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Flea (musician)

Flea (musician)
Flea performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers at Slane Castle on August 23, 2003.
Personal information
Birth nameMichael Peter Balzary
GenresFunk rock, alternative rock, punk rock
OccupationMusician, actor
InstrumentsBass guitar, trumpet, piano, vocals
Years active1983 present
LabelsWarner Bros. Records, EMI
Associated actsRed Hot Chili Peppers, Fear, Jane's Addiction, John Frusciante, What Is This?, Dead Kennedys, P, The Mars Volta, Atoms for Peace, River Phoenix, Rage Against the Machine, Incubus
Notable instrumentsModulus Flea Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
Music Man StingRay
Fender Precision Bass

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Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known by his stage name Flea, is an Australian-American musician and occasional actor. He is best known as the bassist, co-founding member, and one of the composers of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea is also the co-founder of Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization founded in 2001 to teach music education.

Originally a jazz trumpet prodigy, Flea learned to play bass in high school from a close friend and future Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who required a bassist for his band Anthym, and soon developed his own style. Flea 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 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 Jane's Addiction, Atoms for Peace, The Mars Volta, Alanis Morissette, Johnny Cash, Young MC and P.

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), Motorama (1991) The Chase (1994), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Suburbia (1984) and The Big Lebowski (1998).

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