Flea is not really that great is he??

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by arvidgunardi, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. I just watched a clip of RHCP concert on MTV where Flea was soloing. I thought he was doing really good, but not great......no great enough to get nominated in the same league as Victor Wooten(BP magazine).

    What do you guys think.....that was just my thought.

    Flea fans, don't get personal please....it's a question.
  2. Flea played an important role for me, and probably many people my age, in my development as a bass player and musician. In the scope of mainstream music, there aren't too many bass players that lay down groovy bass lines with lots of variations or slap solos either. The Mother's Milk album introduced me to slapping, and Blood Sugar Sex Magic had quite an abundance of groovy tasty basslines. It was a very groove and song oriented album rather than a slap chops album.

    Anyways, to wrap up my story, it was basically Flea that led me to dig deeper into the funk, which led me towards fusion and then jazz.

    And although Flea is not a Wooten or a Patittuci, IMHO, he is still "great". He comes up with good ideas, he grooves well, he has an individual style and touch, he can improvise, and he gets his message across to lots of people through his bass playing.
  3. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm getting to a point where I feel it is silly to judge the relative "goodness" of a player. Some have better technique than others, but music isn't a contest. It's all about what music you dig.

    I'd rather hear an average bass player in a great band than a great bass player in an average band.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Actually, I think he is. His time is impeccable, his technique is solid and he always comes up with interesting note choices. Most importantly, he has a unique voice on the instrument. On the occassions where I've heard him play outside the RHCP, I've never had to look at the liner notes to know that it's him.

    Younger fans might overhype him to some extent, but there are worse bassists to revere.
  5. RHCFlea


    Jun 16, 2001
    Washington DC
    I think he is, since he can play with his style, in a good band, and continually write great bass lines and play them, with a unique style and voice.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have all the RHCP albums...bought them as they came out, too.
    My only real gripe is this-
    It's gotten to the point of "Once you've heard Flea, you've heard him". Will he ever play anything besides Rap-Rock-Funk? In other words, isn't it about time to indulge himself in other projects?
    (& no, NOT Alanis Morisette or Jane's Addiction).
    Personally, I would like to hear how Flea handles himself with a 'better' Funk drummer(Chambers, Pheerroan Aklaff, Jo Jo Mayer, etc. Nuthin against Chad Smith, an "OK" Rock drummer).
    Flea's supposed to be into Coltrane & Dolphy...I'd like to hear him in a "Free" environment(maybe with Cornell Rochester, David Fiuczynski, or Gene Lake, Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, etc).
    Anybody venture a guess why he's staying solely in the comfort zone of the RHCP?
  7. maybe he's lazy. why should he venture out on a band that might not do well at all when he already has a very succesful band with a huge following. but i do agree with you that once you've heard flea you've heard all of flea. he has no vaste repetoire of technique
  8. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Flea was a huge influenece on me when I began playing back in 84, 85. He ventured out and did what no others were doing at the time. As I get older, I've become a bit more particular about what greatness means. Flea shows up, he plays, and he goes for it. That's cool enough. If you compare him to Wooten, Manring or Hamm, he doesn't compare. He's not even in the same league. But, he doesn't need to be. He does what he does and he does it well, like Claypool. Les certainly isn't the world's greatest bassist but he just goes for it, which is cool with me. Popularity is the only thing that places players like Flea and Claypool neck and neck in the polls with guys like Wooten or Manring, not ability.
  9. personally i think les claypool is a much better bassist but in a completely different way. i would however like to see a dueling basses between flea and les, i would pay some good money to see that.
  10. I find that sometimes flea shows off too much and it can get annoying. But I do think he is a fantastic bassist. The intro to 'All Around The World' does more for me then any other bassist on any popular song (mainstream, not Jaco, Wooten etc.). And he is probably responsible for people picking up the bass omre then any other player. Just take a look at the user names floating around TB, look at how many feature the word 'flea' somewhere.
    I think he is worthy of the hype.
  11. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I like flea better than all of the other mainstream bassists (or bass owners) that are around today. But IMHO he is no where close to Jaco, Victor...
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    To your qustion,: yes, he really is great.you dont have to be able to play(even though he can.) 15 notes a millisecond to be good, hes a very emotional player. very, very good.
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    just keep the boy away from fretless, that's what i say.
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I like his stuff. I think RS makes a good point about the whole situation though.
  15. True, but we are Bassists, so it is only natural that we are going to critique other bassists.
  16. Totally my point!

    The thing is, Flea was playing some serious funk stuff when I watched him on MTV(it was with RHCP). It was a straight forward groovy 16th note stuff; I enjoyed it very much. But as I watched along, I was waiting for the solo climax which I thought is going to happen somewhere in the concert, but it didn't. And by the look of his emotional playing, I don't think he would save the best for "some other day" concert where he decide he's gonna give it all out. Then I realized he probably had given it all out already through the concert I've just watched. Which is TOTALLY fine. I've always thought he could pull off something a bit more agressive interms of the solo climax etc. He did influenced alot of young people to take up bass, but a lot simply turns out to play alot like him too. Slap slap slap.....very limited variation in their playing. I just hope they don't follow Flea steps in playing the bass nude. If they do that, I'm sure they're gonna have a hard time selling their bass later on.
  17. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I personally don't see the attraction and I am annoyed every time I have to see an ad with him in his undies -- "Look at me, heroin gave me this body!"
  18. It's such a tricky one. How do you define great?

    I mean there are a million bass players (many unheard of) out there who can play flea in circles, but it's so much more than just technical ability.

    For me, it's the whole vibe and energy of a player and a band.

    When you see the peppers live and Flea slaps out the first few bars of Higher Ground or plays the intro to Around The World it's just incredible.

    Personally I cant imagine Wooten (for example) having that sort of impact when playing live. It's a different thing. I know I'd be more blown away by Wootens skills, but Flea is just so cool.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...have you ever seen Wooten live?
    Believe me, he gets the point across. ;)
  20. No, but I have absolutely no doubt that he does!!!