Flea Explains Why Red Hot Chili Peppers Didn’t Play Live at the Super Bowl

2014-02-05

Story by Anne Erickson

Flea admits that the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t plug in for the Super Bowl halftime performance, but he has no regrets

The Red Hot Chili Peppers rocked out to their classic hit “Give It Away” during the Super Bowl halftime show with headliner Bruno Mars on Sunday (Feb. 2), but the performance has drawn a bit of a backlash. Some viewers noticed that Flea’s bass wasn’t plugged into anything, including a wireless pack, and wanted to know why.

Now, Flea has come forward with an explanation. In a note posted to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ official website on Tuesday (Feb. 4), Flea stated that even though the vocals were live, the band was performing along without amps to a pre-recorded track from the band. Here’s his statement:

“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 [are] 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.”

Flea added that the Peppers have always agreed to never mime performances, and the band hasn’t done that since the ‘80s. “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,” he stated.

Of course, the band could have plugged into amps and simply pretended to be playing live, but Flea stated, “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.”

Flea has no regrets, too. He ended the note by thanking Bruno Mars and the NFL and stating, “I would do it all the same way again.”




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