Posted in music on February 4, 2014

Red Hot Chili Peppers

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

We're pretty sure they were playing their instruments though one night earlier at Barclays Center.

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Comments (61)

Flea is a monster on bass, everyone knows that. This is stupid and unnecessary.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:15 PM

Zero comments, eh? This should get good.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:17 PM

mime is money

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:26 PM

WHACHA GOBBA JOBBA GIBBA JIBBA DUH NOW

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:28 PM

tl;dr vapid dad rocker

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:34 PM

Strange, Prince didn't seem to have that problem.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:37 PM

Is anyone really surprised that The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the New Rock™ equivalent of Ashlee Simpson?

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:47 PM

***** Flea looks like a damned Garbage Pail Kid.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:50 PM

Red hot air guitar > the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 9:58 PM

They don't have live band performances at the Super Bowl. The logistics of setting up an entire elaborate stage and making sure the sound is good (hint: you wouldn't have good sound in the middle of a football field) are a risk the NFL doesn't want to take in the middle of the most viewed television program of the year.

This applies to Prince, and to the Who, and to Springsteen, and to everyone else that people are saying "But but but what about..." in response to this. It was the same thing when it came out that the E Street Band's performance was previously recorded.

Good on Flea for at least not entirely playing along with this. But jesus I read so many internet comments yesterday about "They make some guitars that have wireless setups built in that you can bypass with the 1/4" jack" from idiots, I'm glad this got cleared up.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:00 PM

bigga binga bong a bong burbank

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:02 PM

geh guh ga ga ga ga glendale

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:03 PM

Don't we go over this bullshit every year? I know we did when Bruce played.

IT'S MIMED, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:04 PM

Originally the NFL had asked Perfect Pussy, but they refused to mime.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:09 PM

You can't have an event this big and NOT have tracks.
It's a fucking NO BRAINER, ASSWIPES!

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:17 PM

Sorry, 10:00. You're just a dumbass. You can get perfectly good sound in the middle of a football field and they do make all kinds of wireless devices for musical instruments and microphones. The Super Bowl halftime show isn't about music, it's about entertaining mouth breathing simpletons. Any artist who'd trade the last shreds of their integrity to do that should be pitied. They can cash all the checks they want, it won't ever be enough to buy back their souls.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:34 PM

YAAAAAAWWWWN.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:37 PM

U2 played it completely live, and delivered almost certainly the best Superbowl halftime show of all time.

/end of thread

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:39 PM

U2 saves the day. Go figure.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:52 PM

time to shoot up a bag of ace of spades

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 10:58 PM

Cool the way he didn't feel obliged to throw anyone else under the bus on this. But he's always been a stand up dude, really.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:01 PM

"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."

Read: Money

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:07 PM

RHCP dod not mime you idiots! Flea was being sarcastic.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:14 PM

Prince's guitar and vocals were live. He refused do play if they weren't.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:16 PM

put this in the "who the fuck" cares category

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:20 PM

WORST SUPERBOWL EVER. they should refund everyone's ticket.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:28 PM

10:39 is Kanye.

Posted by Anonymous | February 4, 2014 11:38 PM

Thom Yorke said shut the fuck up you motherfucker fuckermother

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 12:30 AM

Where did the new Garbage Pail kids joke come from?

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 1:09 AM

China.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 1:35 AM

pretending to play an electric guitar that's not plugged in is the new not pretending.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 1:44 AM

Even with all their instruments turned off, The Chili Peppers are still better than Phish.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:23 AM

10:34 is mad!!

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:34 AM

I just took a gigantic shit.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:34 AM

you are all retarded if you are suprised by this

Posted by brandon | February 5, 2014 9:36 AM

peyton manning intentionally lost the superbowl

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:37 AM

RHCP miming > any BV band actually playing

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:42 AM

9:34 what was the consistency?

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 9:43 AM

posers. at the start. posers today. tomorrow, too. you pays your money etc.

Posted by anonymous | February 5, 2014 10:04 AM

BV commenters are all fucking mimes of stupidity.

Posted by Flea | February 5, 2014 10:31 AM

Douchetastic!

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 10:45 AM

How were prince and U2 live? This is a serious question. Was the issue that they were coming in in the middle of B. Mars' set?

Also, (and again, I'm serious) the # of chili peppers wearing shirts was a Vegas prop bet.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 11:48 AM

woulda been great if their gtrs were not plugged in to amps but their cocks were plugged into tubesox

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 11:52 AM

is this real life?

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 11:55 AM

Prince I'd believe, U2 I'd be amazed if they ever played live in their whole career...

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 12:10 PM

"We thought it better to not pretend."

What a fucking moron. You were pretending asshat.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 12:13 PM

phillip Seymour Hoffman stole rhcp's heroin

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 12:40 PM

It's gotten to the point I just assume every musical artist is faking it anyway, so this is not news to me.

Posted by Chonchko | February 5, 2014 1:25 PM

I admit to being old enough to remember when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were relevant. God am I old. Shit.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 2:39 PM

the emo revival just died

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 3:14 PM

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but sometimes when I'm bored, I pretend I'm dipping a pita triangle into a Robust Hummus Platter.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 3:18 PM

As to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I say:

God, if you want to sound a little bit cool to the average person and yet you have no fucking hope over ever in your life understanding music even a little bit, then your best bet is to like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They've got something for everyone! Guitars, and drums, and a bass player who's ugly and in movies, and, uh, some kinda-rapping with the same rhyme pattern over and over in every song. They're simple enough that you'd have to be a huge goddamned moron not to understand them, so if you ARE a huge goddamned moron, it's not too much of a mental stretch to just choose them as your favorite band.

Posted by Dr. David Thorpe | February 5, 2014 3:51 PM

Why is this news?

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 5:08 PM

Dear everybody,

This is a big steaming pile of Clown shit.

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 6:12 PM

Drinka my juice young love chug-a-lug me

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 6:36 PM

Flea flea flea . Yeh yeh flea
- Beavis

Posted by Fred | February 5, 2014 6:54 PM

I've lost all respect for the RHCPs
I will now burn all their CDs and set myself on fire

Posted by Tom | February 5, 2014 6:56 PM

illuminati

Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2014 10:56 PM

Janet Jackson's boob was mimed and that shit STILL had uncontrollable feedback.

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 8:28 PM

The good song for a good day!

Posted by Furr | February 11, 2014 2:18 AM

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