Submitted by guitar-list on
There are two artists with this name:
1) Flea was an early 70s Italian progressive rock band that released in fact three albums with different names, the first as 'Flea in the Honey', with the members only identified with English nicknames, then as 'Flea', and later as 'Etna'.
2) Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known as Flea, is an Australian-born American musician and actor. He is best known as the bassist, co-founding member, and one of the composers of the rock band and 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea is also the co-founder of Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit music education organization founded in 2001 for underprivileged children. Flea also briefly appeared as the bassist for such bands as What Is This?, Fear and Jane's Addiction. More recently he has appeared as member of the rock supergroups Atoms for Peace and Rocketjuice and The Moon. Originally a jazz trumpet player, Flea learned to play bass in high school from close friend and future Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who required a bassist for his band Anthym. Flea soon developed his own style and joined the group, but quit several months later in order to play for the punk rock outfit Fear. He then rejoined Slovak to form an intended one-off band Tony Flow and the Majestic Masters of Mayhem along with fellow high school alumni Anthony Kiedis and Jack Irons; the impromptu collaboration would ultimately give birth to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Highly regarded as one of the best rock bass players of all time, his work as a bassist incorporates several musical styles, ranging from aggressive slap bass to more subdued and melodic techniques. Drawing influences from funk music and punk rock, Flea centers his playing on simplicity and minimalism while viewing complexity as a device that should be used in moderation. Aside from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has collaborated with many artists, including The Mars Volta, Alanis Morissette, Johnny Cash, Young MC and P. Flea is ranked #2 on Rolling Stone's "Readers Pick the Top Ten Bassists of All Time." Occasionally, Flea has made a few forays into acting, appearing in films that span many genres such as Suburbia (1983), Dudes (1987), Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Part III (1990), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Motorama (1991) The Chase (1994), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Big Lebowski (1998). He is also known for voicing the character Donnie Thornberry in the hit cartoon series and spin-off films, The Wild Thornberrys.
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Gear used by Flea
1962-10-16 to ?