“He is poetry, he is innocence, he is energy, he is Flea!” – Flea at the Pathway to Paris, 09/14/2018

With that great introduction from none other than Patti Smith, the bassist extraordinaire Flea (born Michael Peter Balzary) proceeds to give a short but beautiful solo set playing bass and trumpet. The performance is loosely divided into three sections with Flea using echo effects and a looping pedal to create a soundscape over which he alternately plays some sparse, atmospheric trumpet and rocked out fuzz tone “lead” bass lines. The final section features a slap bass groove reminiscent of his Red Hot Chili Peppers playing before he finishes with a dance carrying both instruments, stopping the loops and leaving the stage. So cool.

This was part of an event recently held in San Francisco by climate change organization Pathway to Paris which aims to unite “musicians, artists, activists, climate change experts, academics, politicians and innovators to participate in a series of events, dialogues and leading initiatives to help turn the Paris Agreement into reality.”

Flea performing for Pathway to Paris 09/14/2018 –


Like most great musicians, Flea took in sounds from different (sometimes disparate) sources, synthesizing them into something uniquely his own. The video below, from You Tube essayist Polyphonic, talks about how Flea combines Funk’s slap bass style with Punk’s aggression to create his signature style.

How Flea Plays Bass – 

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Posted in Bass, Classic Rock, Music Appreciation and Analysis

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