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 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. 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, including Epic,  wanted to sign them. I was horrified.

I initially 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 complete shit;  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.

After the meeting,  I took two of the Chili Peppers to the storage room, where we kept the box sets and CDs,  to get the standard sign-with-us swag.  As we looked in a 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.   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,  back in Boston, when I was wasted  and hanging out at gigs 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 an executive at a major label, sober and doing my job 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 harassment. 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 harassment 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 will never stop being reasons —  shame and fear aren’t going to go away — but at least now we know when we’re being harassed.

I started writing about sexual harassment in the music industry in January, just after Amber Coffman tweeted about Heathcliff Berru.  I knew I had something to say, but I didn’t realize that it was about the incident with the Chili Peppers until I heard “Don’t Stop” at the gym.   I didn’t understand why my response was so extreme, and then, this weekend,  I talked to people I was close to at Epic.  One was my boss.  I never told him what happened,  and with the exception of two close friends,   I never told anyone else.   And that’s what disturbs me most.

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)

246 comments on “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Dickheads

  1. robertbwarren
    April 20, 2016

    Thank you. Bracingly real and essential. An inspiring read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sam
    April 20, 2016

    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carla Black
    April 20, 2016

    Once again, you are my hero.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Jackson Griffith
    April 20, 2016

    Thank you, Julie. Good that you can vent your spleen on these dooksticks. I can only imagine what kind of Massengillian behavior that women had to put up with from some of the bands I remember from that era.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      “Massengillian” – awesome. And thanks. The only other example from my years at Epic that I remember anyway was that Greg Allman got a little handsy. But when I told him I had a boyfriend, he knocked it off. A true Southern gentleman. And a redneck. (He asked about the boyfriend – when I told him that he was in the Pixies, Greg said “What kind of a faggot band name is that?”) This is actually a fond memory.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Gretchen
      April 26, 2016

      Massengillian *snorts*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A Very Defiant Duckling Named Enver
    April 20, 2016

    The 12-step mafia is the reason why the Chili Peppers have never faced any sort of accountability. They all protect their own and hide behind anonymity. They protect their “sober brother” Terry Richardson just like they protect the RHCPs. A lot of bad stuff going on in The Program. #soberprivilege

    Like

    • nick
      April 24, 2016

      What the fuck are you talking about.
      Facts or examples please.
      Women are saxually harrassed in every industry by every race every religion and every fucking testosterone driven egotistical cock head that thinks they are different and better tthan the others.
      #male privilege

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      As a person who occasionally busts her anyonymith, I’ll tell you that I’m in the program. And not quite sure how to respond. However, I did find it curious that MusiCares supported them to the extent that they did/do. While noting that MusiCares sent me to rehab, have helped a ton of my friends, and that I’ll forever be indebted to them. (Thanks for reading and commenting.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Derek
      April 24, 2016

      You obviously have no knowledge of what the 12 Step Program is, because if you did you would know that it has no opinion on outside issues, and this is definitely an outside issue. Don’t worry, now that Terry Richardson’s career has tanked, he settled down with his long time damaged “Daddy Issues” girlfriend, and let’s not forget that absolutely nothing will ever make the RHCP music even remotely listenable. They are from Hell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s see, a song about God “Don’t Forget Me” by RHCP is a song from a group from hell? Or a song “Snow,” about realizing that you have been given a chance after all the f-ups you have done and were and now are able to do a lot of good for many people all over the world like RHCP has done. A lot of folks can post on the internet yet have done not one single thing for human kind, but have the time to pick apart people who made s…pid mistakes when they were younger, on drugs, and let’s not forget that they too were victims of dysfunctional families and a dysfunctional music industry… now older and wiser who are doing nothing but good things for many like starting a music school for poor children from LA, giving tons of cash to countless charities, playing free concerts in a country that was stricken with a major economic collapse and a major flood. Music industry told them forget about playing there, they have no money. RHCP responded, no man, this is when they need us most and played for free. Read up and learn something before you take only one of the many stories that make up the band.

        Like

  6. regina
    April 20, 2016

    I love you, Julie, and I’m so proud that you’re my friend. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Matthew D Gilbert
    April 20, 2016

    You must be a bad ass to have survived, let alone thrive in this brutal industry. Musicians have always been my heros, just for being musicians even if I didn’t like their music, but….Bands like the Peppers- What good are they doing anyone but themselves? They promote awful behavior in their lyrics. I understand that even my heros are human, and fallible, but the bands I love represent ideals that would sometimes be vented with loud angry music, but behind that, are voices crying for freedom from oppression for us all- not just rich rock stars that can buy their way out of trouble! I’m glad that for you that you spoke up, and, as always, enjoyed reading it too! Be well Julie!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jackie Fuchs
    April 20, 2016

    I haven’t even started to speak up about what I experienced when I was doing record promotion at Ariola. Program directors seemed to think they were entitled to sex with any female promotion executive. I was groped endless times at record conventions and just thought it was the price for working at a record company. A record exec once masturbated in front of me. There’s no point in comparing experiences and deciding whose was worse — all of it was traumatizing. Good for you for speaking up.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      I was so psyched to see that you commented. Not psyched about what happened to you. And so many of us. So many women have shared their experiences about similar instances in response to this post, both about the Chili Peppers specifically and in their own lives. Makes me happy I wrote it. Cathartic and helpful? Rare for me. THANK YOU.

      Liked by 1 person

      • some asshole who likes to be anonymous
        April 26, 2016

        I’ve been reading the thread for a while today, and i don’t really know what to say (I am an old punk who always hated the RHCP). This is awful; I assumed – due to natural punk rock prejudice, I guess – that this sort of thing happened (but not in “our scene”!), but I also assumed the power relationships were mostly reversed (i.e., band is prey, label is predator. But I always hated RHCP, because they always seemed like assholes (also shitty songwriters). Good on you for making it public; it’s a courageous act.

        Also, as a 20+ year Nick Cave fan, I love the picture.

        Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Thanks for postiing this. And for writing it. I’m sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Fuchs
      April 26, 2016

      Sadly, some of us understand. And the ones who don’t are beginning to thanks to brave women like you and Julie (and, yes, me) who are speaking up. Hopefully we are making it easier for others. And by doing so helping to stop it. I’m really sorry you went through this. Sending you a gentle hug.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. MyDailyMinefield
    April 21, 2016

    Thank you for having the courage to share. It was a bad experience. Being intimidated is a horrific experience! Especially, in a culture, where your gender was to blame. And the excuse is either you “asked for it” or “boys will be boys.” No, their shit is pure cocksucker behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      I think I got the “boys will be boys” and the “bands will be bands” line, or some variation thereof. Cocksucker behavior indeed. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

      Like

  10. Pingback: But they’re from California…! | That Witch is Groovy

  11. Parker
    April 21, 2016

    I know who did this. He did it to me too recently and I suffer every day.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Wow. I’m sorry. Totally get the suffering. I have it too — not in regards to this incident, in particular — I only suffer when I actually hear the Chili Peppers (which thankfully isn’t an everyday thing) — but other incidents have scarred me permanently. Thanks for posting.

      Like

  12. brahcephus
    April 21, 2016

    Excellent piece (and good writing), and don’t underestimate the value of speaking up this long after the fact – every (courageous) voice helps turn the tide of men behaving crudely… may it become a tsunami.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Thank you — I’m encouraged by the amount of women who are talking about this – the incidents that seem minor to people who didn’t experience them and the damage done by keeping quiet.

      Like

  13. Mike
    April 22, 2016

    Takes a lot of courage. I don’t mean to be rude, but since it’s only your version, some 25 years later, I won’t stop listening to the RDCH all of a sudden… But I’ll definitively have that weird feeling. It’s not about their music, but since it gave ’em the power to ellude justice and to keep doing business, it’s unacceptable. But then again, you pointed out that the probleme lies in the industry mostly. Hoping one day, we manage to make a world were victims don’t have to feel guilty…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Graham
      April 22, 2016

      Mike, you should stop listening to their music because …it’s shit. For that reason alone.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      I appreciate your comment. Partiuclarly since you’re a Chili Peppers fan. You are possibly the only one who’s been eloquent and civil and totally gets it. Thanks.

      Like

      • Tyler
        April 26, 2016

        I think that’s mostly because few people are civil and even less are eloquent. Someone who doesn’t keep up with the behind-the-scenes aspects of the music they like may be totally unaware of the RHCP reputation. I think to someone like that, your point is clouded by your harsh judgment of their music. To be fair, you don’t have any descriptors that open up that dialogue further. There’s nothing to respond to, just insistence that they suck. Fans are emotional creatures. The easiest way to reconcile all of this information to someone with that perspective is, “Oh this is just some catty broad who didn’t like RHCP’S sense of humor or music so she’s making things up our being dramatic.” That’s not an attribute of RHCP’s fanbase as much as it is an attribute of the wide open internet. Think of trying to show a Trump supporter why his ideas are wrong or dangerous, but also mentioning repeatedly how much you hate The Apprentice.

        People aren’t receptive to things that challenge their preconceived notions. What you associate with abuse and suffering, other people associate with friends, family, love, memories – just all kinds of things music brings together. By coming down so hard on their music in an unsophisticated manner, it really feels like you’re insulting the people you’re most trying to enlighten. I don’t devalue your experience in the slightest. Their music, however its quality, can never erase their actions. What I think you may have overlooked is that your experiences can’t erase emotional memories from the human mind. Someone who empathizes with your experience won’t suddenly forget that they had their first kiss to “Can’t Stop.”

        Shame on anyone who tries to further abuse you because of that, but I don’t think the lesson in eloquence and civility is exclusive to the internet trolls. Punctuating your post with a snarky meme isn’t a fantastic way to compel the bastards of the internet to the side of harmony and understanding.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Engelberta (yeah, right)
        April 26, 2016

        They are NEVER civil. Mike is ten thousand steps ahead of most RHCP fans, that I – unfortunately, deal with on almost daily basis.

        Like

  14. Marie
    April 22, 2016

    I ♡ you,.

    Like

  15. Jeff Trojan
    April 23, 2016

    I take your point that the entire industry was misogynistic, entitled, abusive and (by currently evolving standards) criminal. Protective of what makes a buck, as countless industries are. Hollywood, for decades, and still not stopped. Politics…forever. Commonplace corporate offices from the 50s to at least the 70s.
    The article just left me wondering what you consider good (pop-commercial) music, so I can decide if I agree with you.

    Like

    • S_Pofcher
      April 23, 2016

      One word: => Geffen Records

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie Farman
        April 24, 2016

        Earlier drafts had a whole paragraph about Geffen. You are so correct.

        Liked by 1 person

      • S_Pofcher
        April 25, 2016

        I’d be interested in reading the Geffen paragraph.
        Was a Boston guy.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      There’s a lot of pop music that I love. I was looking for new music because I was bored with eveyrthing that I was listening to at the gym, and I got turned on to some great new pop. Or what I consider pop, which means it isn’t rock or hip hop. Marian Hill, Florence and the Machine (Ship to Wreck is brilliant), Elle King, Pure pop: I will always love “Call Me Maybe.” There’s way more but it’s too early. Thanks for commenting, reading, asking.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Julie Farman
    April 23, 2016

    I’m sorry I haven’t responded to the amazing comments here. Everytime I hit the notifications button, I’m overwhelmed by comments which suggest I cry myself a river, grow a set, shoulda gone for it, etc., and then I have to spend a couple of hours questioning humanity. So. Thank you for all of the support and for taking the time to comment. I’ll be back when the storm dies down.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Vaness
    April 23, 2016

    I loved them…until reading this. Thank you for sharing .

    Like

  18. Stuart Johnson
    April 24, 2016

    I’m sorry you were treated that way. The misogynistic and sexual abusive culture, worldwide, is proof of how far we haven’t come as a species. Real men don’t act like that and, sadly, there appears to be a shortage of real men. Just know that their are men who aren’t like that. I respect women as my equals. My wife completes me and I am less without her beside me as my partner. My heart goes out to you. Fuck the Chili Peppers.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. RemyLebeau
    April 24, 2016

    Please stop misusing the word “misogyny”, which literally means hate of women. Nothing you’ve described here, albeit being wrong and improper and possibly illegal, shows a hate of women as a motivation for this. The word you’re looking for is Sexism.

    Like

    • MJ
      April 24, 2016

      I think you’re wrong: these people fail to recognise women as equals, and their actions are motivated by a misplaced feeling of superiority and disguised hatred. The hatred is revealed when a woman turns a sexist man down and he shows his true colours as a misogynist. Sexism and misogyny go hand in hand

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Big difference between sexism and what I described here. I’ve got a gazillion examples of experiences which I would describe as sexist and none of them come close to this. But all in the eye of the beholder. Thanks for the comment.

      Like

    • butts
      April 26, 2016

      eat it gambit

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Bouncy
    April 24, 2016

    Ugh. Sorry to hear about your experience. As if we needed another reason to hate this crappy band! Their music is Nickelback level garbage.

    Like

  21. Jacob Diaz
    April 24, 2016

    This happened, what, 25 years ago? Why not do something about it 25 years ago? They suck both as people and as a band but this was the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Thanks for the comment, Jacob. Possibly you might want to reread the post, where I wrote that it happened 25 years ago and why I didn’t write about it. However, I will try to be less dumb moving forward.

      Liked by 4 people

  22. Sandy O'Sullivan
    April 24, 2016

    While I find the band desperately dull and reductive, and while it explains the perennially puerile attitudes to women, I never actually hated them till now. But here’s a very legit reason. I’m so sorry about this, it describes a vast range of industries at the time, and something that those of us who lived through it rarely talk about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Yes! It was definitely not limited to the music industry. I keep hearing/reading stories from women who’ve had similar experiences in other fields. None of them have surprised me much, although the woman who worked at a well known charity and was repeatedly harassed by the executive director stopped me in my tracks. Thank you for reading/commenting.

      Like

  23. MJ
    April 24, 2016

    How disgusting that people can behave in that way with no fear for the consequences. I can’t think of a female friend who hasn’t been sexually harassed in some way (I think I was about 13/14 first time a full-grown man pushed against me?! I’m not even good-looking; heaven help girls who are) and we all just brush it off because of the reception that speaking out receives. These assholes continue to think their behaviour is acceptable and screw up more women each day.

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 24, 2016

      Fuck. 13/14???? I have to say that I’m stoked that this post has kicked up the conversations about the Chili Peppers as they have a new record coming up. I think it will become part of the narrative in the media, because otherwise the only thing to write about a new Chili Peppers record is, um, there’s a new Chili Peppers record. (I’m not saying it’s about my post, but about all of the stories that have appeared in its wake.) Thank you.

      Like

  24. Danny K SRQ
    April 24, 2016

    It wasn’t just the music business in the 80’s and 90’s. Ask women working their way up in the boys club world of national retail chains.

    Like

    • Lisa
      April 25, 2016

      I think it was “any business that men work in.” Truly. I hope we are finding a new way and that men at work don’t see women as props or perks any longer. I see strong sisters all around me saying um, fuck no to that. Yes!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Julie Farman
    April 24, 2016

    I would love to hear more about that. Well not love to…more like “be interested in hearing more about that.: Thanks for writing/reading.

    Like

  26. Derek
    April 24, 2016

    The RHCP HAHAHAHA… THEE WORST VOICE IN “ROCK MUSIC”. I cannot think of a worse or more corny band that says absolutely NOTHING in their “songs.” APE MAN on stage vomiting non sequiturs, and while Flea can obviously technically play the bass, he is not “musical” nor creative in thee SLIGHTEST. These are non artists, dead people masquerading as artists, and the neanderthals of the world (of which there are many) will always support them. It is one big mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Aly Banks
    April 24, 2016

    A friend went to a record signing in the late 80s (Mothers Milk?). She waited in line and when it came to her turn, she thought Anthony said “can I sign your tit”. What he actually said was “can I suck your tit”. Which he did. Her signed copy reads “(Girls name), my dick got hard”. She was midway through high school, 15 or so years old. So. yeah.

    Like

  28. James B
    April 24, 2016

    Thank you Ms. Farman for sharing your story. I had a RHCP thing that transitioned me from metal to “alternative” music in the early nineties. Luckily it didn’t last long because Nirvana made more of an impact, (live and on record). I ultimately could not relate to rich California white kids on heroin acting like they had “soul” by being funky and banging as many women as they could/can let alone being dicks about it. Thanks for speaking up!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Neil C.
    April 24, 2016

    …I’m prepared to live without them in my world now, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sandy O'Sullivan
    April 24, 2016

    Actually now this *really* rings bells. That’s exactly what we described it as at the time. It wasn’t sexism or naughty behaviour, it was assault, but it was dismissed by so many of us as sexism.I’m actually grateful for Remy transporting us back to the 80s to remember that this was the prevailing attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Sandy O'Sullivan
    April 24, 2016

    Julie… honestly don’t know what I was thinking answering it this way. I didn’t mean to diminish exactly how it happened in the context of the music industry… I think it does work a little differently to a lot of other industries for the reasons that you suggested including fame, power and a following that refuses to believe it, it does permit people to get away with this in ways that wouldn’t have happened across many other industries.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. D.A. Kolodenko
    April 25, 2016

    My band opened a show 32 years ago and the RHCP were on the bill, though not headlining as this was before their inexplicable rise to stardom. After our sound check, my girlfriend at the time told me that the singer of that band made some unwanted and unpleasant advances. It’s a relief that they’re unlistenable. None of the conflict one might feel about good music made by questionable people like, say, Frenk Sinatra.

    Coincidentally, I also know Amber Coffnan, who used to work at my local organic food co-op before her success in music. She was always very kind and pleasant to talk with–I admire her for speaking up about being harassed.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: Music Exec Shares That She Was Sexually Harassed By Members of RHCP - The Interrobang

  34. Clyde
    April 25, 2016

    Do you understand the irony of having a Nick Cave image and quote in a story about terrible sexism? Mr. Cave is not known for being some sort of beacon of feminism.. are you not aware of this at all?

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 26, 2016

      Completely unaware of it. I’ll do some research. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Like

  35. Johnny Black
    April 25, 2016

    There are currently 5 other women here who all basically just said “I would give anything to be the meat in a RHCP sandwich, what is this bitch complaining about?” Their words, not mine.

    Like

  36. Tom
    April 25, 2016

    I understand why you brought this up and wanted to get it out as I would myself.. but first thing that came to mind was that certain female artists such as Rihanna and Nicki Minaj have been known to bring male fans onto the stage and perform sexual groping etc..so surely this is the same thing? I mean I’m not saying you’re wrong but unless they have sexually assaulted as in rape then I don’t expect this issue to be too serious., I’m a rhcp fan myself and this doesn’t change my opinion on them to be perfectly honest!

    Like

    • Engelberta (yeah, right)
      April 25, 2016

      Do you understand the difference between consensual and non-consensual? Do you understand that the way you worded the first part of your post is more or less mansplaining? Or are you just another MRA in the making?

      This is one of the reasons I can’t stand the RHCP fandom and that I’m so glad I never cared for the rest of the band and that I stopped following them in 2009. Women are treated as sexual objects by default, the Fandemonium book and Scar Tissue are all about objectification and people like Kiedis and Flea will NEVER change. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever and the only reason they became famous is hiring this random kid prodigy who brought them fame.

      Liked by 2 people

  37. melanie
    April 25, 2016

    Hard to keep a comment short and to a point. My son plays music. He aspires to be one of the few that can make a living at it. I enjoy him playing RHCP( he is in a middle school program). I make a point to teach him ok not ok. Using his twin sister as an example; how’d you feel if…. happened to her. If you don’t like it don’t do it. . I for one will hold myself and my son accountable for his actions. As a woman how could I not. Your essay is valuable it adds to the strengths of others.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Chris Richards
    April 25, 2016

    I’ve never understood what anyone saw in that band. I’ve always found them cringeworthy in more ways than one. This post reminds me of the Lush song “Ladykillers” which was rumoured to have been written, at least in part, about Anthony from RHCP. I don’t think Miki was a fan either.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Steve
    April 25, 2016

    In fairness: And I think that RHCP’s “we’re not macho” machoism is annoying… I think that what happened to you is absolutely intolerable. It makes me literally want to throw up. I’m not kidding.

    I just want to point out, that the assault and battery charges on Chad Smith and Flea back in ’90 were dropped. I’m not saying that it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but just wanted to be sure people aren’t reading this and assuming they were found guilty of this, they were not.

    Also, Flea has many times spoken about the incident and stated that he did verbally assault a woman after a show and that it was wrong and he wishes he never did it, but that it was not harassment and it was not sexual.

    I am in no way sticking up for the band or anyone involved with them. I’m also in no way saying that just because Flea said it, it must be true. I’m also in no way saying that because the charges were dropped it didn’t happen. I’m not that gullible. I just wanted to point out these facts before they are misconstrued in some way.

    Sexual harassment by, from, directed at or performed on or by any man or woman is despicable and frankly, if anyone had any real idea how much this sort of thing happens in our society, regardless of industry, they’d probably faint from hearing too much truth at once.

    Certainly during the 80s and early 90s in the music industry it was worse and I think we’d all feel a TON of conflict about MANY of our musical “heroes” if we actually found out who has been guilty of doing things like this and/or FAR worse.

    In any case, it’s great you had the strength to say this and to put it out there for the world to see and learn.

    Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Paige lewis
    April 25, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your story. I also experienced sexual harassment at my place of employment. He started in on me as soon as I turned 18 and he was in his 30s and married. I’d try to avoid him the best I could but it’s hard when you work in a small building. I didn’t have the strength, words, or full understanding to explain what was going even though my gut was trying to tell me something was wrong. He finally quit and I thought it was over then about a year later he applied for another job. And I finally had the courage to speak out. He was hired anyway. Despite the groping, exposing himself with pictures and in person, and constant verbal harassment… it had apparently been too long and I didn’t say anything soon enough. And they believed he was “doing better” now. All I know is that I’m glad I finally was able to speak my truth and hearing others stories gives me more strength as well. And I will continue to try to empower others to speak out when it’s happening… it’s so confusing and not black and white when you’re in the moment. I’m glad you were able to speak your truth now and get it out there. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Mo
    April 25, 2016

    So the RHCP and the misogynistic culture of the industry kept you from speaking up?
    For some reason this sentiment stood out and just doesn’t sit right with me. Nothing kept you from speaking out. You just chose not to. You could have, but you didn’t. That’s really what it amounts to.
    I was sexually harassed at work in the mid-90s. I spoke up about it. No circumstances made the choice for me. I don’t understand how the RHCP or the industry culture kept you quiet for 25 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Farman
      April 26, 2016

      You are a way better person than I am in every single way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jennylens
      April 26, 2016

      Maybe Julie was concerned she’d be fired. Not believed. Treated badly at work. Come on, just cos you spoke out doesn’t mean she should have done so, considering where her head was at, during that time. She was very clear explaining her rationale for what she did and didn’t do.

      You obviously either didn’t read it clearly or refuse to accept HER reality. She and other women sure don’t need ANYONE doubting them and passing judgment like you are. Pls rethink this.

      NOT everyone is going to react or act as you do. Get over it. Thank you.

      IT is NOT easy to get a job at Epic Records. Tons of other women would gladly take it. How many would put up with the sexual harassment? It was the price women paid at the time. And I suspect, record companies, now more accurately called media companies, still hire ppl involved in sexual harassment.

      It’s far from over.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. mharvey816
    April 25, 2016

    Reblogged this on mharvey816.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Pingback: Music Fan Finds Another Reason Not to Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Trashcan

  44. Mitch Dingle
    April 26, 2016

    Idk I think Anthony is in the top 3 lyricists of all time. I mean have you guys heard Get on Top? Also seems like a leading advocate to me in the pro-feminism movement. A very respectable and stable individual if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Engelberta (yeah, right)
      April 26, 2016

      And nobody’s asking!

      Like

      • EngeS
        May 2, 2016

        Sorry. I think I figured out your comment was sarcastic and I apologise for my initial response. I am used to see people say that and actually mean it.

        Like

  45. jennylens
    April 26, 2016

    Julie, on Jan 14, 2015, I spoke at LA Library. I showed some of my many thousands of punk and rock photos. As I showed my image of Kim Fowley and Joan Jett, backstage, Whisky, Xmess, 1977, I knew I would say something. Cos every photo has lots of stories. Which I remember well, or others fill in the blanks.

    I went off on Kim Fowley. He was an abusive control freak, a terrible man. It’s never right to call women, esp young women, “dog meat,” his fave term. He language and the way he treated ppl, esp women, horrified me. I could have had more success if I hung with him and another of his cronies, Rodney B. But I was having none of it!

    To my surprise, I heard applause. ALL the women from the emerging LA punk scene, from performers, to fans, other creatives, were applauding.

    Three days later Kim Fowley died. I repeated what I said on Facebook. A few men in the record industry were HIGHLY offended and gave me hell! I was told it wasn’t the ‘right time.’ I said if not now, when attention being paid and so many effusive eulogies, when is the right time?

    Then I was interviewed by Jason Cherkis of Huffpo. I was impressed he managed to find me, cos those FB posts were a couple months earlier. I never saw the specific incident, the central event in Jackie’s life with the Runaways.

    THAT story became the big news. I am very relieved I was NOT in the room during that horrific treatment of Jackie. Although turns out at least a friend or two were there. I still cry, knowing they were trying to repress it all these years.

    I’ve never ever heard a word from the men who gave me hell. One is a philanthropist! A liberal involved in local politics. Ppl think he walks on water! NOT ONE word from him. I’ve known him since 1976, when I first started taking punk photos.

    Not one word from the other, a minor celeb DJ in punk, been around since then too, but in NYC, now LA.

    NOT ONE WORD from the men. I was proven not only RIGHT, but the truth was far worse than anyone wanted to believe.

    I KNEW Kim abused Cherie Currie. I remember that from Vicki Blue’s “Edgeplay,” her Runaways doc. Just cos Cherie forgave Kim before he died did not change the fact he abused her. AND Jackie.

    So when sharing our realities, and questions why women don’t speak up sooner, ppl just GOTTA realize women won’t always be believed, or told to grow up, or gee, what are they complaining about … even just saying Kim was abusive put me in the line of fire. From MEN who refuse to acknowledge the evil men do.

    I hope my stories help a little. Help ppl realize that even if we don’t personally experience sexual abuse, many MORE witness verbal abuse which is included in sexual abuse. Seeing it, hearing it, knowing what was going down … isn’t as bad as it happening physically, but it takes its toll.

    WE all KNOW women who were at the receiving end of unwanted sexual abuse or repeated advances. Think about that and be more compassionate. OR you are thinking like the abusers. Oh she’ll never talk … abusers expect that. Don’t condemn women for not talking up. Then or now. It ain’t easy. 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  46. jennylens
    April 26, 2016

    Julie, did you ever know Sue Sawyer? She was at Epic during the Clash. I first met her when she was PR at ABC, which handled Sire and the Ramones. Photographed her in audience during Ramones first west coast tour, August 1976. Then met her the following spring.

    Sue was at Epic by 1979, and fer sure 1980. I went to England to photograph the Clash in June 1980. I remember seeing her at Epic after that, July 1980. Then I stopped taking punk pix.

    I wasn’t making any money and time to move on. Forty years later, my pix on exhibit cos of … the Ramones 40th Anniversary. As if I could move on forever.

    Yes, the rock world is a tough one. It’s not all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. There’s real ppl and real conflict and real work. At least I have so many photos, published and exhibited, friends from back then (as well as haters), and AMAZING memories.

    We saw it from a POV which is hard to explain and difficult to understand. The thorn in the rose. Whatta bittersweet smelling rose at times!

    Like

    • Julie Farman
      April 26, 2016

      I LOVE Sue Sawyer! I think she retreated into the much saner world of horses. But it’s been a while.

      Must have been an incredible time to be a photographer. You must know Laura Levine – she started shooting at around the same time. Fantastic work.

      Going to find your work online. I could completely use a dose of early Ramones/Clash/etc. (If I can’t find your photos I’ll listen to the music. Actually I’ll listen to the music even if I can’t find the photos…I need a palate cleanser.)

      Thanks for reading/commenting.

      Like

  47. L. F.
    April 26, 2016

    For whatever this might be worth:

    I am close friends with a former member of the RHCP, and he has discretely shared numerous details of the other members’ behavior that would BLOW many of their fans’ minds – and NOT in a good way.

    The fact is, that band is essentially a repository for maladjusted bastards, and serves as a gigantic, worldwide ego stroke and cash generator for guys whose antics would have gotten their heads bashed in long ago, if they were not surrounded by bodyguards and a cult of personality that has, over the course of decades, served to “normalize” and “rationalize” their rage-filled and socially stunted, anti-female bullshit as somehow “just part of their ‘Fonkee’ shtick.”

    Check out their record and ticket sales worldwide.

    For some time now, the largest sector of their fanbase BY FAR is located in South America, mostly among boys and young men for whom English is not their native language and for whom a culture of misogyny is infinitely more tolerated than in the states. This “hyper macho” contingency is what keeps the wheels rolling on their scam – which must continue, if the large number of folks on their team’s payroll can maintain their lucrative positions.

    That’s why they keep making crap records and jumping on bandwagons and promoting their own guitar techs into being “members” of the band.

    A few years before I even met the aforementioned ex-CP, I ran into Anthony and Flea at a sold-out show by another group at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Anthony was in the long line to get into the venue, directly behind me. This was when he was going through his “Raw Power” look, and he was immediately recognized by a very well-heeled 40-something woman in line with us, who started openly flirting with him.

    However, he was more interested in her VERY young-looking daughter, who was standing alongside her. He basically rudely ignored the mother to focus / gaze / stare intently at the girl, whom he’d been told was only 15 years old, and a sophomore in high school.

    Once inside the venue, Keidis stuck to the two of them like glue throughout the whole night, regaling them loudly with tales of being a world-famous rock superstar. It was all very crass and embarrassing to witness.

    Eventually, once the lights went down, he started to grope and fondle the 15-year-old – without any provocation from the girl, who looked aghast at first, and made several furtive glances to her mother (who was about a foot away the whole time) for some sort of assistance.

    However, the mother seemed to be thrilled to no end by this turn of events. It was as though she was disappointed that she could not attract Anthony’s attention, but was willing to live vicariously through her own daughter’s grudging acceptance of what sure looked like an unwanted, and extremely invasive advance.

    It got so gross to be near, that I had to split and give up my prime view of the stage to find another place to stand in the packed venue.

    So, yeah. Trust me when I say that those guys are cruel, narcissistic assholes who get their kicks by taking whatever they want from whoever they please – and they enjoy it all the more if it makes those folks feel uncomfortable.

    Like Bob Dylan says, “Charity is supposed to cover up a multitude of sins.” So, let ’em donate a bunch of money to pet causes. Hopefully that will do some good for deserving people. But it does not change the fact that the RHCP -and their legal and management people- are FAMOUS for steamrolling anyone in their path and destroying as many witnesses as possible in whatever way is easiest for them to accomplish.

    Thanks for your post, Julie. I hope things are better for you now than they once were.

    BTW – I know Gregg Allman a bit, too, and he is so fried/burned/baked it’s hard to fathom. That line about the Pixies is PRICELESS.

    If he only knew that D. Lovering is a FUCKING INTERNATIONAL BADDASS on the drums… 🙂

    Oh, and anybody who wants to get paid very well to do a horrible job can always sign up to be the Pro-Tools guy who spends WEEKS editing and Auto-Tuning Anthony’s vocal tracks together – sometimes ONE WORD AT A TIME – to give the illusion on their albums that the guy can even hold a tune for more than a couple of notes at a time.

    Talk about torture.

    Like

    • Engelberta (yeah, right)
      April 26, 2016

      This is where I have to directly ask if you if that person you know is the one a bunch of us might be thinking of. Because, if so, my opinion of him which is incredibly high either way, will skyrocket. Even if he was involved in this (which I somehow doubt, as it reads the other three to me, most likely AK and Flea). Even then.

      Like

    • Antigone
      May 2, 2016

      South America has a higher population density. If you’ve seen many fans, it is mostly because there are a lot more people. Proportionately, there are far more American and European fans and overall chances are good they make more money for the band or the label or whatever as opposed to people in South America. If your claims were true, they might tour those countries more often than they do.

      While their gender views are definitely not progressive in these countries, the manifestation of misogyny still has an element of compassion. Condescending, yes, and waning. But not as harsh and cruel as it can manifest in the USA.

      Furthermore, social progress related to gender equality, in the last century mostly in an organic, non disruptive way. South America does not necessarily tolerate a “hyper macho” attitude, they handled it differently. It’s still not enough, but I regret you have these views. I will suggest minding your phrasing, in any case, as it comes across as rather one-dimensional. I feel slightly incensed that it sounds as if you’re blaming half a continent that you’re not well-acquainted with. I hope that was not your intention at all

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Pingback: Former Music Exec Says She Was Sexually Harassed By 2 Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers | The Latest Online

  49. Sarah
    April 26, 2016

    I’m not sure what’s more monstrous – their behavior, or the industry that cultivated and encouraged it.
    Definitely the latter, I think – a lot of these people would have been different without their invulnerability.

    Liked by 2 people

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