I was at a restaurant last night, ravaging a huge burger with my boyfriend. This restaurant in particular tends to play excellent rock music and last night it was all 90s rock. We’re talking Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, System of a Down, all these bands I listened to it in high school. So of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played. When “Otherside” came on, my heart tightened up. I got a little choked up, which was awkward while a packed house.
You see, I’ve had a very torrid affair with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In high school I loved the band, in college I became obsessed, and by my sophomore year I hated the band. Couldn’t listen to them at all. But it wasn’t the band’s fault. It was the memories attached to them. The reason I got choked up during “Otherside,” an otherwise harmless song, was because of said memories. In high school I spent a lot of time hanging out with my boyfriend Kyle and his best friend Myke, who quickly became one of my best friends. Even when Kyle wasn’t around Myke and I would go to his car during lunch, share a cigarette with each other, and listen to music. When I bought Californication our obsession with the Chili Peppers began. We’d put all of their albums in the car and wouldn’t come back home until we listened to them all.
When I saw the video for “Otherside” I had to show Myke and Kyle. At that time I didn’t know anything about German Expressionism or film in general. But I knew I saw something cool. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made some of the coolest videos of the 90s and went on to direct Little Miss Sunshine. The video’s full of modern art and Robert Wiene reference, two things I loved about it (though I didn’t know why). Myke also found an appreciation for it, but it was less artistic and more drug-induced wonder.
Californication was the album of my high school life. But like high school, that quickly disappeared when I got into college. Kyle and I broke up, like many high school couples do, and Myke got heavy into hard drugs. I stopped talking to him after he threatened to stab my friend in a Denny’s parking lot. The allure of the band disappeared and it’s only been recently where I’ve started appreciating them again. Almost a year ago Myke passed away from a drug overdose. After the funeral I came home, totally wiped emotionally and physically. I was all alone in my apartment and it was late at night. I turned on my computer and watched “Otherside” on repeat and all the good memories about Myke came rushing back. I miss the Myke I was friends with, the one that would re-enact the dragon fight scene in “Otherside” in his front yard when he was stoned out of his mind. But I’m glad I can watch this video again and enjoy not only the visuals but the music as well.