Give It Away for Flea
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea turns 56 today
Born Michael Peter Balzary, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 16 October 1962 but better known as Flea. His family would move to Rye, New York when Flea was only 5. A founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, his combination of a funky slap style, metal phrasings and uncharacteristic melodic techniques not only deeply shaped the sound of the band but also redefined the role of the bass and how it is played. Originally a jazz trumpeter he was taught the bass by his high school friend and co-founding Chili Peppers member Hillel Slovak. It was also during high school that he was nicknamed Mike B the Flea. Flea and Slovak met Anthony Kiedis forming a synergy and eventually became the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His early jazz influences spilled over into a passion for funk and were greatly shaped by Kiedis’ affinity for metal, punk, and rock. That, combined with his unprecedented bass skills, resulted in Flea playing a dominant role in the overall sound of the band. Flea is regarded as one of the most influential bass players of the last 30 years, with a career fulfilled with success, today, he turns 56.
Look back at the iconic Red Hot Chili Peppers 1991 music video for “Give It Away”
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