flea explains why he was playing guitar hero at the super bowl


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.

bruno-mars-red-hot-chili-peppers-super-bowlWe 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.


everyone dies in the end


if i wrote a movie thats what id call it.

everyone always wants to know the end of the story, well there it is.

these last two weeks ive felt closer to death than ever before

and ive been talking to people and reading about people who are knocking on heavens door

and its not the movie i thought i was buying a ticket to.

this morning i felt so good i was nearly skipping. tonight im limping.

i feel like django shot me in the side with an invisible bullet and because God is great every couple of days it heals but then django just shoots me again when im not looking. et tu, django?

1967CES_05up until this point of the movie nothing no one has ever been able to do to me has stopped me

growing up i had lots of things against me, just like you may have had.

but today im feeling minnesota and the things i have to do are outweighing

the things i wanna do.

just like someone you know who recently died, i feel like just curling up in a ball.

thats what heroin is. in fact if i made a movie about heroin thats what id call it

heroin, the curling up in a ball story.

al gore did not invent life for us to just curl up.

we are here to rock out

with our private parts out.

the good book says we are here to make a joyful noise unto the lord probably because just like us he loves rock concerts and thats who we are to him.

i dont know much but my guess is he gets inspired by us. and what happens when you get inspired? you do killer shit you didnt expect.

and, sad, desolate, boo hoo victims of the world, heres the good news about your pain

the prettiest flowers bloom when it thinks its gonna die.

so no, do not curl up your petals my sweet tulip

stretch those fuckers out and say

im not dying,

im just warming up.

nearly died yesterday but alls way better today

gaspar noeyesterday morning i woke up and thought i should probably go to the hospital. those stones are back and they wanted more of my delicious gooey nugat.

drove to work and thought i should probably see Cedar Sinai hospital for the first time.

got to my desk and things were blurry and spinning and this super honest Portuguese woman said, “you look terrible” which was odd because i had a dress shirt, sweater, khakis and dress shoes on because i had prepared to be buried.

so 15 minutes into work i told this other coworker to tell my boss that i was going to the hospital.

drank some water and went to the loo in the building because i figured cedars would have a long wait.

i groaned in the mens room as i wrote my boss an apologetic note explaining what had been done and not done and how i was sorry but i was dying. told the security guard i was peacing out and as i walked to the garage i figured i should probably take Uber to the hospital cuz lord knows how much parking is gonna be at the beverly hills hospital. plus they probably wouldnt let me drive home so maybe i should just uber there, uber home, and uber to work the next day instead of driving.

my experience with the morphine that they gave me last time was one where i was happy i was walking home instead of driving.

so as i walked past the huge rock to Fairfax i suddenly felt better. it dawned on me that maybe that last pee pissed out the stone. i didnt feel great but i didnt feel awful any more. and with each step i felt better and better.

usually the feeling of “OMG I NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL” is the stone going through the tiniest part of its journey. and the only reason i went to the hospital the other times was to ensure that i wasnt crazy and to get meds in case there were some straggler stones. but i had meds at home. and i knew i wasnt cray. so i turned around, went to work, nearly fainted a few times, but they fed us lunch and i felt better.

i just sat in my chair and worked and fortunately it wasnt a hectic day and i drank water and pissed and i canceled the drinks i was gonna have at 7pm and just went home, turned up the heat, ate beefaroni and watched my man Matt Welch on The independents talk with Anthony Weiner and laughed and watched PTI and laughed and watched the news and turned that shit off immediately and went to bed and got a full 8 hours sleep.

and i type to you a renewed man. better, stronger, faster, blacker, deffer. today imma go to the swankiest hotel in beverly hills for work, then do some other stuff, return home to do laundry and maybe uber for a few hours because i miss it. thank you God for letting me survive yesterday and thank you for letting me have a bottle of vicodins for when the pain hits.

if only i knew what was causing them.