Ongoing History Daily: Flea facts

Given that Flea is now one of the most respected bass players in the history of rock, it might be surprising to learn that he grew up hating this kind of music.

Flea was born in Australia to a family that was deeply steeped in jazz. When he was growing up, the young Flea—his real name is Michael Balzary, by the way—was known as a prodigy with the trumpet and had dreams of being in a famous jazz band. He was a complete snob about rock, thinking that it was music for morons and beneath someone of his ability.

It wasn’t until his high school friend Hillel Slovak started playing him music from Jimi Hendrix and The Who that he got turned on to rock. Slovak taught Flea how to play bass and the rest is history.

However, Flea can be heard playing trumpet on a number of records including songs by Jane’s Addiction.

Friday’s post featured a story that was rather bloody.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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