Learn about the Condition
The first step towards healing is always a challenging one. But, unraveling the “why?” behind a Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) fan’s devotion is critical towards correctly identifying their funk-rock condition. Begin by learning to spot the signs. Do they insist on air drumming? Do they consider mid-calf athletic sock and a 40 of Steel Reserve appropriate cocktail attire? Do they, in a Kiedis-style mumble, make references about the “scar tissue that [they] wish you saw?”
Seek Understanding through Quality Time
While it may feel right to just start with the “music,” we suggest beginning your journey with the 1991 documentary Funky Monks. The title of which RHCP fans have ascribed to themselves as a cultural identifier.
While the film chronicles the making of “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” you may find it easier to bond over the fact that the album was recorded in Rick Rubin’s haunted mansion. Using this anecdote, some find success shifting the conversation off of RHCP and onto haunted houses—a generally acceptable form of conversation for all parties involved. If you find your Funky Monk beginning to lead you towards a 45-minute unpacking of the genius of “Sick Love,” it would be appropriate to point out that the song was actually written by Elton John and that maybe they actually like Elton John.
Though you may find your loved one’s labeling of Anthony Kiedis’s early-2000 sock antics as revolutionary to be specious at best, it’s important to remember to empathize. Be patient with them as they explain how much Flea’s slapping bass licks meant to them during their parent’s divorce. Take a breath before reminding them that their parents are on speaking terms and they got two Christmases growing up.
Focus on Small Goals
While you may feel powerless in this situation, the truth is that you can influence change. Share music with them that echos the so-cal ethos, without evoking the fratty indulgence inherent in the funk-rock scene. The performances of Nirvana, The Pixies, or The Breeders are a great jumping-off point especially if your fan is an avid vaper. Hole is another good option, but be aware the band is comprised of women. Some male Funky Monks may not be fans of female-led rock groups. Often citing their vocals as too “female-forward.” If your super fan falls in this camp, our practitioners find success pivoting to Hüsker Dü. It’s been observed that small, measured injections of adjacent, less terrible, music into a Funky Monk’s playlist is the first step on the path to recovery.
Be Kind to Yourself
This news is a tough pill to swallow. You can't be blamed for your initial reaction. Forgive yourself for making the frantic assertion that sixteen Grammy nominations doesn’t imply quality. Or for making snide remarks about your Funky Monk’s “Stadium Arcadium” calf tattoo. You may think it would be better if you had never known about your loved one’s condition. When in fact, your pain is the heart’s way of reminding you that care. They no longer have to continue “with the birds [to] share this lonely view.”