Anthony Kiedis wrote the lyric about Carmen Hawk, a model he dated. The song describes their tumultuous breakup as he severed the relationship, thus "breaking the girl." As he points out in the song, she didn't do anything wrong, but he still has to cut her loose.
Kiedis' father, Blackie Dammett, explained in his autobiography: "The relationship ended in a fast-moving wildfire. Anthony may not have been as bad as me, but he wasn't exactly monogamous. Carmen contested the breakup and fought it in the court of broken hearts. 'Breaking the Girl' chronicled the emotional pathology and provided another classic lyric."
Although guitarist John Frusciante played on the song (and the entire album), it is his replacement, Arik Marshall, who appears in the video.
Suggestion credit: Nicky - London, England
Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album at a huge house in Los Angeles with Rick Rubin producing. Anthony Kiedis liked to be alone when he recorded his vocals, so retreated to a bedroom on the second floor to sing his part.
The instrumental breakdown that happens about three minutes into the song was a spontaneous idea the band came up with while they were recording the song. Every band member grabbed something to use for percussion (even pots and pans) and they held a jam session.
The French director Stéphane Sednaoui, who also did "Give It Away" and "Scar Tissue," directed the video. Sednaoui started off as a still photographer, and some of his first videos were for the Chili Peppers. For "Breaking the Girl," he created a surreal landscape where the band wore flowing garments and body paint. With vibrant, constantly shifting colors, the look is both childlike and psychedelic.
During the breakdown, Flea does an interpretive dance with tremendous passion.
Anna Nalick recorded an acoustic version of this song on her Shine EP, released in April 2008. She didn't change the gender, so the opening line remains "I am a man."
Suggestion credit: Jenn - Baltimore, MD
This features Brendan O'Brien on mellotron. He also played the same instrument on "Sir Psycho Sexy."
Bookbabe from New York, NyThe first time I heard this song, I found myself thinking about "The House of The Rising Sun" by The Animals. When I listened again, I realized that the chord progression in the "twisting and turning" chorus is the same as, or at least very similar, to the one in the instrumental sections of The House of The Rising Sun. And they're both about people who live with the baggage of their parents' lifestyles and perpetuate the bad decisions they made.
But most important of all, they're both great songs.
P.S. The last minute and a half of their video of this song contains the best dancing on this side of Michael Jackson!
Mike from Brooklyn, Nynicole is correct. this song is about anthony observing his father's promiscuity and the girl of the day's resulting loneliness.
Nathalie from San Antonio, TxThe album came out in '91 and the song was debuted on air in '92
Dylan from Port Orange, FlI don't know. Maybe they just meant the single. The album version was released in September of 1991, though.
Tom from Orange, AustraliaIn Anthony Kiedes' Autobiography 'Scar Tissue' he refers to this song and mentions that it is in fact about 2 people, his father and his girlfriend of thte time and his fathers lack of commitmeant towards women. And this song was released early 1992 not 1991.
Max from Laconia, NhI love the drums on this song, their so cool! Red Hot Chili Peppers rock!
Emma from San Deigo, Cai love this song ! they are amazing with both their music and lyrics! "twisting and turning your feelings are burning your breaking the girl she meant you no harm" lyrics are beautiful and true...i had to use this song for speech once!
Nicole from Chicago, Il"Raised by my dad, girl of the day" is a reference to the number of girlfriends his dad had, and his lack of committment to them.
Dylan from Port Orange, FlThis song came out in 1991, not 1992.