Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis is developing a series for HBO based on his unconventional, rock ‘n’ roll childhood.
Kiedis has partnered with Catapult 360 partners Marc Abrams and Michael Benson to create the series, tentatively titled “Scar Tissue.”
Abrams and Benson are scouting for a writer to pen the script, which will center on Kiedis’ relationship with his father, Spider, who sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into showbiz.
The show will begin with young Kiedis moving from Grand Rapids, Mich., to West Hollywood to live with his dad. But Kiedis’ father, having been raised in a tyrannical household, decided to go to the other extreme.
“He introduced me to the arts, to a more culturally magnificent life,” Kiedis told Daily Variety. “But some of it was this heavy, adult matter that I wasn’t quite capable of digesting. … It was a very rich but kind of challenging period of my life. I was thrust into this adult mentality by age 11.”
Catapult 360 contacted Kiedis after Benson read the singer’s autobiography, also titled “Scar Tissue.” (Show is not based on the book, however, which focused more on Kiedis’ life as a rock star.) Abrams and Benson sat down with Kiedis, who told them he wrote the memoir specifically to express himself on his early experiences with his father.
“To be able to look at a very famous figure and get an origin story, to see the pieces of the puzzle that put him on the path to fame — it became very clear that this was a special project,” Abrams said.
The show will also center on West Hollywood and Los Angeles in the early 1970s, including the rock stars encountered by Kiedis and his father (who, according to lore, was a drug dealer for the Who and Led Zeppelin, among others).
Kiedis plans to be heavily involved in the project and is regularly corresponding with his father, who now lives in Portland, to record memories of their life 30 years ago on Palm Avenue in West Hollywood.
“I love mulling over all this raw material,” he said. “(My father’s) into it too. He sees it as our last great hurrah. For us to be reconnecting to construct these memories — the women and the rock bands and the doormen of these clubs — is exciting.”
Kiedis also is mulling the possibility of narrating the show (which is being developed as an hourlong drama with comedic elements) and even making cameos from time to time.
As for Abrams and Benson, the project reps their first major splash since parting ways with NBC, where they’d exec produced the comedy pilot “Zip.” (NBC parted with the duo partly because of Abrams’ relationship with Peacock exec veep Teri Weinberg).
Peabody winners Abrams and Benson, whose credits include “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Entourage,” founded Catapult 360 in 2006.
Abrams, Benson and Kiedis will exec produce “Scar Tissue” along with Untitled Entertainment’s Jason Weinberg. Also attached is Untitled’s Laura Rister.