The Super Bowl half time show, while always an amazing spectacle, is rarely without its fair share of controversy. This year’s hot topic of discussion? The reality that the Red Hot Chili Peppers mimed their way through the entire performance.
The rumours started on Twitter when those watching at home noticed that bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer’s instruments weren’t actually plugged in. Living Colour guitarist, Vernon Reid tweeting
His sentiments were echoed by legendary blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa.
Not to be one to sit quietly, Flea responded by tweeting “No trickery. No choice, but no trickery.” He then wrote an open letter to RHCP fans via the band’s website explaining that they were told in advance that the “vocals would be live, but the bass, drums and guitar would be pre-recorded” and then went on to defend the NFL, explaining that their decision was final and that given the amount of setting up and equipment required to put on a live show, and the always present possibility of technical problems, the NFL did “not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.”
Instead of asking musicians to take part in the Super Bowl half time show and then telling them they cannot actually perform, why don’t the half time show organisers instead book talent that doesn’t require all the bells and whistles? On the flip side, surely the Red Hot Chili Peppers management, and band themselves would have been told of the NFL’s decision to have them play “unplugged” so to speak. Why didn’t they just say no and save themselves from the social media storm that erupted and the explaining they inevitably had to do?
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