... not an as-told-to, nor is it written 'with' someone. These are Flea’s words—excitable, jazzy, regretful, disarming, popping and writhing away in his biological bass zone ... But he’s actually a lovely writer, with a particular gift for the free-floating and reverberant. He writes in Beat Generation bursts and epiphanies, lifting toward the kind of virtuosic vulnerability and self-exposure associated with the great jazz players ... You don’t get this kind of thing, needless to say, in your standard rock memoir ... Flea—elegant nutcase, funk-at-high-pressure bassist, wildly cultured and culturedly wild man—has written a fine memoir. You’ll put down Acid for the Children with your human sympathies expanded; you’ll feel less alone.
Observing [Flea] in the public eye, playing intensely energetic rock shows for over three and a half decades, one may think Flea is just your typical 'rock star' – an over-the-top persona. However, after reading his memoir, it is clear this would be a monumental misrepresentation and oversimplification of a quite complex human soul ... The short chapters, filled with little vignettes, keep the book moving forward at a good pace ... Readers are likely to be surprised by the deeply touching nature of the narrative. Flea moves on from simply telling these stories to create a much richer context by embedding them in the surrounding emotions, the impact of the events, and even sharing insights that are only visible now looking back into his past ... Reading this book is akin to having a conversation with the man himself: candid and stripped down, like hearing Flea speak his own story aloud, just as a memoir should be. There is a lyrical lilt to Flea’s prose. His voice is clear and authentic, without a tinge of pretension. His enthusiasm for life, the way that he has always been unapologetically himself, is evident through his writing. Despite being a self-defined 'outsider,' his purity of heart shines through, as he is clearly an individual full of kindness and empathy who seeks interconnectedness with those around him and with the universe on a larger scale. Perhaps most importantly, this memoir is utterly thought-provoking. It challenges assumptions. It reflects on the past, shining a light on how decisions have a ripple effect throughout our days. And it meditates on the beauty inherent in both life and those who walk through it with us ... I highly recommend picking it up! You are certain to walk away from the reading experience feeling as if you actually know Flea himself.
... Call him disingenuous. Still, you’ll most probably want to hug him before you’re 10 pages in ... Flea’s got a compelling, vulnerable, self-interrogating writer’s voice; his editor on the project was David Ritz, who’s abetted some great music memoirs and biographies, generally focused on finding his subject’s beating heart. That must’ve been a breeze with Flea, whose outsize heart appears regularly here — on his sleeve and occasionally in his mouth ... The book will disappoint heads looking for rock & roll war stories from the Chili Peppers’ heyday. But like Just Kids or Chronicles: Volume One, these prefame narratives focus on the human behind the art, and like those memoirs, it’s part of an ongoing narrative project that, based on the evidence, should be worth following.
... [Flea] chops his early life up into vignettes, each of them so energetically told that they feel like they’ve been fired out of a cannon. Even at its most incisive and gutting, the depth of feeling he lends keeps the story moving with the same kind of energy he brings to the stage ... While the relationship between the two musicians should form the emotional crux of the storym, the book’s pithiness keeps it from truly lifting off ... By front-loading the way he feels about Kiedis, thoughtfully written though it may be, Flea never allows us to see the complications in their relationship play out over time. It’s a disappointment, especially because Acid For The Children suggests he’s both talented and empathetic enough to give their story its due ... Flea can be maddeningly uneven on a sentence level ... The prose frequently mimics his playing: occasionally beautiful, occasionally outrageous, in conversation with a small group of predecessors but unwilling to follow anyone else’s rules ... it’s worth asking whether 400 pages of sober and reflective storytelling is what we want from the dude who played Woodstock ’99 naked. Taken on its own terms, Acid For The Children feels remarkably close to the bone, its author nuanced in his understanding of himself, his hang-ups, and his surroundings.
... thorough, no-holds-barred ... It is obvious that Flea had no ghostwriter as all of the language is fresh and leaves no doubt as to whose mind they are coming from ... I loved Acid for the Children. It is honest, brutally so at times, and spoken in such a true voice that you would think Michael Balzary was right there in the room with you. I admire and respect the anti-establishment side of Flea, which is clearly evident not only in the title he chose, but also in the front cover photo, which depicts his 11-year-old self smoking a joint. I would have liked for him to have spent more time on his film career. Even though he has done mostly bit parts, he has been in a number of important indie movies and continues to act to this day ... I can only hope that Flea pens a second memoir (he briefly alludes to this at the end), so that we can see the skyrocket ride that he and his best friends took as the Red Hot Chili Peppers became one of the most popular bands in the world.
Flea is a surprisingly good writer and writes in bursts of memories, detailing both pivotal and mundane moments in short chapters with equal parts pathos and humor. This is not an RHCP tell-all: the book ends with the band’s first-ever live performance. Rather, RHCP fans or not, readers will find a unique coming-of-age memoir that’s also an ode to books, music, and performing.
... electric, surprisingly moving ... this is not a typical sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll story. The author respectfully references his first girlfriend, to whom he lost his virginity at 17, and calls drug use a 'pit of sadness' ... Flea is an enlightened narrator, and this passionate, smart memoir will resonate with readers whether they’re fans of the band or not.
Though this volume barely touches on the career of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band whose fans will likely constitute its most ardent readership, Flea’s spirit permeates the narrative, which is scattered, reflective, hedonistic, funny, scary, and occasionally redemptive ... Few of the chapters, which unfold in bursts of jazzy, sometimes irregular prose (and little attention to grammar), extend for more than a page or two, and some of them are just a paragraph ... Relentlessly honest, untamed, and often revelatory.