Why Anthony Kiedis Used ‘Cole Dammett’ As His Stage Name

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis has made a name for himself as one of the most appreciated performers in rock music. The vocalist has a unique life story, reflected in his lyrics for the band. Thanks to Kiedis’ lyrical style, which has evolved throughout his career, RHCP has become a prominent figure in rock music for almost four decades.

Unlike many other rock stars whose families weren’t a part of the entertainment industry, Kiedis’ father was an actor who landed a few roles in Hollywood. Though the world now knows the RHCP frontman as a notable figure in the music scene, Kiedis pursued an acting career, following his father’s footsteps. While numerous musicians gained a nickname through their stage acts, the rocker adopted one, ‘Cole Dammett,’ for his acting career.

Anthony Kiedis’ Father Was An Actor

The then-future rock star was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Margaret ‘Peggy’ Nobel and actor John Michael Kiedis. However, his parent decided to divorce when Anthony Kiedis was only three years old. Then, his mother raised little Kiedis in Grand Rapids.

Though he lived with his mother, who later remarried and had two more children, Kiedis would visit his father in Hollywood for two weeks each summer. In addition to bonding, the rock star idolized his father, partially thanks to being carefree during his time in California.

In 1974, Kiedis moved to Hollywood to live with his father full-time when he was twelve. Around this time, Kiedis’s father sold drugs after struggling to find jobs as an actor. This drug-related lifestyle deeply impacted Kiedis as a teenager. The musician even once smuggled $30,000 for his father when he was only 12 years old, but this profession wasn’t the only heritage his father left him.

His Father’s Stage Name Inspired Anthony Kiedis

John Michael Kiedis professionally adapted the name Blackie Dammett during his career in Hollywood. Apart from his negative effect on his child regarding substance abuse, the struggling actor allowed Kiedis to have an acting career at a young age.

As a result, the RHCP frontman landed several minor roles in television and film as a teenager in the late 1970s. His first job was appearing as Sylvester Stallone’s son in the 1978 film named ‘F.I.S.T.’ through his father. Since his father was the reason Kiedis got his acting career, the musician worked under the stage name of Cole Dammett, inspired by his father’s stage name.

When realizing his true calling was in rock music instead of acting, Anthony Kiedis continued appearing on shows for brief roles but gave up on being a Hollywood star. He once explained the main reason behind leaving the screens and said he didn’t want to contribute to bad acting that already existed excessively.