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Red Hot Chili Peppers respond to Super Bowl recording scandal

By Matt Gantos
On February 12, 2014

Despite the absolute blowout on the Super Bowl scoreboard, there was still plenty to talk about concerning the half-time show.
The show was two-thirds Bruno Mars and one-third Red Hot Chili Peppers and-as a Super Bowl protocol insists-the performances would be pre-recorded and then "mimed."
Since the technical difficulties in recent Super Bowls, this was a non-negotiable term-and at first the Red Hot Chili Peppers weren't too thrilled about the idea.
According to bassist Flea, "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."
This time they were quite over-the-top. It was hard to believe that they could be playing their complex nuance-filled music while rocking out as hard as they did. When it came out that they weren't actually playing, it wasn't that surprising or offensive.
Certain sections of the Internet community were incredibly offended and pictures upon pictures came out showing the unplugged guitar and bass with disparaging criticism.
The guitar and bass may have been unplugged but it seemed that the guys were still playing what they normally would have for the most part.
The vocals, however, were live. The band wanted to maintain at least some integrity.
"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," Flea said
The point here is that the Chili Peppers have nothing to prove to anyone. Thirty-one years of playing live shows full of energy is an indisputable résumé and if your band gets asked to play the Super Bowl you don't say "no."
"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," Flea said.
These quotes are all from a public statement issued by Flea on the band's website. Flea felt he needed to respond to all of the criticism on the web. He wanted the fans to know that he and the rest of the band knew what they were getting into and even though they weren't absolutely on board with the idea of "miming"-it wasn't a negotiable deal. They understood the situation of everything needing to go perfectly, he said.
 


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