Album: Californication (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • The meaning of this song is the idea that even a hero has flaws. It could relate to the death of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, or how Anthony Kiedis considered himself a protector of the bullied students in his school days. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Randy - Clinton, IL

Comments: 10

  • Chris Portugal from Scottsdale, AzIt's about his dad, Blackie Dammet
  • Charles from México I first listened this song a long time ago as a child. Now that I’m a man and pay attention I thought this song was about God. You know he being the savior and saying every man damage will be alright.
  • Carl L. from HoustonInteresting to see the various comments, especially getting educated on AK relationship to father. Without any background or history I always thought it must be about JF returning to the band and how the resurrection of the band was possibly viewed as resurrecting that aspect of his life by AK. Best albums ever made?...yea I always thought so as I had almost no interest in RHCP until getting totally addicted to a few songs I heard and buying a cassette. I wore that sucker out! still MUST listen to the whole album several times a year, especially this song!
  • Natalie from GeorgiaLet’s get this cleared up because everyone seems to be on different pages about this song. Literally. I don’t know where you people are getting your evidence, but... first of all, this is a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Not a Gordon Smith song. Second of all, this is not about Hillel Slovak or John Frusciante. This is about Anthony Kiedis’ father Blackie Dammet. Blackie tends to blame himself for Anthony’s drug addiction, as Anthony was first introduced to drugs by the unconventional life that his father offered him in Hollywood. His father was a massive drug dealer to all sorts of Hollywood movie stars and musicians. Anthony first smoked weed with his father at age 12, and by age 13 or 14 he was already doing cocaine regularly with his father, and was also introduced to White China heroin by his father at age 14 which later influenced his decision to continue using heroin a few years later, igniting decades of life-threatening heroin/cocaine/crack addiction. Anthony wrote this song to his father, clarifying that he still holds Blackie in the highest respect and nothing that Anthony put himself through is to blame on Blackie. Anthony and his father were partners in crime (literally) back when Anthony was in middle and high school, believing that his father was one of the most incredible men alive. This song revamps that ideal, saying that Anthony never lost that respect for Blackie, despite Blackie’s introduction to the life of drug abuse to Anthony.
  • Colton from Concord, CaOk it is definitely about his father as was previously stated. As far as this strange Gordon Smith writer goes, with some research I was able to confirm that it is likely a mistake the lyric websites made. There is apparently a rock band called "Kevin Coyn" in which Gordon Smith is a member. They wrote a song in the mid 70's that is titled "Saviour" and it actually WAS written by Gordon Smith. The songs have nothing else in common what so ever, but that is the only Gordon Smith who is a famous lyricist. I doubt he wrote a second song with the same title but American English spelling, just for RHCP, but I guess it's possible.
  • Bob from Farmington Hills, MiThis was written by Gordon Smith... not a RHCP unless it's one of the guy's real names. So while AK may apply it to the situation with his dad, John, or Hillel, I don't think anyone can say it is *about* any of them specifically.
  • Umy from Hh, GermanyDefinitly about Blackie, hos father. Watch this video, his father reads out the lyrics and even starts to cry while explaining them to the audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK6wzwjyfrs&feature=related
  • Martin from Brisbane, Australiai reckon this song has gotta be about John Frusciante returning to the band. 'dusting off your saviour' is sort of a tribute saying hes come back to save the band after the commercial failure that was 'one hot minute'. californication is one of the best albums ever made in my books and will surely get more credit as it gets older. when you think about how frusciante came back to the band after all the s--t he went through with addiction and depression, and all the other troubles the chili's had, they really poured so much emotion and passion into this one. stellar song.
  • Matt from Ipswich, United KingdomIt's actually about his father, and how A.K can forgive him for past indiscretions, because he see's his father's intentions, not his actions, and that everybody makes mistakes.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaDefinitely about Hillel. The song talks about how every man has his flaws, but Hillel's led him to his end.
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