Over the weekend, Red Hot Chili Peppers played one of the biggest gigs in the world when they appeared on the Super Bowl halftime show with Bruno Mars. They were subsequently accused of faking the performance, with critics pointing out that their instruments weren't plugged in. The band have now responded to these allegations.
The veteran funk-rock band showed up partway through Mars' set to play their early '90s hit "Give It Away." They clearly didn't have guitar cables plugged in, and close examination of the footage (see below) revealed that they weren't using wireless transmitters either.
Bassist Flea was quick to respond, admitting that all of the instruments were pre-recorded, while the vocals were live. This was on the NFL's insistence, and there was apparently no room for compromise. The four-stringer conceded that he was initially conflicted about miming, but he referred to the gig as a "surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do," comparing it to a live music video. The recording they used was made especially for the event.
By leaving their guitars unplugged, they were intentionally drawing attention to the fact that they weren't actually playing — the same explanation that Disclosure gave in a similar situation last year. Flea explained, "It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance."
Read his letter here.
The controversy prompted Infamous rock'n'roll loudmouth Axl Rose to issue a statement of his own. He said that, even though the Chili Peppers weren't visibly using guitar transmitters, "Maybe they all had microchips installed in their asses and not only pick up the frequencies of their instruments but get Direct TV and the internet too! Like Google Glass... Google Ass! They could be 'Scientific Pioneers!' Like Buzz Aldrin and shit! True (pardon the pun)ASS-tro-nots! Or like Superbowl crash test dummies for bands kinda like those cars that drive themselves!"
He also added that, if the performance was mimed, "They may have set a new world record for the largest karaoke audience ever! Awesome!"
In ridiculing the controversy, Rose probably has the best perspective at all. Read his statement here.
Even though the miming situation has caused a bit of a furor, the NFL are probably happy that no one gave the camera the finger.