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Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea provide bonkers cover of the American national anthem

Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Image credit: YouTube)

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea – real name Michael Balzary – was tasked with playing the American national anthem last weekend (April 3) at the Lakers’ home game against the Denver Nuggets.

Unsurprisingly, Flea, who is no stranger to technical, riff-heavy bass lines, provided his own bass-focused, eccentric take on the anthem – otherwise known as The Star-Spangled Banner – with refreshing results.

Kicking off with simple octave chords, the cover then explodes, with the aid of a meaty fuzz pedal, into a whirlwind of Jazz-infused riffs played around a very spasmodic version of the song. Whilst performing, Flea flounces around the stage, aggressively jerking his head and body in his trademark hyperactive Chili Pepper fashion, while sporting a Lakers embellished purple Fender Jazz bass guitar and matching pants, gold dashes in his hair and the words "Go Lakers" written on his forearm.

This isn't the first time the bassist has been recruited to honour the game with a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner – he is an avid Los Angeles Lakers fan, after all. His most famous rendition at the game came before Kobe Bryant’s final NBA Game in 2016, which saw his similarly colourful appearance marred by technical issues. It resultingly met a variety of mixed views.

Flea ignored the criticism however, and rebuffed, "I know that people who like music liked it. thought it was beautiful. I really don’t have any concern for little small minds that get frustrated when they get blown. I like the big minds.”

Watch it below:

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Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.