Live From The Grayish Carpet

Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

Blood, Sugar, Sex, Dickheads

chilipepperssock

It just happened again. I read a news story about Flea playing the national anthem as a bass solo at Kobe’s final game with the Lakers and I went nuts. Every time I’m reminded that the Red Hot Chili Peppers exist, I lose my mind. It’s been a frequent occurence lately. They’re about to release a new record and the promo machine is gearing up.

25 years ago, when I worked at Epic, I had a fucked up experience with the Chili Peppers. The incident was about a 3 on the 1-10 scale of sexual harassment in the music business of the 80s and 90s, and I never consciously thought it was that big a deal. I wasn’t even aware of how intensely I hated them  until a couple of months ago, when the kid that works the desk at my gym played “Can’t Stop.” I was furious;  I felt like my blood had been replaced with a million small bombs and that all of them were about to explode.  I threw my weights to the floor mid-rep and pounded to the desk. Just before I screamed the only words I could come up with —  NO. MORE. RED. HOT. CHILI. PEPPERS. — I realized I had to leave. I knew I’d be unable to restrain myself if I had to hear Anthony sing  “mop tops are happy when they feed you” or “can’t stop, addicted to the shindig, chop top, he says I’m gonna win big.” When  I calmed down, I thought about how overblown my reaction was, and allowed for the first time that maybe I didn’t hate them simply because they suck.

I heard stories about the Chili Peppers and the way they treated women long before Anthony was convicted of sexual battery and indecent exposure in 1989 and Chad and Flea were arrested for lascivious behavior, battery and disorderly conduct in 1990. No one in the music industry really gave a shit — as their legal issues made headlines, they  left  EMI, and every label wanted to sign them. Including Epic. I was horrified.

At first I  refused to even go to a meeting with the band. The  A&R guy was a friend, though, and after an hour of talking about it,  I reluctantly agreed to attend.  At the meeting, I did a credible impression of a person who didn’t think the Chili Peppers were assholes or that their music was completely fucking horrible;  I talked enthusiastically about strategy, artist development and press campaigns, and I presented ideas on further establishing their image.  None of them involved wearing socks on their dicks.

Afterwards,  I took two of the Chili Peppers to the storage room where we kept the box sets and CDs. As we looked in the cabinet, they pressed up against me and told me about all of the ways we could make a super sexy sandwich.

At first  I thought they were joking. When I realized they weren’t, I ran from the storage room to my office, where I closed my door, sat down at my desk, and cried. I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed, and embarrassed that I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed.  There was far worse going on in the music industry at the time, and I thought I was a badass. Being a victim didn’t fit my self-perception.

When the Chili Peppers’ then-manager knocked on my door a few minutes later, I stopped crying and let him in. He offered an apology that sounded memorized; it was one he’d obviously offered many times before. The A&R guy apologized after the Chili Peppers left, and I decided to get over it.  I told myself that I knew what I was getting into when I started working in the music business. I was used to the shit that happened  late at night, when I was wasted  in Boston and hanging out at gigs, hotels, and after show parties. I wasn’t cool with any of it, but I accepted it, and even though the incident with the Chili Peppers  took  place when I was a stone cold sober executive at a major label, doing my job at my office at 2:00 in the afternoon, I decided to accept that, too. It was just the way things were.

Most of the women I know who worked in the music business in the late 80s and early 90s put up with sexual harrassment. We didn’t talk about it to our friends, for the most part, and not many of us took any action.  We were ashamed or afraid or didn’t think we’d be believed. We thought we’d be blamed, or worse, we blamed ourselves. We didn’t want to be perceived as weak, and we thought that in order to succeed, we just had to put up with it. Sexual harrassment came along with working in the music industry — it was an everyday reality — and a lot of us didn’t even realize that anything was wrong.  Most of the reasons  we kept quiet may never stop being reasons —  shame and fear aren’t going to go away — but at least we know now when we’re being harrassed.

I started writing this post in January, just after Amber Coffman tweeted about Heathcliff Berru, and just before I heard “Can’t Stop” at the gym. The incident with the Chili Peppers wasn’t all that bad in comparison to what other women have experienced, and even what I’ve  experienced myself.  I didn’t understand why my recent response was so extreme until this weekend,  when I talked to people I was close to at Epic.  One was my boss.  I discovered that I never told him what happened,  and with the exception of two close friends,   I never told anyone else.   That’s what disturbs me most.

I’m inspired by Amber and the other women who stepped forward about their experiences with Heathcliff Berru. Thank you to Beth Martinez, Jackie Fox, Kesha, Dee Barnes, Lauren Mayberry and all of the others who’ve claimed their voices and talked, tweeted, and posted their stories about sexual harrassment and assault.

Fuck the Red Hot Chili Peppers and  the misogynistic culture of the music industry that kept me from speaking up in 1991.  I wish I had.  I’m not naive enough to think it would have made much of a difference, but if it kept just one person from having to hear “Californication,” it would have been a start.

NickCave

Music: Sexual Harrassment (from Entertainment Weekly in 1991)

209 comments on “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Dickheads

  1. Pingback: Former Music Exec Says She Was Sexually Harassed By 2 Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers | The Coe Report

  2. Pingback: Former Music Exec Says She Was Sexually Harassed By 2 Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers – PodCastSurvey

  3. Bill Donvoy
    April 26, 2016

    As alarming as your story of sexual battery is, I can’t help be feel relieved to discover that no, I don’t have some kind of weird hearing problem: I now have evidence that I’m not the only person who thinks that RHCP’s “music” is awful. I seriously could not tell you how many times I’ve been in a room full of people while RHCP was on the sound system and I felt like an alien because there was this stupid crap sound filling the air and I was the only person there who recognized it for the stupid crap it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Great Job, Internet!: Read This: A music exec reflects on being sexually harassed by Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Daily Jobard

  5. Edward Letterman
    April 26, 2016

    I don’t know you Julie, but my guess is that you WOULD have made a super sexy sandwich. Nothing to see here, moving along.

    Like

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      Thank you for moving along…if only you had taken your asinine comment along with you.
      It’s a tragedy you left it here.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sarah
      September 25, 2016

      Sexually harassing someone in the comment thread of their story about sexual harassment. How lovely of a person you are.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Becky
    April 26, 2016

    Julie, you rock. These things needs to be said and shared. You’re my new shero.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Andrew Kurth
    April 26, 2016

    i’m deeply sorry for your trauma, and even more sorry that it has RHCP people’s faces attached to it. what a set of mugs! previously i wanted to believe that Flea was kind of a “good guy” but nah. 30+ years around Kiedis, you’re in part and parcel. anyway, i hope you feel better, and uh, if you want to keep dishing, please feel free. these people are now at an age where they wish to cement their “legacy” as the music industry is all but finished. as they say, you, julie, get to help “change the narrative.” i’ve even heard Bowie wasn’t the enlightened alien genius we want to believe. unless underage girls are part of the enlightenment process. anyway, good stuff, i’ve got your back. thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. xerock
    April 26, 2016

    Julie, I’m going to write a list of names, I’d like for you to comment on how you feel about them, in light of the above article.

    Bill Clinton.

    Roman Polanski

    Hunter S. Thompson

    Trent Reznor

    Terry Richardson

    John Lennon

    How do you feel when watching the film ‘Manhattan’?

    Well start with that.

    Like

  9. R.D.H
    April 26, 2016

    A couple of friends sent me your article because they know my story about what happened between me and the RHCP when I was 13. Let me preface the story by saying I was a 13-looking 13 – not a Jodi in TAXI DRIVER 13. The RHCP were opening for my Dad’s band. This was at the dawn of their “illustrious” career. I walked into one of the lounge areas backstage, looking for my parents. Flea saw me and shouted out “Are you the girl who’s here to give all of us head?” I swiveled and exited. I guess someone not in the band witnessed what happened because word got back to my dad who – not surprisingly – flipped out. In all my years of hanging out backstage, going to shows, meeting bands, musicians, the RHCP are the ONLY ones who were creeps. I had lunch with a soused Motley Cru and they were Prince Charmings compared to those Pepper knuckleheads. Really sleazy, nasty, and not to mention – EW – to say that to a kid. Sorry for the TMI – but I hadn’t even had my period at that point. I was a flat-chested girl with a headband in my hair. Being young and dumb doesn’t excuse their antics. Like you, I have never been able to listen to their music without thinking about my brief encounter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ninvoid99
      April 26, 2016

      Really? The Chili Peppers acted like jackasses while the Crue, intoxicated, were actually nice? Fuckin’ hell.

      Liked by 2 people

    • EngeS
      April 26, 2016

      Isn’t this technically pedophilia? Eww. Disgusting. Hope your dad kicked them in the nuts.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      April 28, 2016

      Not TMI. Thank you for commenting. Your story is so far beyond disturbing. I’m sorry.

      Like

  10. Jennie
    April 26, 2016

    At the age of 18, I won tickets and backstage passes to see RHCP on their Mother’s Milk tour. After being introduced to the band as the “contest winner” and getting their autographs, Chad groped me. Out of nowhere and in front of a roomful of people he just grabbed my crotch. I was completely humiliated and just backed away from him as fast as I could.
    As a girl who loved heavy metal in the 80’s, sadly I was groped on many occasions at metal shows too.
    I’m glad you wrote this Julie. It’s important that we speak up, no matter if it’s decades later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 28, 2016

      I see that guy’s face and I just want to punch him. Even more so now. Thanks for writing and thanks for the support.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. John
    April 26, 2016

    There was so much sexually harassment in the record companies & not just by artists but by the men who worked there. I worked in the industry and there was one label on Sunset Blvd (I will not name) where a radio/label head harassment so many young women, they just kept moving the women away or promoting them. One women finally went to I believe 20/20 or Primetime and went public so they finally fired him, or so we thought. We found out the company hired him back as a independent radio for promotion. This man also hired stripers who looked like he picked them up off of the Blvd and and them dance at a company Christmas party at Chasens! Total loser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kel
      May 1, 2016

      Ha ha. The Geffen record dudes used to hang out their windows on Sunset and harass girls. I was one of them (I worked next door). Fun times, bla!!

      Like

  12. some asshole who likes to be anonymous
    April 27, 2016

    I guess maybe the other thing I’d add is that I am not remotely surprised by their pervy-ness and rapey-ness.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. some asshole who likes to be anonymous
    April 27, 2016

    Good gravy; I’ve been looking through these comments, and I am horrified. I am glad that it is “innate moral sense” rather than “punk rock elitism” that made me hate these guys.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      Sorry for the late response. I’m still trying to figure out how to manage the comments here. Anyway…I read this four days ago and thought it was brilliant then and think it’s more brilliant now that my brain is working again. Thanks.

      Like

  14. Adam
    April 27, 2016

    Everyone who has been abused by these sleezebags should go public en masse, just like Bill Cosby’s victims. Send the bastards to prison, where they belong.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. martinperring
    April 27, 2016

    This article is rubbish. Chargers arnt being pressed so the chilli Peppers will never be found as guilty. But that doesn’t mean it’s innocent. This is another story of the many stories of the time involving the chilli Peppers. It’s not at all out of character.

    The story was also about revealing the inherentt sexism that was around in the music industry in the 80s and 90s. This defence of the Peppers misses the point of the article and goes on to suggest that a respected music journalist might be mentally ill (which is offensive initself as plenty of mental illnesses don’t make people liars or attention seekers)

    I can see the point the writter is trying to make but it’s not applicable in a claim with no legal action and results in attacking the credibility of the source. Yes it is her word against his word.thus unprovable but that doesn’t mean it should just be disregarded and treated as false.

    Liked by 1 person

    • martinperring
      April 27, 2016

      Oh very sorry wrong article. This was a comment made in defenes of this article on a responce piece that was defending the Chilli Peppers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • RpGh21
      June 22, 2016

      “Yes it is her word against his word.thus unprovable but that doesn’t mean it should just be disregarded and treated as false.”

      that also doesn’t mean it should be treated as fact. The fact us, only 3 people will ever know the truth.

      Like

  16. AAF
    April 27, 2016

    Bringing this kind of stuff – that happened 20 plus years ago – out into the open drives me crazy! It would be like me going on social media to rehash all the lousy things my boyfriends and friends did when I was in my late teens and early 20s. THEY WERE JUST DUMB KIDS TOO!! They aren’t the same people now that they were then. We’ve all changed and grown up but some people seem to forget the ages and mentality of the people they feel they were victimized by in their pasts and place blame as if they were much older… it wasn’t fair then and its not fair now. Get over it.

    Like

    • Chris Richards
      April 27, 2016

      Not exactly. In 1991, they were all around 30 years old. I don’t think being “dumb kids” really works at that age.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 28, 2016

      AAF! Thanks for your commment!

      Like

    • Paul Nicholasi
      April 28, 2016

      Good lord you are an ignorant bastard and I feel sorry for anyone who has to find out the depths of that the hard way.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Julie Farman
      May 2, 2016

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  17. Matt
    April 27, 2016

    I didn’t like the Peppers in 80’s, 90’s because of their on-stage antics and public persona. The behaviour described here is exactly what anyone would think of them. Franky, this could be said about many bands. SH was rampant in every industry at this time. We, as a society have dealt with it for the most part.
    The band grew up and now it’s just the music. Stadium Arcadium is fantastic..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      I haven’t heard Stadium Arcadium, and I’ve been told that Flea has changed. Which I believe entirely. Think we still have a long way to go in dealing with sexual harassment though — I’ve read harrowing (and recent) stories in the last week. Thanks for reading/writing.

      Like

  18. Jon
    April 27, 2016

    This article made me roll my eyes a lot. Is it awful that she got harassed? Of course it it! But going on saying she wanted to make people not listen to their music (which is and always was pretty epic, no matter where you stand at being bias towards them)… In the end, this is an article to promote how sexism was bad back then… And the Chili Peppers were no strangers to the sex, drugs and party scenes. Am I saying the Chili Peppers were saints 25-30 years ago? Definitely not! But those were the days in the music industry. But boycotting and demeaning somebody’s accomplishments by giving one exemple of a bad judgement call (which we obviously know that wasn’t the last one). Their music is a reflection of their personal life, but only while reflecting their personal endeavours and triumphs…
    I’m not one to do this kind of thing, but Ms. Julie, get over yourself please – you keep contradicting yourself: “I knew what I was getting into with this business… And they harassed me!! Blablabla”… So after reading it, this article has no value and is just there so you can get attention. You probably, and secretly regret not having sex with Kiedis and have chance to mother his child while getting all of his money since they became one of the biggest bands in the world shortly after your “incident”…

    Like

    • nospam
      April 27, 2016

      Oh.

      You.

      Asshole.

      Soldiers go off to war knowing they will be shot at, but some of them wind up with PTSD anyhow. If they blog about it, are they just being “attention-seekers” too?

      The key issue here is the incorrect assumption that if a woman is present, she is there for sex. Not, you know, to help close a record contract, or anything else to do with her actual job.

      Flip the genders around and maybe it will help show how asinine your assertions are.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lisa lisa
      April 27, 2016

      That’s rite🖒🖒 I’m seeing them in a concert this Friday with will ferrel I’m excited n I I wished Anthony would touch my boob lol

      Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 28, 2016

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      Like

    • Michael B
      April 29, 2016

      Oh my god Jon. Who are you working for?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      “I’m not one to do this kind of thing…”

      I’m sure you’re not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Claudia
      September 25, 2016

      Thank you. Their music is unbelievable. Picasso was also a dickhead but I’ll be grateful for his artwork always. I’ve never met a saint. When I do I’ll ask them to play music for me and paint a picture. Maybe they’ll surprise me. Until then,I’ll keep enjoying my favorite band,and work on becoming a perfect human being lest people refuse to ever look at my art work.

      Like

  19. Julie Farman
    April 28, 2016

    That was meant for Jon. But thank you too Lisa Lisa!

    Like

  20. Kel
    April 28, 2016

    I went to Faitfax High School with Flea and Anthony. Nobody gave a shit about either of them. Pretty I popular douches that I guess had to become rock stars to be able to touch girls. Sorry this happened to you.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      I’ve heard that before – Fairfax High must have been a trip back then. Not sure when you went there but we may have some mutual friends.

      Like

      • Kelley
        May 1, 2016

        Graduated in 1980. Good times but seriously, the chili pepper dudes were kinda nerds.

        I am sorry about the rude responses you are getting. I am proud of you. Back then, if I had even a nickel for all the sexual harrassment I suffered I would be very rich. And you have to go through it to understand it.

        And lastly, sexual harassment is rude, disgusting and illegal!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Julie Farman
        May 1, 2016

        Thanks – I definitely know some of your classmates. It was a good year.

        Like

  21. Colin Kaldenbach
    April 28, 2016

    I actually loved Blood Sugar Sex Magic when it came out (hey, musical taste is subjective!). And recently I bought it on vinyl, re-visiting my youth. After reading this article, I’m taking it into my local record store to swap it for something that doesn’t make me feel repulsed when I listen to it. What a disgusting pack of fucking creeps. I’m sorry you went through that.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      I’ve been trying to figure out if I would hate their music as much as I do if this hadn’t happened. I think I would, but I’m not 100% sure. I heard about what was going on before I ever heard them (it was when they first toured — colleges and clubs – late 80), so I’ve never been objective. Thank you so much for reading, commenting, thinking, and rethinking.

      Like

  22. Sloane Southern
    April 28, 2016

    I’m sorry this happened to you. 😦 I had some similar experiences in the 80’s & 90’s, although not in the music business. It happened in ALL realms and it’s frightening to think of what was accepted back then! If courageous women like yourself will continue to speak up, maybe our daughters, granddaughters & nieces won’t have to tolerate sexual harassment in their lives. The RHCP were known sexual deviants and everyone practically celebrated it! Check out this clip, beginning at 2:26 (if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.)

    Like

    • Sloane Southern
      April 28, 2016
      • Staci
        May 8, 2016

        This is disgusting!! I am enraged by what they did to that woman and she clearly didn’t want any of it. Thank you for sharing. I actually am/was a fan but this makes me seriously consider my enjoyment of their music. Part of me is like, fuck why should I let this tarnish all the amazing memories I had listening to their music while driving with my friends in desert, with no destination just the enjoyment of singing and driving. Yet, I think their terrible behavior tarnishes that memory and that makes me even more pissed!!! I am so sorry for all those that were violated by them and so thankful that you are speaking out. As a woman who also dealt with numerous incidents of men harassing me or worse, you are right, silence is toxic. This article is another indication that for my daughter, and the children growing up today, we can’t stay silent any longer. Things must change.

        Like

  23. ldspencer
    April 28, 2016

    Julie, I’m just catching up with this now. Thank you for bringing this with all the honesty and humor I know you for. Although it’s been a long-ass time and I’ve basically fallen off the keeping-in-touch map, I do know that you’re wise sass and feminist mindset during a time when we all put our girl-power on hold inspired me more than I ever told you! Maybe we didn’t claim it then, but now we can and more power to you for doing just that! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      LAUREN. Your girl power was never on hold. You were on fire. Then and now. I miss you. xo

      Like

  24. Rob
    April 28, 2016

    If this incident was a 3 on the scale of 1 – 10 of sexual harassment that happened in the 80s -90’s, Why not write about one of those times. Give the masses someone to crucify that actually groped, touched, kissed, you. Is it because you personally don’t like their music and hate to see them doing so well? And why not tell everyone WHICH TWO chili peppers they were. They have a member who just joined a few years ago. They also have had many different guitarists over the years.The rest of the band members are also guilty of making an advance on you? The guy who was a little kid in the late 80s should have to be subjected to trash talking and finger pointing just because he joined a band a few years ago?

    Maybe the ones who did something that would reach the higher end of the 1-10 scale wouldn’t be recognizable names that create a buzz. Hmm.

    These guys are adults now. With children. Watch the video of Fleas daughter talking about him as a father. When you are young and somehow become semi famous and get given large sums of money..it messes with people. They don’t know how to handle it and often times end up doing crazy things that they would never do once they grow up a bit, gain some wisdom, and learn how to handle their fame. This doesn’t mean they get a free pass to act that way. They definitely don’t. But you know how the social media culture is these days. You knew everyone would come of the woodwork and call them rapists, say their music is terrible, boycott them, say they are deviants and should burn in hell, and on and on. I guess that’s your revenge? To subject them to that type of hate 25 years later. Just watch any interview with them post year 2000 and you’ll see that they are totally different people even back then.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      How about I just tell you that it was a member of the band who was actually in the band 25 years ago? Etc.

      Thanks for your comment, though

      Like

    • Jat
      June 14, 2016

      Thank You Rob! Finally someone puts this into perspective.

      Like

    • Jay
      June 18, 2016

      Oh, fuck off. You cannot excuse the behaviors of 30 year olds with “this was years ago!” when they were damn well old enough to know what they were doing. Just because it was normal and accepted and swept under the rug at the time doesn’t mean it should be forgotten.

      Why is their reputation so much more important to you than the people they’ve hurt? She stated their track record as well, they’re far from innocent. They’ve made plenty of money, she’s not going to lose them their jobs.

      Suck it up. Just because you like them doesn’t mean you have to excuse them from their awful behavior, whether it was recent or not. Get over yourself, actual people were hurt here, and you’re worried about this popular band being called names on the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rob
        June 19, 2016

        Not worth it to long reply to you Jay. Overall I think I made some good points that are just as valid as yours and anyone else’s. Cancelling the notify me.

        Like

    • Anika
      April 22, 2017

      The point is that they actually did get a “free pass.” That is the entire point – that the prerogatives of music celebrity included this kind of shit. It’s important to assert that casual molestation of strangers can’t be tolerated as normal. You’d think we wouldn’t have to assert this, but we do. It WAS tolerated as normal for a long time. If you tell women to shut up about this, you’re promoting a bad norm. We need to hold everyone in our society to a higher standard.
      It used to be normal to do what you’re suggesting – sweep it under the carpet. Dudes – clients at your workplace – corner you and mash themselves against you and say gross things that aren’t funny, and YOU are supposed to be embarrassed, and you are supposed to protect them from the consequences of their own actions.
      It is imperative that we stop doing this.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. love
    April 29, 2016

    You got a proposition, and you declined. Haha wow. Big deal… Grow up and stop drinking haterade and try some loverade. BAM!!

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 30, 2016

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      Proposition…or unwelcome advance?
      Haterade is for haters, not victims of sexual harassment.
      I believe one of the biggest signs of growing up is being able to calmly and rationally work through your emotions surrounding a traumatic event.
      Reevaluate your belief system, prole.
      bam.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julie Farman
        May 1, 2016

        LOL. I used this comment as the featured image on my next post One of my favorite stupid comments. 🙂 Thank you Tabitha!

        Like

      • Julie Farman
        May 2, 2016

        I can’t seem to get the comments in the right place. My message about the stupid comment was for Love. Which I hope you already know! Thanks for yours.

        Like

  26. love
    April 29, 2016

    You got a proposition, and you declined. Haha wow. Big deal… Grow up and stop drinking haterade and try some loverade. BAM!! Your taste in music must suck as much as a 2 dolla hooka

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      I’m sure there are plenty of hookers in the world with pretty good tastes in music, regardless of their prices.
      Perhaps you should ask one next time you purchase their services, I’m sure they’d appreciate the conversation.
      bam.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      Or did you mean “a two dollar hookah”?
      In that case, hookahs do not listen to music–as they are inanimate–thus making your assessment purely inane.

      Please expand, I must know.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Dan
    April 29, 2016

    I think the bashing of their music is unfair. If you think it sucks, that’s fine, but lots of people don’t. Music is subjective. That being said, these types of stories need to be told. People (men) need to learn this behavior is not ok. No one should be criticized for coming forward decades later, because sexual assault is not an easy thing to wrap your mind around and come to terms with. I hope that you are able to find peace with this.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      Thanks Dan. You’re right on so many counts. I think of my blog as being almost private – usually it’s just my friends and friends of friends that read my posts — and they know how harsh I am about music. I probably would have written this differently if I had any idea so many people would read it. Much more about the message than the music.

      Like

  28. Pingback: Blood, Locusts, Boils, Dicks: Paragraph 9 Will Blow You Away! | Live From The Grayish Carpet

  29. Stephanie
    April 30, 2016

    Way to wait 25 years to complain..

    You are probably some pissed off groupie who regrets not banging Mr Kedis in his heyday and now in spite you are trying to tarnish their legacy as musicians. If you had a backbone you would have filed a criminal complaint years ago if it really bothered you that much. Seriously , fuck off

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 30, 2016

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

    • Tabitha Bitter
      May 1, 2016

      I know it must be hard to admit your dormitory music god could be a pervy monster, but that’s no reason to go around victim-blaming.
      You should really reassess your belief that being a popular musician and being a predator are mutually exclusive.
      Does being hateful to someone make you feel better about your music choices?

      Listening to RHCP clearly had a very positive impact on your personality.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Tanner
    April 30, 2016

    It’s a bummer to find out all your hero’s were / are actually scumbags. Since recorded history, men have taken innocence from their own kind in ways that are so sick and vile it makes me wonder why most men are even considered human. It’s been a “boys club” world for far too long and no matter who it is- someone will have to pay the price for change. If the present and past members of the RHCP who participated in such vile actions do not confront their crimes head on and take full responsibility, their name, fame and acclaim will disappear and will only be remembered for their horrible actions. There’s a clip on YouTube from the same era in a rhcp interview where Chad Smith completely groups and sexually violates a female host, and everyone on tape seemed to think it was funny but the girl being attacked, so despicable. We as a people need these confessions to continue and for the aggressors to take responsibility and consequential punishment for the greater good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      I saw that clip It’s hard to watch. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

      Like

  31. Beccarina
    April 30, 2016

    Yo Stephanie,

    Ms. Farman was a record executive working for powerful men who ran all the major record labels at the time.
    Maybe you Stephanie would give Anthony a BJ at work . However, Julie Farman is a gifted, brilliant thinker and again was working.

    Thank you Julie for the raw and real insight into the music industry in the eighties for women.

    Looks like the good ole boys are still out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      May 1, 2016

      Thank you Beckarina. We were on the ground together – you know what went on. xx

      Like

  32. Adam Strait
    May 1, 2016

    I’ve been reflecting on this article for the last few days and wish to contradict my previous response.

    I listened to One Hot Minute the day before I read this, and that album has been an ear worm ever since. Even now, Falling Into Grace and Shallow Be Thy Name are playing like a tag team in my head, and that’s probably why I am still thinking about your blog post. It’s also why I have been reading some biographical material about these guys since.

    Unlike you, Julie, I love RHCP’s music and have done ever since I heard Under the Bridge. I was extremely dismayed to read your article and I am very sorry that you experienced such a humiliating and disturbing event. I was also especially appalled to read the personal anecdote of the poster who was verbally abused by Flea as a 13 year old girl. I hate misogyny, and as a dad I especially hate paedophiles, hence my initial knee-jerk reaction that they should all go to jail.

    But lets hang on a little here and consider things a bit. First of all, this all happened a very long time ago. Do we all really want to want to be punished for stupid and wrong things that we did decades ago? Because none of us is perfect and everyone has done things that they regret and are embarrassed about.

    I am not sure that you should have exposed them on a public forum Julie, although I can understand that it would have cathartic for you to have done so. But, as you say, it was a 3 out of 10. You weren’t raped, you were propositioned.

    Another point is that men and women are wired differently and just don’t understand each other, especially when it comes to sex. Yet I think I understand a little through a couple of my own personal experiences of being/feeling that I had been sexually abused:

    When I was Ph.D student at Edinburgh University, I went down to Sunderland to visit a friend for the weekend, then hitchhiked back to Scotland afterwards. I was picked up by a guy who kept being mysteriously nice to me and then finally blurted out “You wouldn’t happen to be gay would you, because I am.” I felt abused and dirty and couldn’t wait to get out of that car, and yet, there was no abuse. I was propositioned, turned the proposition down and that was that. It just felt like abuse, probably because I was trapped in the guy’s car when he propositioned me.

    Not long after that, my first job after leaving the academic life was to work as a floor cleaner at a supermarket. The other cleaners were all women and to say they had filthy minds…well, if I tell you that one day they bought themselves chocolate willies from a sex shop, showed them to me and named these willies by my first name, then started eating them, giggling all the while, does that paint a picture that you can relate to? Anyway, one morning after our shift, I was just standing in line at the checkout, and one of these women, a granny, who looked like a granny walked up behind me and fondled my balls very thoroughly and openly. The poor teenage checkout girl who saw all this was very embarrassed, but do you know what my reaction was? I liked it! This was actually molestation but it didn’t feel like it to me. I welcomed it and went along with it and walked home with the granny afterwards.

    So what does this tell us?

    Men don’t understand what’s it’s like for a woman to be fondled without her permission because if a woman does it to us, we don’t mind, in fact we like it. I only understand a very little of what it might be like for a woman to be harassed by a man because of my experience with the horny gay guy, and how unwelcome his advances to me were. So considering this, I would like to ask whether the members of RHCPs who did this to you were aware of what they were doing at the time, in terms of how it made you feel? Considering Flea’s and Anthony’s reported comments subsequent to that time, I believe the penny dropped for them sometime later on. But again, I don’t know, but it is a question worth asking.

    Julie, I would tentatively like to suggest that maybe rather than doing this, it might have been better to have just written a letter to them, reminding them what they did, and asking for an apology? Then if they had ignored you, or ridiculed you or told you to go to hell, what you have done now would have been more appropriate. That’s just my opinion however, and I basically don’t understand what its like to be you. They did wrong and sometimes you do have to suffer the consequences of your mistakes even though they happened decades ago, as the supreme hypocrite, Dennis Hastert just found out.

    All the best, Adam

    Like

    • nobodysname
      May 2, 2016

      “Men don’t understand what’s it’s like for a woman to be fondled without her permission because if a woman does it to us, we don’t mind, in fact we like it.”

      Come on, you can’t speak for all men like that. Your experience doesn’t tell us anything about what men in general like, especially when a quick Google search will tell you about the (very brave) male rape victims who are coming out with stories of how they really, really didn’t want it, but society says they can’t have been raped since they’re guys. Men and women aren’t that different, some women occasionally enjoy unexpected sexual contact in the same way men do – that doesn’t mean either sex can’t be raped. And it certainly doesn’t justify creepy behaviour by these guys, because I think we all know really that Julie wasn’t their only victim – like she said, the manager’s speech was clearly rehearsed.

      Like

    • EngeS
      May 2, 2016

      Pointed a friend to this, because I have not seen this many contradictions in a single comment in a LONG time.

      1. What you described IS abuse, because it’s non-consensual. The fact that you were male does not make it any different.

      2. Brains differently wired is not a thing. Gender is a social construct, a mask we put on. We’re sentient beings and we don’t think with our genitalia. This kind of a rhetoricis harmful to all victims of abuse alike – and yes, some of them believe that what is happening to them is genuine flirting or whatever.

      3. Julie did what she thought was best, the most recent blog post mentions that it took a lot of encouragement and you’re mansplaining her because “it happened long ago”.

      It’s not relevant how much of a god’s gift to women you used to be, it’s your assumptions that sexual assault expires and teaching an adult woman what to do that are totally a turnoff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adam
        May 2, 2016

        Wow! What a sexist response.

        I was asking questions, providing anecdotes from my own experiences and forming hypotheses from these experiences. That fact that I am male should not deny me the opportunity to do this. So your criticism of me for doing so is sexist.

        Denying that men and women’s brains are wired differently is denying basic knowledge about human physiology. Feminist propaganda which seek to deny science is about as useful as creationism.

        I can’t imagine many more offensively sexist “words” than mansplaining.

        Oh and me as God’s gift to women? That really made me laugh. I think I’ve got you figured out though. and am I bothered that you find me a turn off? I don’t think so.

        Like

    • Antigone
      May 3, 2016

      Enge is not sexist. Those “scientific” claims you make are not exactly hard science. The fact you didn’t feel abused by a granny is related to you as a person, not as a man – I know men who would feel abused, and ladies who wouldn’t. I know you love RHCP and have trouble coming to terms with this. If you find these kind of situations hard to understand, do ask kindly. No need to get defensive from the get-go. About Julie deciding to post her story in her personal blog was her own personal decision. Also, the most logical. Do not assume she needs an apology from them.

      You can like that band. Don’t perpetrate the same behavior. If you have, accept you have done so and assume whatever kind of consequences might be caused. If you want to know how other people feel, ask and listen.

      Like

      • Adam
        May 3, 2016

        Thank you.

        Like

    • Julie Farman
      May 3, 2016

      Adam, I don’t know a lot of men who would be ok with a stranger fondling their balls in a market. But that’s beside the point. Sexual harrassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

      I’m quite certain that the guys I wrote about were aware that their advances were unwelcome.

      Remind them what happened and ask for an apology? The idea that I’d have to remind them is rancid (although I’m sure it would be necessary) and I’m not looking for an apology. That’s not what this post was about — it was about about how toxic it is to keep quiet, and how essential it is to speak out.

      That said, thanks for your comment and for thinking about the issue at all. That feels like progress.

      Thanks,

      Julie

      Like

      • Adam
        May 3, 2016

        Julie, Fair enough and apologies for the unwelcome, wrong and probably insensitive suggestions. But thanks for your original post and this response as it helps me and no doubt a lot of other guys understand what discrimination and harassment you and a lot of other women have experienced while trying to make your way in a man’s world. Things are changing, believe it or not.

        Like another poster said, it’s difficult when your heroes turn out to be arseholes. Considering how viral your original post has become i suspect the guys in question have seen it. I hope you do get the apology you are not seeking.

        All the best, Adam

        Like

    • Jay
      June 18, 2016

      this comment absolutely REEKS of condescension and sexual harassment apologism.

      “men and women work differently. boys will be boys! this was years ago (even though they were 30 years old and well god damn old enough to know better) so we should move on!”

      Like

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  34. nobodysname
    May 2, 2016

    I’m really sorry this happened to you, Julie and I have no doubt that your experience isn’t unique. My ex was a pretty ~famous musician, a very vulnerable guy in an industry rife with macho men like these guys (though they’re undoubtedly some of the worst) and also a lot of creepy women. He was repeatedly sexually assaulted himself (which he never enjoyed at all, contrary to that bizarre statement by Adam) and was bullied by everyone around him for NOT being a macho, sex-obsessed man doing things like these guys did to you. I know he wouldn’t be surprised by any of this and would say (which I also learned from my time with him) that image is complete bullshit – it means nothing that Anthony and Flea have since been promoted as loving fathers, as “clean and changed” or whatever. And “effects of fame” is no excuse for them being creeps, my ex got rich and famous and became a dad at a very young age, while dealing with drug addictions and health problems and he never behaved inappropriately towards a fan – neither did his bandmates. There’s no excuse for it, ever.

    Like

  35. J
    May 5, 2016

    I was a total fucking creep for many years. I know this now because I’ve learned that people will go along with sexual activity even if they don’t want to. I never asked for consent. I also took advantage of a position of authority. What I’ve learned is this: intentions must be made clear and consent must be given before anything moves forward.

    Liked by 2 people

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  40. secret squirrel
    June 14, 2016

    I’ve always had a difficult time reconciling my love of their music with their notoriously horrible treatment of women, especially since they’re so good with other injustices. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for nearly 30 years. But while I try to understand and work through my messy politics, I do want to commend you for coming forward and I want to give you my support, woman to woman: you are entitled to your feelings and you are entitled to speak on them as loudly and as often as possible. Try to, as much as possible, ignore any resistance you encounter– you are absolutely doing the right thing and your story and stories like them deserve to be told. Don’t allow anyone to shame you into forgiveness– rage can keep you safe and it is valid. Thank you for your bravery.

    Like

  41. Chad Wren
    June 15, 2016

    sounds like someone can’t let shit go. bitch, bitch, bitch….should have done something about it then rather than going on 30 years later. me just want attention!!!!

    Like

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  43. Lariste Kaplan
    June 20, 2016

    The problem with jocks is that they think sexuality is a game, or a form of social dominance. The childish, manipulative things I’ve heard from well groomed fitness enthusiasts is pretty boorish and hideous. Also nineties alternative rock was supposedly non-sexist compared to 80’s sleazy rock, but really the attitude of “challenging norms” about sexual behavior and expression could accommodate just as much idiocy.

    Somehow I can see Kiedis treating women with utter contempt rather than issuing a genuine apology, which means little after the event anyway. God their lyrics are embarrassing. . . RHCP are a band with a singer that can’t sing, and I get the feeling that Warner’s wanted an endless list of middlebrow ‘sad radio’ songs to match their early nineties hit Under the Bridge. For a spoiled rich kid Kiedis has a lot of self pity, but not really enough depth to make it past that one classic radio track.

  44. Mr No Name
    August 6, 2016

    Obviously what happened to you was completely unacceptable. I have been wondering though – I am a guy and have had similar instances where girls/women tried similar stuff with me – and while it made me uncomfortable at the time – I quickly got over it. I’m wondering whether there is something in the male psyche which makes it easier to get over this kind of stuff when girls/women try to engage in unwanted stuff with us? Any comments?

    Like

  45. Jack
    August 28, 2016

    I guess it’s important to remember the RHCP have not had their say here. Before everyone rushes off to burn their cd collection. I can appreciate thats a bad experience you’ve had. But I probably wouldn’t be alive today had it not been for that band. I think you should attempt to make contact & express these things in private. You might get a response that makes you feel appreciated.. people make mistakes.

    Like

  46. Red
    September 1, 2016

    I don’t think we should forget that early-’90s MTV Spring Break incident where the drummer and one other Chili Pepper were arrested for walking sullenly off the stage after a technical failure and taking out their frustration on a female fan by picking her up and beating her ass with drumsticks.

    This is definitely a pattern.

    Like

  47. Jill
    October 5, 2016

    Ms. Farman, I am sorry for you or anyone else that has experienced this type of sexual harassment. It is completely unacceptable behavior that is, unfortunately, still deemed ‘acceptable’ or ‘easy to rationalize under certain circumstances’ even to this day. And it is never, ever acceptable or rationable. And I applaud you for finally finding the voice to tell your story, because so many women AND men are not able to find the words, courage or platform to express how this type of treatment affected there self worth. And while this event took place over a decade ago, it is my firm belief that there should be no statue of limitations on such behavior. It is very likely that your life circumstances have made you better equipt to process and move past this traumatic event, and this enables you to be the voice and bravery for others who are not as strong or fortunate.
    However, where I do disagree with you is your decision to tell your story while also hiding the identity of the assailants. In this case, whether familiar with this band or not, it is easy enough to determine that there are four male member at the time of the harassment. Two of these men sexually harassed you. And you give no evidence in this post that the remaing two members treated you in any inappropriate way. This demands that your audience make the decision as to which two men committed the sexual harassment and which two did not. This allows a categorically high likelihood for inaccuracy.
    While I understand that due to the idea that an individual is innocent until proven guilty, your statements in this post essentially demand that you are an, ‘accuser’ rather than a ‘victim’ and therefore you must protect yourself from liability, your post demands that two men that were not involved are essentially ‘accused’ of the harassment along with the actual harassers.
    This is were we, as women, as victims of harassment, assault and rape, must be diligent with our words and ‘accusations.’ By not singling out the two men that harassed you, you have essentiall convicted two innocent men in the court of public opinion. This is not different, in my opinion, than falsely accusing someone of a sexual assault. While they may be innocent beyond reasonable doubt, the accusation in itself while ruin and innocent life. And every false accusations accusation of such a crimes, decreases the seriousness that actual sexual assaults are taken. Which does nothing to further the awareness of how often these events take place, or how likely a victim is to report of speak out.
    In the case of the four men in this band, three have now have families. All three have daughters. Imagine if your father had been falsely accused of sexual harassment, simply by being one of four men in a band? Knowing what you know and having the experience you have had in your career, would you be able to fully eliminate the possibility that your father were ‘one of the two.’
    My point is, while I applaud your strength and willingness to tell this story of sexual harassment, I do so with some reserve. If you must essentially cast doubt on innocent men, then perhaps it would have done less damage in the bigger picture, and to the larger cause to have left the name of the band anonymous.

    Like

    • Kelley Alexander
      October 7, 2016

      This comment is EXACTLY why more women don’t speak out about abuse and harassment. The various past and present members of this band have been accused before, SO I take this blog as the author’s way of speaking about the bad experience that was traumatizing to her. I hope by writing this, Julie feels supported and finds some closure for healing.

      Liked by 1 person

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