Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis is seemingly not a fan of The Rolling Stones. Back in the day, Kiedis was yet to appreciate the brilliance of The Rolling Stones and didn’t fully grasp the chance he’d been granted.
In 1994, the Chili’s only played a handful of shows as they continued to work on the follow-up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik. In the summer, they performed a series of intimate shows in the States before heading to Europe for several festivals and rounding out the year with two performances alongside The Rolling Stones.
Performing at the Rose Bowl in California with The Rolling Stones should have been a landmark in his career. However, he struggled with the limelight being exclusively on the headliner and the Chilis being nothing more than a footnote. Almost everybody in attendance was there solely to see The Stones, and Kiedis felt like his band were an unwanted presence during the evening’s events.
Anthony Kiedis has not been a fan of The Rolling Stones
Overshadowing The Rolling Stones at one of their headline shows is a thankless task, and Kiedis believed the odds were stacked against them from the start. Speaking to Interview Magazine, the frontman explained: “Well, I can’t totally blame it on The Stones—who I’ve since, by the way, come to love. Their music from the ’60s and ’70s,” he admitted. Kiedis continued: “Yes—up to Some Girls. But I didn’t grow up listening to The Rolling Stones, and even at the time that we opened for them, I wasn’t that familiar with their stuff.”
He added: “In the last five years, I have really loved discovering the history of them and how incredibly meaningful they were to the world, and still are in a really bizarre way. But opening for them isn’t a great job.”
Kiedis elaborated: “Their show is about them, and it’s set up for them. We had issues with sound and lighting, and we were relegated to a very small postage stamp of the stage—you know, like, ‘Okay, you guys can’t go left or right of here, and don’t step on Mick’s imported teak wood dance floor.
That’s a no-no.’ So you’re kind of playing when people are filing in with their merchandise and programs, and they’re not really paying attention.”
He believes that the blame is pointed squarely at those in attendance who were more interested in the bar than seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Kiedis noted: “You’re pouring your heart into this performance you believe in, and people are kind of waiting around to hear ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’ So, no fault of The Rolling Stones, it just isn’t really a great gig, and it wasn’t a great one for us because we really believed in what we were doing, and the audience just wasn’t there for us.”