Some music fans noticed something about the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday: The guitars of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who joined Bruno Mars to perform, were not plugged in.
On Tuesday, Chili Peppers bass player Flea issued a lengthy statement, posted on the band's website, admitting that while frontman Anthony Kiedis did sing live, the instrumental track was pre-recorded.
The band wasn't thrilled about having to perform in such a way, but there was no choice, Flea said.
"I understand the NFL's stance on this," he wrote, "Given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there (are) a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period."
Flea also said the band chose not to plug in the guitars simply to save face.
"For the actual performance, Josh, Chad, and I were playing along with the pre-recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not," he wrote. "Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre-recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend."
The experience, unplugged though it was, turned out to be a great experience for the band, all of whom love football.
"I am grateful to the NFL for having us.," Flea wrote. "And I am grateful to (headliner) Bruno (Mars), who is a super talented young man for inviting us to be a part of his gig. I would do it all the same way again."