When the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars took the stage at the halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday, it would seem to many to have been the pinnacle of career achievement. However, the band’s members were upset over one very important issue: they were not allowed to perform live and, in protest, refused to “plug in” their guitars for some miming. Fans noticed.
This is not the first time the Red Hot Chili Peppers have taken a stand on miming. In the late 80’s, the band was actually thrown off the stage of “Top of the Pops,” a British show that required them to lip synch. Instead, the band members made a mockery of the process, angering the show’s producers.
So why did the band agree to do the show in the first place? According to Flea, the group’s bassist, the Super Bowl is ”a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do.”
Actually, lip-synching is the common way to handle such important live performances. No matter how popular the group, no one wants to risk a bad note at such a prestigious venue. Unlike concerts, where the group can even stop what they are doing or go back and pick up a missed tune, the Super Bowl is definitely “get it right the first time.”
Fans are divided on whether the RHCPs should have gone on with the show. Their approach, many felt, was somewhat lukewarm. Some purists claim that they should have turned down the gig if they were not to be allowed to perform truly live, but others realize that the Super Bowl really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and believe they should have compromised just this once. As it was, the group seemed to be protesting the very gig they really wanted to do, leaving both advocates and nay-sayers with a bit of a bad taste.
According to Flea, the group talked to many musicians whom they respected, and the answer was fairly unanimous. Almost everyone said that to be on the Super Bowl, it was worth compromising the live-performance only rule.
In the end, the group noted that because lead singer Anthony was able to sing live to the pre-recorded accompaniment, they felt justified in doing the appearance.
What do you think the RHCPs should have done, given their feeling on live performances?