“Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Scar Tissue” seems to be about drug addiction. It could also be generally talking about life and it’s challenges. The lead singer (Kiedis) talked a little bit about this song in his autobiography (which is titled after this song). Owing to this, it is highly likely that most of the stuff said in the lyrics are autobiographical.

At the beginning of the track, he talks about scar tissue he wishes someone will see. This may have to do with him wanting help with his addiction or it could be that he wants someone to know about his personal struggles. He also seems left out or alone when he talks about his lonely viewing with the birds.

Talking about the Kentucky girl, he could mean his addiction is like how he wants this woman to treat him. To lick her heart and taste her health could mean what his addiction to the drug feels like. In the next verse, he talks about blood loss in a bathroom stall which is a bit confusing though it is known that most addicts shoot up in bathroom stalls.


“Scar Tissue” by and large tackles the challenges addicts have to deal with in their desperate attempts to be sober as well as the hurdles on their way after becoming sober. The title (“Scar Tissue”) is a metaphor for something that was once damaged but is now healed. Some also interpret it literally as the healed wounds on an addict’s skin where he/she injected themselves prior to becoming sober.

Writing Credits

The following hold the writing credits to “Scar Tissue”:

  • Flea
  • Chad Smith
  • John Frusciante
  • Anthony Kiedis

Famed record producer and executive Rick Rubin holds the song’s production credit.

Release Date of “Scar Tissue”

On 25th May, 1999, Warner Bros Records released this as an official Red Hot Chili Peppers single. It was actually the band’s first single from their 1999 hit album “Californication”.

Grammy Victory

In 2000, “Scar Tissue” was adjudged “Best Rock Song” at that year’s Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. In winning this award, the song beat the likes of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Promise” and Garbage’s “Special”.

Commercial Success

This was a remarkably successful song for the band and their label. It got to the top of multiple Billboard charts, including the Mainstream Rock chart. It also topped Iceland’s singles chart. On the Hot 100 itself, it managed to hit a peak position of 9. It was also a top 20 hit on UK Singles Chart, actually going all the way to #15.

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