Kiedis originally told Rolling Stone's David Fricke, at the time of the song's release, that the bridge's location was "unimportant," warning: "I don't want people looking for it." But when Kiedis recently wrote in his best-selling memoir, Scar Tissue, about scoring drugs near Los Angeles's 6th and Union streets, it sparked the curiosity of Vulture scribe Mark Haskell Smith, who decided to go look for it anyway.
Smith then pieced together clues from Scar Tissue; a chat with a personal friend who used to hang out L.A.'s 1980s drug scene; Kiedis's aforementioned David Fricke interview; and a database called Bridgehunter.com--all to pinpoint the exact location of the iconic bridge underneath which the now-sober Kiedis used to shoot dope in the late '80s.
MacArthur Park, also famous for inspiring a Jimmy Webb song that Donna Summer (and many others) later recorded, was a major hub of drug activity in the 1980s. Smith took a photo of the park's bridge as appears today, as seen above, and it looks pretty unextraordinary. One would never suspect the dark story behind it, or know that it inspired one of the 1990s' biggest rock hits.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers headline the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, this Saturday, June 9.
- Chili Peppers headlining Bonnaroo 2012
- Bonnaroo 2012 playlist
- RHCP inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Arts & Entertainment
- Anthony Kiedis
- David Fricke