Fans Respond to Flea’s Super Bowl Mea Culpa

ShutterstockFleainFinlandUnder the website blog post headline “A MESSAGE FROM FLEA” and the salutation ‘Dear everybody,’ the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ flamboyant bassist has penned a detailed explanation of how he and his bandmates came to accept a fate they swore they never would ever again. Being forcibly unplugged on a concert or TV performance stage. At the Super Bowl, no less!

Are hardcore fans buying Flea’s account of the NFL’s unbending halftime show live-performance rules and the band’s reasons for going along with them? Well, it depends which reader comment response(s) you peruse. At press time, there are dozens of supportive registered-user comments among the 100+ left so far (many, for some reason, are duplicated).

Most recently from the “Not Buying It” side (n2suntzu):

Dear Flea,

What a pant load…

You knowingly engaged in deceiving the people watching and expecting to see live music. Deception is fundamentally a lie. Lying is fundamentally an insult as it either consciously or unconsciously expresses the belief that the person being lied to is not smart enough to figure it out.

You tweeted you did not have a choice, bullshit. Everyone has a choice. You may not have liked the consequences of the choice, but you had one.

Those defending your actions on the platform of “that’s just how these big productions work” share your twisted moral set.

And most recently from the “Buying It” side (theloniouspunk):

Thank you for giving us the best SB halftime show since Prince. Bruno Mars was fantastic, but RHCP was the icing on the cupcake. Regardless of whether it was live or playback, you sounded great, brought incredible energy, and looked like you were having the time of your lives up there.

I’ve been a fan of yours for 20 years and have the utmost respect for you as musicians and artists. I don’t understand all these fans yelling “sellout” —-would they rather you had not been there at all? F*ck that noise. I was just thrilled to see my favorite band in the world play at the Super Bowl. It got me all excited for the next album and tour already. Much love and respect to you guys!

Speaking of Prince, another RHCP fan site member wonders why the Purple One was able (assuming this is correct) to play fully live at halftime.

And picking up further on theloniouspunk’s comment, let’s turn it around hypothetically for a moment. If the RHCP had refused to perform, walked away, tweeted from the airport and flown home on Sunday as another band like The Foo Fighters took their place, what would the reaction have been then? Probably split once more, between supportive fans and those questioning why the RHCP would choose to embarrass the NFL on its biggest day.

[Photo: Aija Lehtonen/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.