Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known by his stage name Flea, is an Australian-American bassist, trumpet player, and occasional actor. He is best known as the bassist and co-founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Aside from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has collaborated with many artists, including Jane’s Addiction, Thom Yorke, The Mars Volta, and Alanis Morissette.
Flea has made numerous forays into acting, appearing in films that span many genres such as Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Part III (1990), My Own Private Idaho(1991), Suburbia (1984) and The Big Lebowski (1998) [condensed from Wikipedia].
[From the early 90s recording sessions of Blood Sugar Sex Magic]
Flea’s Twitter Account
1. Flea’s twitter Name, Flea333 seems (a) somewhat cryptic (half-devil?), while at the same time (b) almost tenderly juvenile and/ or innocent as if he wasn’t conscious of trying to appear ‘internet savvy’ but was pretty much just playing around, spontaneously choosing whatever name came to mind a la early 90s AOL users, although his case has the opposite effect of a typical name + number screenname (for example davidmiller72), in that it seems strangely outside of or beyond the realm of savvy vs. non-savvy.
2. Flea’s Location field states: “in cage with koko the gorilla” (for a comprehensive analysis of Koko, please reference Koko, the “Talking” Gorilla), which communicates to me multiple levels of (a) humility, in that Flea doesn’t feel any “freer” or “better off” than Koko or by extension, other animals, (b) empathy, in that, like Koko, Flea knows how it feels to be the object of stardom and/ or a kind of meme and that it’s essentially “cagelike,” (c) a sense of being existentially fucked, in that, no matter where Flea goes he’s still “caged,” which, taken all together, evokes extremely positive, almost brotherly feelings towards Flea, and makes me look forward to his tweets and perspectives “from the cage.”
3. This ethos conveyed in Flea’s location is galvanized in his bio, which subverts typical bios meant to project power/ control/ savvy (example: #1 outdoor sales rep in the mid Atlantic) by stating: ‘a small man.’
4. Flea’s Twitter Profile pic shows “a small man” digging in and grabbing a rail on a sweet backside barrel. The distance from which the shot is taken obscures the identity of the surfer (although, for reasons I’m not exactly sure of, but which have to do with the stance / board, I’m almost 100% sure it’s Flea), which seems to be the point: it’s not about who is riding the barrel, but more the barrel itself, the wave, the fact that when all the conditions and factors line up, it’s possible to get barreled. It’s also notable that the “small man” is not fully in the tube yet, but at that point when you know serious Stoke is about to happen, the lip just starting to throw overhead and everything walling up. To me this further expresses a sense of possibilities occurring, and a kind of humility of being open and ready for them to occur, whereas a shot of being completely shacked in the tube would potentially convey more of a sense of “domination.”
5. For the Web field of his Twitter account, Flea linked to the Silverlake Music Conservatory, a nonprofit learning center he co-founded whose mission is to provide “private music lessons at a reasonable cost” and “scholarships to children in need, providing free lessons and instruments.” Whereas other stars might link to their personal websites or Myspace or whatever, particularly if they are fighting to maintain artistic relevancy, Flea is linking to the project that’s current, that directly impacts the local community.
6. Selected Tweets:
- basketball is the usa’s greatest gift to the world along with jazz, baskebtall is poetry, ballet, theater, human greatness, potential, hope. 11 Apr
- I love my dogs orange eyebrows they are so dignified 17 Jan
- i am connecting with the music of j dilla in a deeply emotional way profoundly moving. opening new worlds. like when i heard jimi h as a kid 30 Apr
- long day in the studio…..phew! time to relax into some bernard malamud short stories they are so beautifu and sad…up running early am 28 Jan
- for humanity to have hope for a better future,wehave to face the atrocities it has committed, not sugarcoat them to make money 25 Apr
- I am flea. I bravely and boldy venture into the terror of it all. Anyone who says they have no fear is lying. You are not alone 17 Dec [Flea’s first tweet]