Lead singer Anthony Kiedis wrote this about his days as a heroin addict and the loneliness that went with it. The bridge mentioned in the song is a place where he sometimes went to buy drugs and get high. (thanks, Laura - Newport, Wales)
This was the biggest hit for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it was not typical of their sound. This was a ballad, but most of their songs to that point were hard Rock or Funk. This was particularly challenging for Kiedis to sing during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour, but the Chili Peppers became comfortable with the sound and followed this up with more slower singles like "Soul To Squeeze" and "Breaking The Girl." (thanks, Hillary - Seattle, WA
In 1990, after the death of his best friend and Hillel Slovak, Kiedis suddenly became afraid. He was sitting behind the wheel of his car and just began singing "sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner..." Slovak, who played guitar in the band, died of a drug overdose in 1988.
This song was originally just a poem that Kiedis wrote. He didn't write it for the Chili Peppers - it was a very personal poem that he thought he might use somewhere else. Producer Rick Rubin found it in one of his notebooks and told Anthony that it could be a great song. At first, he didn't want to sing it or share it with anyone, but he eventually came around.
I saw anthony on some documentary saying that he was driving along the freeway in L.A once and he was really depressed. He felt like there was no one he could connect with and he was completely alone in the universe, so he started singing to himself, and this is what he sung. The verses at least.
The chorus is about how he didn't want to feel that lonely ever again, he wanted to go to the place he loves, which was being in a band, making music, and "making love with beautiful women" :).
the under the bridge downtown part is about when he was a drug addict, his only friend in the world was a drug contact called mario, and they lied to a...