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Flea (musician) picture, image, poster
Flea (musician)

Date of birth : 1962-10-16
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Burwood, Melbourne, Australia
Nationality : Australian-American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-20

Michael Peter Balzary , better known by his stage name Flea, is a bassist, trumpet player and occasional actor. He is best known as the bassist, co-founding member, and one of the composers of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea is also the co-founder of Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization founded in 2001 to teach music education.

Originally a jazz trumpet prodigy, Flea learned to play bass in high school from a close friend and future Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak, who required a bassist for his band Anthym, and soon developed his own style. Flea joined the group, but quit several months later in order to play for the punk rock outfit Fear. He soon rejoined Slovak to form an intended one-off band along with fellow high school alumni Anthony Kiedis and Jack Irons; the impromptu collaboration would ultimately give birth to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Highly regarded as one of the best bass players of all time, his work as a bassist incorporates several musical styles, ranging from aggressive slap bass to more subdued and melodic techniques. Drawing influences from funk music and punk rock, Flea centers his playing on simplicity and minimalism while viewing complexity as a device that should be used in moderation. Aside from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has collaborated with many artists, including Jane's Addiction, Thom Yorke (Atoms for Peace), The Mars Volta, Alanis Morissette and P.

Flea has made numerous forays into acting, appearing in films that span many genres such as Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Part III (1990), The Chase (1994), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Suburbia (1984) and The Big Lebowski (1998).

Flea was born in Burwood, Melbourne, Australia. His father, Mick Balzary, an avid fisherman, often took him fishing. When Flea was five, his family moved to Rye, New York for his father's career. In 1971, his parents divorced and his father returned to Australia. Flea and his siblings stayed with their mother Patricia, who soon remarried to a jazz musician. Flea's stepfather, Walter Abdul Urban (1941-2011), frequently invited musicians to his house, where jam sessions would often take place. The family moved again to Los Angeles, California, where Flea became fascinated with the trumpet. He had no interest in rock music at the time; he idolized jazz musicians like Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. Balzary is of Hungarian and Irish descent.


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