and its sad tone always affected the band’s fans.

The song’s lyrics read:

We all want to tell her
Tell her that we love her
Venice gets a queen
Best I’ve ever seen
We all want to kiss her
Tell her that we miss her
Venice gets a queen
Best I’ve ever.”

You can listen to the song below.