3:10 pm - 02/04/2014

Flea Explains Why the Red Hot Chili Peppers Had To Pre-record Their Super Bowl Performance

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.



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theblackwidow 5th-Feb-2014 01:23 am (UTC)
tell_it_sister 5th-Feb-2014 01:35 am (UTC)
lol if i were eli, i'd be talking so much shit to peyton omg
theblackwidow 5th-Feb-2014 01:35 am (UTC)
blowinmoneyfast 5th-Feb-2014 01:56 am (UTC)
the two of them together could complete an entire season
camillesaens 5th-Feb-2014 01:39 am (UTC)
scriptedending 5th-Feb-2014 01:23 am (UTC)
Well written response, imo. I don't doubt him that the NFL is strict about stuff like that.
rarkon 5th-Feb-2014 01:25 am (UTC)
but wifi guitars~~~ :(
fashi0nbaby 5th-Feb-2014 01:32 am (UTC)
Did you read it? The NFL did not allow them to play live.
rarkon 5th-Feb-2014 01:33 am (UTC)
did you read the last post about it? then you'll get the reference
nikuru 5th-Feb-2014 01:50 am (UTC)
zeldazonked 5th-Feb-2014 01:51 am (UTC)
I'm so embarrassed for all the fb bros that were arguing with people about how Flea has multiples copies of the same guitar, one of which has a wifi box built inside of it!!!1
ch33rylips 5th-Feb-2014 02:00 am (UTC)
genbu_no_miko24 5th-Feb-2014 02:07 am (UTC)
judgmental 5th-Feb-2014 02:11 am (UTC)
lmao mte
treebraids 5th-Feb-2014 01:00 pm (UTC)
lol - MTE
rougepoison 5th-Feb-2014 01:25 am (UTC)
I can't believe people are mad over this, tbh. It's not like RHCP had something to prove...
vacatia 5th-Feb-2014 01:56 am (UTC)
lloydsgurl 5th-Feb-2014 01:26 am (UTC)
If people thought they literally jumped onto stage and started playing within 1 sec..... child.
moddchicc 5th-Feb-2014 01:30 am (UTC)
MTE, lol
totes_adorkable 5th-Feb-2014 01:40 am (UTC)
beatlesluv 5th-Feb-2014 01:41 am (UTC)
savannah_rose24 5th-Feb-2014 01:27 am (UTC)
At least he admitted it. I was still hoping for a built in wifi transmitter, but its not like RHCP can't play live. Still enjoyed the performance.
anna_karenina_x 5th-Feb-2014 01:28 am (UTC)
ponpiri 5th-Feb-2014 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, Flea. I actually appreciate this explanation.
tell_it_sister 5th-Feb-2014 01:32 am (UTC)
im glad he came out with it instead of trying to lie about it or downplay it. it was an all around awesome performance.
muzicnem 5th-Feb-2014 04:10 am (UTC)
im glad he came out with it instead of trying to lie about it or downplay it.
Same here. The fact that he wasn't shady about it kinda made it a non-issue.
kidviciousdonna 5th-Feb-2014 01:32 am (UTC)
Now can I have an explanation for Anthony's leggings?
murdered_beauty 5th-Feb-2014 01:35 am (UTC)
lol irl
freemywilly 5th-Feb-2014 01:36 am (UTC)
and his mustache
__allodoxa 5th-Feb-2014 01:39 am (UTC)

i love them tbqh, but i would only wear them inside

the only thing that could make them better was a windows version with bsods and sliding windows all over.

Edited at 2014-02-05 01:40 am (UTC)
marley_love 5th-Feb-2014 02:32 am (UTC)
I would totes rock these in public, idec
cashmerekisses 5th-Feb-2014 02:56 am (UTC)
where are they from??
thebloomroom 5th-Feb-2014 01:41 am (UTC)
fashi0nbaby 5th-Feb-2014 01:47 am (UTC)
now sis, he's worn way more ridiculous things than those jeremy scott leggings :P
h0tfuss 5th-Feb-2014 01:53 am (UTC)
He was auditioning for Adam's dad on Girls.
loonylolydarko 5th-Feb-2014 06:55 am (UTC)
I think you mean where can we get them
__ohthedrama 5th-Feb-2014 01:32 am (UTC)
I love RHCP but I did not enjoy them at all in this performance. I didn't think it meshed well with the Motown vibes that were going on, and I thought Bruno Mars was fine headlining the show alone.
thebloomroom 5th-Feb-2014 01:44 am (UTC)
agreed i wasnt into it and i loved them so much as a kid/in hs (tho i havent followed them since stadium arcadium tbh)
swoon_song 5th-Feb-2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Agreed tbh
raised_eyebrows 5th-Feb-2014 01:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't really get why they were even invited tbh. They don't really mesh well with Bruno Mars. I felt like it took some of the energy away from his performance.
marrymejoejonas 5th-Feb-2014 01:33 am (UTC)
People are so hilarious about stuff like this, and have no idea how live performances work.
veritas_44 5th-Feb-2014 02:26 am (UTC)
Yep. With these kind of posts, you can always tell who actually knows what they are talking about and who just thinks they know because they read about it once in Highlights magazine 10 years ago.
nimberlane 5th-Feb-2014 05:57 am (UTC)
kofo4 5th-Feb-2014 01:35 am (UTC)
now will somebody explain anthony's leggings though
totes_adorkable 5th-Feb-2014 01:39 am (UTC)
looool mte
garlicsong 5th-Feb-2014 01:36 am (UTC)
Makes sense. And it's hard to be mad at Flea so I accept this lol.

They were my first concert when I was 13 so I can't be mad. <_<
vacatia 5th-Feb-2014 01:57 am (UTC)
They were my first concert too :D Well, them and Stone Temple Pilots.
garlicsong 5th-Feb-2014 02:56 am (UTC)
That's awesome! I wish I got to see STP before Chester got involved. But knowing Scott, it'd probably be difficult to attend a proper show with a full set unless I traveled back to 1992 or something. :\
_otravez 5th-Feb-2014 03:40 am (UTC)
My first concert was them and STP too!! :)
upood 5th-Feb-2014 01:37 am (UTC)
props to them for doing this
but lol @ the bit about being thrown off top of the pops.. clearly you need to talk to muse on how to mime a joke properly.
muzicnem 5th-Feb-2014 04:11 am (UTC)
What did Muse do?
upood 5th-Feb-2014 04:16 am (UTC)

switched places, the singer on the drums etc. theyre amazing trolls.
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