Vulture.com undertook an investigation to find the bridge that Anthony Kiedis is singing about in their well-know track ‘Under the Bridge.’ Mark Haskell Smith writes: Randy Newman may proclaim, “I Love L.A.,” but Los Angeles is deeper, richer, and more vibrant than that shouty stream of Chamber of Commerce clichés. For an Angeleno like me, “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers comes closer to capturing the city’s true vibe.
It starts out sunny: “I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion / I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am / She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy / And I never worry … ”
But what bridge is Kiedis singing about? In a 1992 Rolling Stone interview with David Fricke, the singer refuses to divulge the location. “It’s downtown … but it’s unimportant. I don’t want people looking for it,” he said, perhaps uneager to have a new pop-music landmark emerge from one of his life’s lowest moments. When contacted recently, the band’s management refused to comment about the possible location of the bridge. We decided to look for it regardless.
And then takes a dark — very L.A. — turn: ” … Now that is a lie.”
The 1992 single, off the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was a turning point for the Chili Peppers. Their first mainstream hit, the song went platinum, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard “Hot 100.” Coupled with a video directed by Gus Van Sant, it pushed the formerly underground hard funk band into the public eye and made the Chili Peppers international rock stars. That this worldwide acclaim sprang from a fairly dark place only gives the song a pathos (and a kind of dangerous gravity) absent in most pop music. In his memoir Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis talks about how the song came out of a sense of loss and isolation. This feeling reminded him of his drug addiction and the day he hit rock bottom “downtown with fucking gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.”
Check out the investigation to get ‘Under the Bridge’ here: www.vulture.com