Music’s built on metaphor, so there’s little point in taking every lyric literally. For years Red Hot Chili Peppers fans have abided this central artistic tenet when listening to the group’s 1992 mega-hit, “Under the Bridge.” In the song there’s an extremely f*cked up frontman Anthony Kiedis shooting smack under some decrepit bridge in downtown Los Angeles and the lowly emotions this experience made him feel. That’s obviously what matters to most. However, some fans aren’t satisfied with only the “why” but also the “where”–namely, where was Kiedis actually strapping down and getting gonzo mad?
Vulture writer Mark Haskell Smith found it. And it’s not so much a major road in that giant parking lot that is the Los Angeles metro area as it is a tiny overpass in MacArthur Park. Smith’s post can take you through his journalistic rummaging, but he connected the dots to find the place Kiedis (ironically) loved, connecting Sixth and Union with the once drug-infested intersection* of Seventh and Hoover.
So there you go, Red Hot Chili Peppers fans. Kiedis has proven to be fairly open about his history (as his great autobiography Scar Tissue proves), but he’s been closed about the location of this bridge since the song’s writing. Consider this case closed. Chew on that fact when you hear the group play it live during their world tour this year.
Cred: Vulture NY
* That’s a complete assumption. I have no idea whether Seventh and Hoover is still a notorious spot for junkies. Los Angelinos, enlighten me in the comments section.