One Hot Minute


Band: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album: One Hot Minute
Best song: Come on. Even Dave Navarro can’t save this turd.
Worst song: All bad.

I started high school in 1995, but I almost exclusively listened to classic rock at the time. Certainly, indie rock of the time — Smog’s 1995 record Wild Love would steal my heart when I was in college, for example — would later have an effect on me. But, I mostly spent my time listening to the Clash when I was 14.

It’s hard to blame me. The post-Kurt Cobain years of popular rock music were populated by the likes of Green Day, Dig, Candlebox and Silverchair. Crap bands, all. I did, however, own a record called One Hot Minute by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I still own it, believe it or not. Not for any good reason.

For those uninitiated, I despise the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band is my least favorite band ever formed to become popular. I’m not keen on a bunch of popular bands; U2, the Eagles, Billy Joel and Springsteeen are all subjects of my ire. But, there’s a special place in my brain for the dreck that is the white-boy ripoff meathead funk that is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

While talking with a friend about my RS project, he asked me if I had fun doing it. “Actually,” I replied, “The most fun was when I wrote about the albums I absolutely hate.”

I don’t know if that makes me a curmudgeon, a bad person, a critic or some combination of the three. Either way, I loved writing about the records I despise on that list; it’s a fun trying to think up synonyms for words like “bad” or “awful.” It’s fun trying to dash the emotions of something that, ultimately, makes someone happy.

In my more introspective moments, I understand that someone loves these records. Indeed, the comments section of my RHCP reviews (here) — if you read around the spam — reads like a group of idiots not understanding why they are idiots.

Getting a little far afield, I’ll say this: It always surprises me when someone comments on a complete stranger’s blog. Some of the comments on those posts are very strange. These readers clearly think I’m a moron and feel the need to tell me that the RHCP do not care about what I think and if I just got off my ass and listened to the music — which, of course, I did, hence the review — I’d get it. I got called pretentious a few times, though I think my love for the Beatles kind of counteracts that.

Nevertheless, what I don’t understand is the inherent leap that is made before writing a comment like that. Of course I don’t think Anthony Kiedis cares about what I think. I am a low(ish)-level journalist in the political/government world. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with a gassy bulldog. I barely make rent every month. Kiedis goes to sleep every night on a bed full of money with (presumably) many beautiful women. He flies first-class to many worldwide destinations. My vacation this year will be a weekend in Chicago to attend a friend’s wedding.

The other popular comment thread is that I’ve never written a song that’s half as good (read: successfully heard by idiots) as the band. That presupposes that I am a musician or a songwriter — I’m not the latter and I barely play the guitar, in regards to the former. Moreover, it bases itself on the suggestion that one must do in order to criticize. I do not believe this to be the case and, thankfully, having an opinion and studying something is all one needs.

I’ve spent most of my life listening, studrying and writing about music. I ran two radio stations’ music departments. And I can say without equivocation: The Red Hot Chili Peppers suck.

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