Did you catch the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ playing their classic “Give It Away” with Bruno Mars during the Super Bowl halftime show last Sunday (February 2nd)? And if so, did you notice that Flea‘s bass and Josh Klinghoffer‘s guitar were not plugged in? Apparently neither musician was playing live during the three-minute performance, with Flea later admitting so in a tweet, saying, “No trickery. No choice, but no trickery.”
According to Jam! Music, the fact that both men’s instruments were just there for show was first noticed by several other musicians watching the show on TV. Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid wrote, “That guitar is plugged into NOTHING,” while blues-rock axeman Joe Bonnamassa tweeted, “Flea… I mean we all know, but for god’s sake at least try to humor the children. #unpluggedlive.”
- Flea later wrote an open letter about the issue online, saying that the NFL had made it clear that all but the vocals would be taken from pre-recorded tracks.
- He explained, “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.”
- So drummer Chad Smith didn’t really play his drum kit either, a custom Super Bowl set made for the event that featured the logo of every team in the NFL.
- Now the NFL has split the kit in two — one half for the AFC and the other for the NFC — and is auctioning both parts to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- At press time,the leading bid for the AFC kit was $12,575, while the NFC kit was close behind at $9,575. Both auctions close on Friday (February 7th) at 10 p.m. ET.