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Was anybody else surprised by the look of Flea's brand of basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Direct Box Rox, Jul 13, 2019 at 3:49 PM.

  1. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    So in the early 90's I got used to Flea always being seen playing a Stingray. Then I remember one day opening up Bass Player Magazine and on the inside cover (it might have even been a double truck ad) seeing a Modulus ad w/ Flea introducing his new model. So then it became Music Man & Modulus. Then one day I see these God-awful looking basses with the worst colorways & these goofy completely round pie-late pickguards (Flea's own brand). I first thought that they must be some special deal or arrangement made with a big box store like Toys R Us to license a "Flea Bass" for like $39 or something. Then when I saw they were supposed to be serious basses I was flabbergasted. It's almost as if they purposely tried designing something that was so awful looking in every way. I can say that I wasn't surprised that the brand failed. I'm not sure who talked him into thinking that those shapes/colors/shape of pickguard was the way to go - but I think it was a horrible decision.
  2. phutyle


    Jan 18, 2017
    Yeah, I was expecting Sunburst, Black and Candy Apple Red. He doesn’t at all look like the kind of guy who would have crazy coloured basses to his name.

  3. creaturegods


    Sep 23, 2017
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Bought the green one for my son for Christmas in 2009.
    Biggest mistake I've ever made.
    Not only did he quit playing bass...he'd been playing for three years on a beat up old Teisco Encore...but he took up playing the accordion, joined a polka band, and became a vegan.
    I don't really blame Flea, but every time I hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the radio, I can't help but switch stations.
  5. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Why this thread now? Have you been keeping that bottled up all this time? Do you feel better about finally getting it off your chest?
  6. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    time warp
  7. Have you guys seen this "New Coke" stuff? Tastes like a cheap Pepsi knockoff. Messing with an icon, silly. I wonder if Coca Cola will ever recover from this fiasco!
  8. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

    I'm surprised that the OP is surprised by a "whacky" bass bearing the Flea name.

    I was surprised that the Fender Flea Basses were so plain.

    I was not surprised at all by cheap knockoff no-name "Flea" basses I saw around here (Germany, not TB) late last year.
    Evil Funk, wmhill, miljoneir and 3 others like this.
  9. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    Yeah they are pretty crappy. Also, water is wet.
  10. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Sell all your shares in VHS folks. No way Betamax isn't going to win this fight.
  11. Aboriginal flag bass!!! That thing is AWESOME. Nice to see Flea standing up for equality.

    If you dont know what I'm talking about here in Oz, google is your friend.
    design, Maxime1980, Jughead6 and 4 others like this.
  12. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    Right - except the bass in the picture you provided is a Modulus and not the brand/type of bass I was talking about.
    Obrad Lacarac likes this.
  13. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    I'm pretty sure my corneas are melted after looking at those colorways.
    mikewalker and jd56hawk like this.
  14. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    Here's what happened; I was watching some reviews/marketing videos regarding Flea's Fender Jazz but w/ the single MM style pickup. So I was reflecting on his basses over the years thinking "Music Man, Modulus & Fender is what he is mostly known for." Then I completely spaced the fact that he had his own bass company for a period of time - which is kinda forgotten about now. So looking back on it - it's not surprising they aren't around any more. Between the shape & the colors - ugh.
    Glenn Mac, jd56hawk and wvbass like this.
  15. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    I really enjoyed the colors. The reviews scared me away. If I wanted to sound like Flea I'd get a Stingray.
    Nick von Nick and Obrad Lacarac like this.
  16. I thought it was a laudable goal at the time, to provide a usable instrument at a reasonable price to encourage young people to pick up an instrument and get into music. That said, I found the instruments to be frighteningly ugly.
  17. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I kind of liked the look and sort of wish I had bought one. I think the wacky bright color schemes matched his personal style.
    TheDayMan and Inara like this.
  18. dBChad


    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I remember first seeing those in the Musician's Friend catalog (when they came in the mail). It wasn't much more for a Sterling MM which was a better looking bass IMO. I do vividly remember thinking "well that would be cool if you have a blacklight."
    Machiavelli likes this.
  19. phutyle


    Jan 18, 2017
    Yeah, you’re right. Pointing out his general sense of style is totally irrelevant to understanding why he might market quirky coloured basses. That Modulus and the outfit he’s wearing playing it was just an aberration in career otherwise characterised by conservative, safe and sensible fashion and design choices.

    Jhenry, djaxup, ekfritz and 10 others like this.
  20. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    Not to mention his Richard sock.
    ...I said don't mention it.
    Keger Jupit likes this.

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