Under the Bridge by the American band Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) is a part of their hit album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. For a band that usually produces creative blends of punk, funk and rock this track deviates from their usual musical shenanigans as it acquires a personal touch.
The ballad was written by the RHCP vocalist Anthony Kiedis. Initially, only Kiedis and his notebook knew about the poem. After the RHCP producer, Rick Rubin, discovered the pages of his notebook and suggested that Keidis share it with the band, the ballad eventually transformed into one of the band’s most popular songs.
In a video, Kiedis says, “I was in a sad, lonely mood and I was driving home from a rehearsal one day while we were in pre-production for this record, and I just felt like in the face of 10 million people I was all alone and I couldn’t connect with a single soul in the universe. And so the only thing that made me feel better was to sing to myself and that was the song that came out.”
The crux of the song is Kiedis’s lonely tale. It talks about a devastating time in his life when he was severely dependent on drugs. He hit his lowest point when he risked his life and lied about his identity to purchase drugs from a gang under a bridge. But the chorus of the song goes to show that he wanted to leave that life behind, and find his happy place – a place that is surrounded by his best friends, creating music.
Synchronising Kiedis’s emotions, John Frusciante’s guitar chords and Chad Smith’s drum beats, Under the Bridge reveals a dark past with hopes of a happier future. It is undoubtedly one of their best tracks.