Red Hot Chili Peppers: We Faked Our Super Bowl Performance

Red Hot Chili Peppers: We Faked

Band admits to playing along to pre-taped track during halftime show, says NFL suggested it

The Red Hot Chili Peppers decided long ago they were never going to mime a live performance. The band made an exception for the NFL, it turns out.

The group’s bassist, Flea, said in a letter to fans posted on the group’s website Tuesday that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members pretended to play along to a pre-taped track of “Give It Away” during the Super Bowl halftime show as Anthony Kiedis sang live. The request came from NFL officials who felt it was too difficult to pull off a completely live performance because of potential sound issues.

The admission came after observers noted Flea and his bandmates weren’t plugged in while performing Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Flea wrote on the band’s website that the opportunity was too big for the lifelong football fans to turn down. After internal debate, dubiously checking with fellow musicians and consulting with headliner Bruno Mars, they decided it was “a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it.”

The 51-year-old said the group pre-recorded a unique instrumental track for the show. He didn’t directly address whether Mars also recorded instrumental tracks for his appearance, though he said Mars was aware they did. A publicist for Mars did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

A record 115 million people tuned into watch Mars and the Peppers, besting audiences of 114 million for Madonna and 110 million for Beyonce.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 23


    Leave a Reply


    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    1. I faked in in high school when me and a bunch of buddies did a Kool and the Gang medley for the talent show. We got first prize and didn’t play a damn note. But, we hopped all over the stage like RHCP. – Robert Fairweather Stonger Yeah Yeah Yeah

    2. Bo says:

      Pretense. It’s all pretense and fake…am I being redundant?…lol…how anyone can openly admit to being fake and not having any trouble with that is beyond me. They looked and acted like morons anyway, if they were faking it or not so who cares?

      • Jesse says:

        1) The Superbowl is the most watched T.V. event in U.S. history. 2) They were only on-stage for one song and didn’t have time to properly sound check. 3) There were hundreds of potential problems that could have occurred to interrupt the live or T.V. viewing, so the NFL was not willing to take ANY chances.
        We (the fans) are AT EASE with this act of “miming”, because they did what THEY HAD TO DO. The band knows this too, so that’s why they didn’t “have trouble” with it. They had a lot of fun on stage, and I’m glad that the RHCP had the opportunity to perform to the largest crowd they’ve ever played in front of. Besides, I am willing to bet that you calling them morons means that you do not even listen to their music, so that just makes your comment void.

    3. Thomas says:

      Sid Vicious used to be un-plugged all the time from what I’ve read…

    4. LOL this is nothing new… They perform (sound) live just fine. Go about your business nothing to see here.

    5. Max Barber says:

      Actually, The Stones HAVE done this. Football arenas sound like shit. It’s a common practice.

    6. Carl Doone says:

      Listen to the song!! Amazing!

    7. Peter Innes says:

      Ask the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen if they “faked it”. The answer is no!

    8. bubble burster says:

      Every super bowl halftime performance is fake. Yes Anthony lip-synced as did Bruno and his band. All of it is pre-taped.
      Its all fake because the sound at the stadium is simply not set up for live music. At the end of the game when michael strahan used the microphone … That is what live stadium sound is like when using the house PA. Muddy with echoes.
      There is simply no room for suitable live sound rig during a sporting event like the super bowl because it would take hours to strike it so the game could continue. So they all fake the performance.
      Are you not entertained?

    9. Robyn Wh. says:

      We know you guys are not fake..this proves it. :)

    10. b says:

      I suggest that anyone reading this ignorantly written article should read Flea’s letter. At no point did they say “we faked our performance”. The performance was real. The conditions of performing the superbowl halftime show is that the instruments MUST be recorded – not their choice by any means. They play live all the time and do a damn good job.

      But hey, controversy gets washed up blogs more hits, right?

    11. Mike says:

      No story. This how the NFL run the show – it’s been this way for along time. Who cares. It’s not a concert, ok. It’s fluff entertainment time.

    12. crusty clowne says:

      As a musician I used to like their music. Now I look at them as no different than Miley Cyrus and all the rest of the herd. That’s too bad, they USED to be a rock band, now they are a sold-out band. The sound issue excuse is lip service.

      • Smooth says:

        You’re a musician who is still and probably always will be playing in the basement, jealous because you can’t make it. I suggest that you sell out because we don’t know who you are, and for a musician that’s a serious problem.

      • wall_of_fists says:

        Fools like you who call artists “sell-outs” obviously don’t know ONE of the reasons why all artists strive to become a full-time artist. To get paid to do what they love. The difference between bands like Chili Peppers and solo artists like Miley Cyrus is her material is written for her and her image choosen upon a group of businessmen who say the image will sell the most. Chili Peppers on the other hand worked hard to keep their own image, and didn’t compromise there music for what others think would be most popular. They write music they love for people who love that kind of music. If you read the Flea’s letter, the debated doing the halftime show becuase of it being pre-recorded, but did it because they are huge football fans. They get paid still because they have people who work for them that they need to pay (like agents who find them gigs like this and set up tours for them), and IF they did a huge event like the super bowl for free, what would stop others venues to try charging them less for a show in the future?

      • As a fellow musician, I find your opinion extremely ignorant. RHCP are still a great band who put out great music. The fact that they basically did something for themselves ONE time in their multiple decade long career should NOT hinder ones opinion on the band if you liked them prior to the Superbowl performance.

        If anything you’re the sell out, jumping on some make-believe bandwagon to hate RHCP for one mimicked (and most likely their last) performance.
        They are STILL a rock band, and honestly, by the general definition of “sellout”, they sold out ages ago the second they signed with a huge label, or won an award.

        You are not a musician. You are a sheep.

        • briantoohey says:

          I know they considered not doing it. If anything I think we have to give them props… because part of their reason for doing it so openly and transparently may have been to defend a lot of other musicians who were forced into the same thing and never spoke out about it– and ended up taking the blame for it. The Chili Peppers used the experience to shine a light on the fact that it’s the NFL, not the individual musicians, making that decision– and that unless the musicians abide by it they won’t even be allowed to play. A lot of musicians from past and future Super Bowl shows will no doubt be pretty grateful.

        • I dug them much more when Frusciante was with them, might have also given them more purpose to F-it and do it live! No one is ignorant, they just have a difference in opinion. Fight Like a Brave!!!!

    13. I would imagine swearing falls into “potential sound issues”.
      It was a great performance just the same. Filled with the energy that RHCP fans crave.

    More Music News from Variety