While the Super Bowl this year was a bore, the halftime show managed to be the best part of the evening with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers coming out for a thrilling set that took the Super Bowl over and managed to be more entertaining than we ever thought it would be.
But there’s some controversy brewing as photos have emerged that show Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea playing an instrument that didn’t appear to be plugged in. Flea has come forward to end the debate over whether it was a special bass or just an unplugged one and has confirmed that the Chili Peppers were just dancing around with unplugged instruments at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Flea and the Red Hot Chili Peppers released a statement that explained the NFL wanted only the vocals to be live while the instruments were to be pre-recorded as to avoid technical mistakes at the last minute.
Here are some excerpts from the lengthy admission:
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can read the full letter from Flea on the Red Hot Chili Peppers official website. As far as the debate about the unplugged bass, fans are now likely going to debate whether or not playing unplugged in a literal sense was a good move for the band or a bad one.