History: Under The Bridge was released 27 years ago

On March 10, 1992 the Red Hot Chili Peppers released ‘Under The Bridge’ as a second single of their fifth studio album, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’.

In the video below, which is a clip from the DVD ‘Funky Monks,’ Anthony describes how he came to write the lyrics for this song.

What he doesn’t really explain in this video is why he felt lonely. In his book ‘Scar Tissue’ he does address this.

One day I showed up to rehearsal, and Flea and John were blazing on pot and in a “Let’s ignore Anthony” state of mind, and I experienced this melancholy sense of loss that John was no longer in my world.

I could tell from the way he was looking at me that we weren’t really friends anymore, other than the fact that we were in a band together and respected each other on that level. I rode home from rehearsal that day on the 101 Freeway, and my sense of loss about John and the loneliness that I was feeling triggered memories of my time with Ione and how I’d had this beautiful angel of a girl who was willing to give me all of her love, and instead of embracing that, I was downtown with fucking gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.

I felt I had thrown away so much in my life, but I also felt an unspoken bond between me and my city. I’d spent so much time wandering the streets of L.A. and hiking through the Hollywood Hills that I sensed there was a nonhuman entity, maybe the spirit of the hills and the city, who had me in her sights and was looking after me. Even if I was a loner in my own band, at least I still felt the prescence of the city I lived in. I started freestyling some poetry in my car and putting the words to a melody and sang all the way down the freeway. When I got home, I got out my notebook and wrote the whole thing down in a song structure, even though it was meant to be a poem to deal with my own anguish.

‘Under The Bridge’

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry.

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
I never worry, now that is a lie.

I don’t never want to feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love, take me all the way
It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there
It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone
At least I have her love, the city she loves me
Lonely as I am, together we cry.

I don’t never want to feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love, take me all the way.

Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away

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