Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers gets old, shouts at clouds

Used to be Flea was the member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers people liked even if they didn’t like the band. He was the one who showed up in cult movies like The Big Lebowski and Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, the one who sang ‘Pea’, and more recently a member of credible supergroup projects like Atoms For Peace and Rocket Juice & The Moon.

But forget all that, because while we weren’t looking Flea turned into an old man who shouts at clouds. In a recent interview on Pearl Jam Radio, in which the Chili Peppers’ bassist talked to Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready about the 1991 tour their bands shared with the Smashing Pumpkins, Flea remembered the 1990s as a golden age for struggle and authenticity. He then compared it to the state of rock today, where apparently kids are getting into the music business because it’s a “money making opportunity”. Here’s the relevant quote.

“I just remember being so excited that we were playing with [Pearl Jam] and with Smashing Pumpkins, because it was just an exciting time for rock music. A lot of times, especially recently, I look at rock music as kind of a dead form in a lot of ways. Nothing to take away from us and [Pearl Jam], because obviously I believe we’re relevant bands that come with a real energy. But if you’re a kid today, and you get in a rock band, it’s like – when we were kids, when I said I want to be in a rock band and that’s what I’m doing for my life, that’s what I was going to do, no question. You’d get: ‘You are a fucking lunatic, you are crazy. You’re never going to get a decent job in your life. What are you doing? You’re ruining your life.’

“I was like fuck it, I don’t care, this is what I want to do, this means everything to me, I found a home. I’ve been a weird, neurotic, loner kid all my life, I was always the kid you called fag in high school, punk rock gave me a home. But nowadays, you decide you want to be in a rock band it’s like [in businessman voice]: ‘Oh great, let’s get you an image consultant, and a lawyer, and a manager, and let’s see what we can do here. It’s a great money making opportunity for you junior.’”

(Hat-tip to Alternative Nation for the transcript.)

You’ve got to be pretty out of touch to think rock is a money-spinning business opportunity in 2016 and the 1990s were an uncynical time when nobody ever did anything for money. Here’s Flea as we’d rather remember him.