Thursday’s Musical Memory Box solution: Scar Tissue, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication, 1998. Props to Denis Gagnon for getting the bonus points!
Here is PM’s guest-hosting of MMB:
Scar tissue. Really odd name for a really good song. For me, this song is all about my last year of high school. The girls, the partys, all the scar tissue from my hockey and football scars…But, most of all, the mood and the sound. During my teenage years, I really loved the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Blood Sex and Magik was really cool. But Californication really is one my favourite albums of all time.
Californication is the album that marks the return of John Frusciante to my beloved Peppers. He had left the band because of a shit load of “personal problems” (i.e heroin addiction). The Peppers had sort of replaced him with Dave Navarro. I say sort of because Navarro never CLEARLY replace Frusicante and the only Peppers album with Navarro, One Hot Minute, sucked bad in my book. For me, Navarro never was Frusciante and that’s what makes all the difference in the world between One Hot Minute and Californication: THE PEPPERS SOUND WAS NOT THERE. Frusciante brought the Peppers sound back and also brought something different along with him. He brought the unique guitar melodies that grace Scar Tissue and Californication (the song). And that, my friends, is special.
Frusciante created that mood, that sound by playing notes that are as far apart and different as possible in a rythm and sort of slowly. And, for me, the slide guitar solo that ends Scar Tissue will always leave everlasting memories of me lying in the grass and smoking cigarettes with my girlfriend during the summer of ’99. We would play the song over and over again on a CD boombox, lying in the grass and just let the days of summer pass by listening to that mellow sound.
But all the Frusciante guitar magic would have been in vain without the lyrics and the voice of Anthony Keidis. He too battled drugs and he poured his soul into this song. The song is about battling his addiction, about the wars with people close to him (like Dave Navarro) and about resurrection. (It’s not by chance that Keidis’ bio is also entitled Scar Tissue.) Moreover, It’s really in Scar Tissue and in Californication that Keidis really took control of his voice and used his full potential. He was perfectly in sync with the mood of the songs and the Scar Tissue chorus is as harmonious as it gets.
Funny fact : in the clip, you can see John Frusciante driving a car, symbolizing his return to the band. In every day life, Frusciante does not even drive…
Here are your lyrics for today:
“We are agents of the free
I’ve had my fun and now its time to
Serve your conscience overseas (over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me”