Flea Writes Letter To Fans Following Super Bowl - Noise11.com
Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Photo By Graham Spillard

Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers at Big Day Out 2013 Photo By Graham Spillard

Flea Writes Letter To Fans Following Super Bowl

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on February 5, 2014

in News

Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player, Flea, pens open letter to fans regarding their Super Bowl miming controversy.

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers hit the stage in the middle of Bruno Mars’ Super Bowl halftime performance, the fans first noticed the frantic energy and then saw that none of the instruments were plugged in. Pictures were posted on sites and speculation ensued about the band who prided themselves on never faking their music.

On Tuesday, Flea decided to come clean and explain why the guitar, bass and drum parts were prerecorded (Anthony Kiedis’ vocals were live). It also gives some background on the pressures of playing such a huge, time sensitive show and the thinking behind the production.

A MESSAGE FROM FLEA

Dear everybody,

When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song Give It Away at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded. I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it. The last time we did it (or tried to) was in the late 80’s, we were thrown off of ‘The Top Of the Pops’ television program in the U.K. during rehearsals because we refused to mime properly, I played bass with my shoe, John played guitar atop Anthony’s shoulders, and we basically had a wrestling match onstage, making a mockery of the idea that it was a real live performance.

We mimed on one or two weird MTV shows before that and it always was a drag. We take our music playing seriously, it is a sacred thing for us, and anyone who has ever seen us in concert (like the night before the Super Bowl at the Barclays Center), knows that we play from our heart, we improvise spontaneously, take musical risks, and sweat blood at every show. We have been on the road for 31 years doing it.

So, when this Super Bowl gig concept came up, there was a lot of confusion amongst us as whether or not we should do it, but we eventually decided, it was a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it. We had given this a lot of thought before agreeing to do it, and besides many a long conversation amongst ourselves, I spoke with many musician friends for whom I have the utmost respect, and they all said they would do it if asked, that it was a wild trippy thing to do, what the hell. Plus, we the RHCP all love football too and that played a big part in our decision. We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig. I met and spoke with Bruno, who was a beautiful dude, a real talented musician, and we worked out something that seemed like it would be fun.

We recorded a track for the day, just banged one out from our hearts that was very like in spirit to the versions we have been playing live the last few years with our beloved Josh on guitar.

For the actual performance, Josh, Chad, and I were playing along with the pre recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not. Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend. It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance. It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it. Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people.

I am grateful to the NFL for having us. And I am grateful to Bruno, who is a super talented young man for inviting us to be a part of his gig. I would do it all the same way again.

We, as a band, aspire to grow as musicians and songwriters, and to continue to play our guts out live onstage for anyone who wants to get their brains blown out.

Sincerely,

Flea

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, music news, Noise11.com
Silk Sonic Confirmed For Grammy Awards After Bruno Mars Tantrum

Bruno Mars' new band Silk Sonic will perform at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, after bosses took heed of their pleas.

March 11, 2021
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, music news, Noise11.com
Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak Want Silk Sonic To Play At The Grammy Awards

Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak have pleaded with the Grammy Awards bosses to let their new band Silk Sonic perform at the upcoming ceremony.

March 9, 2021
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, music news, Noise11.com
Bruno Mars Wants In To Rihanna Fenty Campaign

Bruno Mars has reached out to Rihanna on Twitter to put himself forward for her Fenty Skin campaigns.

August 6, 2020
Ed Sheeran photo by Ros O'Gorman
Has Ed Sheeran Ripped Off Live Side-Project with Blow

Ed Sheeran’s new song ‘Blow’ sounds remarkably like Live side-project The Gracious Few’s ‘Honest Man’.

July 9, 2019
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, music news, Noise11.com
Bruno Mars Plays Hyde Park London

British Summer Time Hyde Park saw one of the world’s biggest pop superstars Bruno Mars stun a sold-out Hyde Park with one of the festival’s most spectacular performances.

July 16, 2018
Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa Cancels Brisbane Show

Dua Lipa will not appear to Bruno Mars shows tonight or tomorrow (14 and 15 March 2018).

March 14, 2018
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, music news, Noise11.com
Here’s The Bruno Mars Australian Tour Setlist

If you are heading to any of the Bruno Mars shows in Australia over the next four weeks you are in for the greatest hits set.

March 5, 2018