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Flea Explains Why Red Hot Chili Peppers Were Unplugged at the Super Bowl

 
Flea Explains Why Red Hot Chili Peppers Were Unplugged at the Super Bowl
Posted February 4th, 2014 @ 6:11pm

The Red Hot Chili Peppers did not play live at the halftime of the Super Bowl.  Anthony Keidis did actually sing.  But, Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer played along to a prerecorded track.

Fans noticed that Flea's bass was not plugged and there was no wireless system hooked up to the instrument.  The same was true for Klinghoffer's guitar.

In a post on the band's website, Flea explains the decision.  He says that the band considered not participating because the NFL would not allow for a live performance (with the exception of vocals).  Flea writes, "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 UK during rehearsals because we refused to mime properly."

The band did record the track that was played at the Super Bowl.  The version we heard includes current guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.  When Give it Away was recorded, John Frusciante was in the band.

Flea explains the choice:

"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 instrument track was pre recorded?  Of couse 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."

Read Flea's full statement here.

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. - See more at: http://redhotchilipeppers.com/news/454-a-message-from-flea#sthash.p8hP5e2o.dpuf
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 - See more at: http://redhotchilipeppers.com/news/454-a-message-from-flea#sthash.p8hP5e2o.dpuf
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 - See more at: http://redhotchilipeppers.com/news/454-a-message-from-flea#sthash.p8hP5e2o.dpuf
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 - See more at: http://redhotchilipeppers.com/news/454-a-message-from-flea#sthash.p8hP5e2o.dpuf

 

Drummer Chad Smith points out that every other recent halftime performer has had to deal with the same issues.

 

 

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