Skip to main content

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea says fans asking for photos "ruin" encounters with his band

Red Hot Chili Peppers larking around
(Image credit: Clara Balzary)

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea isn't a fan of posing for selfies with members of the public, and says that fans asking for photos with the band "ruin" encounters for the musicians.

The bassist's comments have sparked some online debate among music fans, with one Twitter user telling the 59-year-old musician. "Posing for a quick picture shouldn't be a chore."

Flea's initial comments on the matter came in response to a happy RHCP fan named Luke Vesely posting on Twitter about a chance meeting with the bassist and Chili Peppers' vocalist Anthony Kiedis in Seattle, writing "we didn’t talk a lot but flea did shake my hand and anthony gave me fist bumps, they were very kind!"

Tagging Flea in a follow-up tweet, Vesely added, "thank you (and AK) for being so kind and genuine while meeting us, you both are such rays of sunshine, you didn’t have to stop and chat but you did and i hope you know that you really impacted our lives. we love you and AK with all of our hearts!"

See more

In response, Flea tweeted: "It's because you all generated a kind and gentle light, and you didn't ask for a picture. We are always down to talk and chat, asking for a photo ruins it instantly."

When another Twitter user enquired "what's wrong with fans asking for a picture?" Flea replied, "There is nothing wrong with it. But it ruins having actual conversation. It is a transaction."

This response seems to have annoyed some RHCP fans, with one posting "Posing for a quick picture shouldn't be a chore. For fans, meeting you guys is such a memorable moment that they want to capture it and value it forever. I'm pretty sure you've wanted photos alongside your heroes???" and another writing, "Seems as if other transactions like buying your albums and concert tickets or merch are AOK and if a fan asks respectfully for a pictorial memento it seems like you should honor that peacefully with joy as it is only because of them you live as comfortably as you do."

Insisting that he has never asked anyone for a photo in his life, Flea wound up the exchange by stating that he has "respect and gratitude" for every fan of his band. 

See more

Earlier this week, the Chili Peppers announced that they will play an intimate gig next month at the storied 1,500 capacity Apollo Theater in New York, for SiriusXM.

Fans can attempt to win tickets to the intimate September 13 gig by accessing the Whole Lotta Red Hot channel on the SXM app and waiting on a pop-up message appearing with further details. The competition is open until 11am New York time on August 29.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.