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Was Flea Faking It at the Super Bowl?

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Once again, the performance of a shirtless person during a Super Bowl halftime show has caused some controversy. However, this time it’s not related to the musician’s lack of clothes. Apparently, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was miming to a backing track during Sunday’s performance.

ABC News Radio reports that Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, while watching the game, tweeted, “That guitar is plugged into NOTHING.” Indeed, the picture that we ran with our recap of the halftime show reveals that there is no cable coming from the jack on the side of Flea’s bass. And in the above photo, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer’s pink Stratocaster is also unconnected.

It has become standard practice for Super Bowl halftime show acts — and some national anthem singers — to prerecord their music, with only the vocal microphones airing live during the event. In fairness to both the NFL and the artists, the logistics of assembling a full stage in only a few minutes, coupled with the possibility of something going wrong in front of a worldwide audience, make this policy a necessity.

In his defense, Flea tweeted, “No trickery. No choice, but no trickery.” Perhaps he’s implying that he and Klinghoffer objected to the policy and deliberately didn’t plug in their instruments, in the hopes that they would get caught.

Next: The Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever

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