View more photos in the “MusiCares: Anthony Kiedis, Iggy Pop, Ronnie Wood, Steve Jones @ Club Nokia” slideshow.
“I'm not crying, that's just Iggy Pop's sweat in my eye,” joked Anthony Kiedis at the MusiCares fifth annual MAP Fund Benefit at Club Nokia on Friday May 8, which honored him with a Stevie Ray Vaughn award for his support of addicts in the music industry.
The night opened with a confusing, albeit touching comedic set by host Greg Behrendt, one half the writing duo behind the seemingly already feminist classic, He's Just Not That Into You. Topics such as scat, John Krasinski from The Office, and Anthony Kiedis's abs and dementia were just some of the wonderful tales Behrendt wanted to tell. Luckily, Petra Haden came out next and performed one of the truly moving performances of the night, a beautiful Elliot Smith cover.
Thelonious Monster's Bob Forrest and his baby faced son Elijah joined forces and dedicated their folky, bluesy set to Kiedis, only to be interrupted in the middle by Flea warming up backstage, who did not know he was plugged in. Later Flea wandered out and sheepishly apologized for the interruption. It only served as foreshadowing to the long and touching night that verged on the emotionally absurd. Like a Beckett novel, I couldn't tell at times if I should laugh, cry or throw my hands up in despair. One thing was certain, everyone in attendance believed in the power of addiction and the sanctity of recovery. The love was big; it was also sort of silly.
In honor of the evening — one that included such attendees as Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, his adolescent girlfriend, Josh Groban, Guy Oseary, Bob Forrest of Thelonious Monster and Celebrity Rehab, and a video projection of Neil Young performing “The Needle” and The Damage Done” — I present the top things to do and not do if you, young aspiring reporter, find yourself wandering down the Rabbit Hole of a music industry benefit.
1. Stand with your mouth hanging open like a cod fish when Iggy Pop walks down the red carpet with his massive breasted girlfriend. It's rude and Iggy Pop is God and will prove this later in the evening during his performance of “The Passenger.”
2. Act surprised when DJ AM turns out to be quite possibly the worst DJ you've witnessed spin since your best friend's uncle manned the turntables at her Quincenea in 1995.
3. Look around dumbstruck when Elvis is included in a slide show of musicians who have died from addiction. Elvis died from being AWESOME. The end.
4. Roll your eyes when the security guard asks if you have a camera in your bag. Camera, confiscated.
1. Make friends with the paparazzi. They lend each other batteries, know each other by name and make fun of the celebrities as they walk by. They are actually, truth be told, sort of punk rock and 100% humble and self-aware. Imagine that!
2. Learn your lesson about the camera and act friendly and self-deprecating to the other security guards. In turn they will sneak you into the VIP section, the real one, with the celebrities and the food, not the fake one you are sitting in above the celebrities while your stomach growls because you were promised dinner but instead had to pay four dollars for Red Vines that you nibble through Greg Behrendt's horrible jokes. You try to ignore the fact that your stomach is eating itself as you watch Ronnie Wood's adolescent girlfriend smush a brownie between her fingers in the seats below.
3. Hold on to that feeling of hope and gratefulness that people like Anthony Kiedis — a man who was so touched and honored by the evening, blushed, and gave the shortest acceptance speech of any celebrity ever seen, after a tear-jerking introduction by band-mates Chad Smith and Flea — exist and work with all their heart and passion, to make this world a better place for others, despite its dark and twisted turns.