Red Hot Chili Pepper Fans Outraged at Pre-recorded Super Bowl Performance
If you weren’t watching the Super Bowl’s halftime show, you might have missed what some Red Hot Chili Pepper fans are upset about. For those who paid close attention, you saw that Flea’s (bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) bass guitar wasn’t plugged in. Immediately, fans took to social media, calling out the band for pre-recording their performance. Images showing Flea’s unplugged bass emerged on the Internet and created another wave of negative responses from fans worldwide.
Yesterday, Flea released a letter to his fans in response to all the harsh criticism: “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 … There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.”
So why did a band, renowned for their great live performances, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers agree to play the Super Bowl? For many, this decision to mime their performance was a “sellout” and a disappointment. Flea writes to his fans, “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.”
Still, purist fans are upset, and perhaps they have reason to be. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, in some sense, stood for genuine live performances; having made mockeries of playing pre-recorded shows in the past. On the other hand, haven’t they proved their worth as a live band over their 31 years on the road? Shouldn’t they be entitled to make an exception for an event like the Super Bowl?
Flea closed his letter by saying, “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.” Check out the letter here.