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Flea Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 16 October 1962Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Birth NameMichael Peter Balzary
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Peter Balzary was born on the 16th of October 1962, in Melbourne, Australia. When he was four, his parents divorced and Michael, his sister Karen and his mother Patricia headed for New York; they didn't stay long and soon ended up in L.A. (in 1972), where his step-father, a jazz musician named Walter Urban Jr, intended to start a career. Flea would often sit in on weekly jam sessions with his stepfather and the constant flow of musicians who trucked through. High school was not always an easy road for young Michael. He was a misfit because of his unusual musical taste. While most of the kids were into disco and dance music, Flea preferred jazz artists like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Flea's first musical instrument was the drums, but soon he also began playing the trumpet. After school he would race home to listen to his Gillespie records and play along with his idol. He counts as his greatest childhood memory the time his mother got him backstage to meet Gillespie after one of his concerts. He also played with the Los Angeles Junior Philarmonic Orchestra. Influenced by some of his friends from school who shared the same passion for music - among them, Jack Irons and Hillel Slovak, who would later play in the Red Hot Chili Peppers with him - his musical interests then diversified: he discovered funk music, and Jimi Hendrix became his new idol. At the end of 1977, he met Anthony Kiedis. For some reason, Michael was holding a young schoolmate named Tony Sherr in a headlock, when Kiedis, who was Tony's best friend at the time, came to rescue him; they almost had a fight. After this meeting, they soon became aware they were made to be friends, and have been inseparable since. The two became known for their mischievous antics, which often got them into trouble. This is also when he gained the nickname Flea, while he was joking with some friends about calling each other a cartoon name. Around 1979, due to Flea's obvious musical talent, he was sought out as a recruit for a band formed by his schoolmates, Anthym, with Jack Irons (drums), Hillel Slovak (guitar) and Alain Johannes (vocals and guitar) as members. Flea picked up the bass, which he had never played before, and became so good that within a few months he had forged his very own style, which later would make him one of the most famous and talented bass players in the world. After a shaky start the band got a few club gigs but no major breaks. Anthony Kiedis, who was always there to support them, became the presenter of their shows which he opened with a few jokes or improvised poems of his own. In 1982, Flea joined the L.A. punk band Fear. He also landed a small role in the Penelope Spheeris film Suburbia (1984). John Lydon of PIL asked Flea to join his band when he left Fear in 1984, but Flea instead decided to rejoin his friends. With Kiedis, Slovak and Irons, they started another band together, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which soon earned a good reputation in the Los Angeles underground music scene. Flea was married in 1985 to Loesha Zeviar, whose first name he got tattooed above his left nipple - close to his heart. They have since divorced, but still share daughter Clara, born on September 16, 1988. Clara sometimes goes on the road with her dad, and has done artwork for the Chili Peppers' t-shirts and promotional material. In 2001, along with friends Pete Weiss and Keith Barry, Flea founded the Silverlake Conservatory Of Music, an organization whose aim is to provide affordable music lessons to everyone and to encourage children's musical education.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A.C.E. (correction and additional details by L.P.)

Spouse (2)

Frankie Rayder (2005 - present) (1 child)
Loesha Zeviar (June 1988 - 1990) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Shaves his head, and has many tattoos all over his body
Distinctive Bass sound
Modulus bass guitar

Trivia (20)

Bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Rode in the ambulance with River Phoenix the night he died.
The nickname Flea comes from a joke he had with some of his high school friends. At some point they decided to call each other with a cartoon name, and finally "Flea" remained as the name by which all of his friends were calling him. His friend from junior high, Keith Barry, who played saxophone with the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the Mother's Milk tour in 1989-1990, also got his nickname "Tree" the same way.
Met Peppers pal Anthony Kiedis at Fairfax High School.
When a kid, he played the trumpet and wanted to become a jazz trumpet player.
Anthony Kiedis, Hillel Slovak, Jack Irons and him formed a band called Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem (later to become the Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Daughter Clara Balzary (with now-ex-wife Loesha), born September 16th, 1988.
Replaced Eric Avery Weiss as Bassist for Jane's Addiction for a reunion tour and four tracks of a subsequent compilation album in 1997.
Played bass in the punk rock band Fear from 1982 to 1984.
Co-founder of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a music school located in a rough, artsy neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Firm supporter of art conservatory schools. As stated in a radio interview, he reached out to the public to donate money to these schools due to budget cuts.
He and Kurt Cobain (as well as other members of Nirvana) were bound by a friendly relationship since the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana had been touring together in the early 1990s. He even played the trumpet on "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at one of their shows.
Played bass on the album "De-Loused in the Comatorium" by the Mars Volta.
His first instruments were the drums, then the trumpet, and he didn't play a bass guitar until the age of 17 when his friend, Hillel Slovak, asked him to join his band Anthym and helped him learning how to play the bass. However his step-father was a jazz bass and upright bass player.
Engaged to model Frankie Rayder (January 2005)
Known for his role as Needles in the Back to the Future sequels.
Daughter, Sunny Bebop Balzary (b. October 26th, 2005), with model Frankie Rayder.
Was close friends with actor River Phoenix. As well as co-starring with him in My Own Private Idaho (1991), he also occasionally played and recorded with Phoenix's band, Alekas Attic. One of the bands released tracks, 'Note To A Friend', features Flea on bass.
Fan of the author Micele Serros.
Is of Hungarian and Irish descent.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on his acting role in Back to the Future Part II (1989)] It was okay. I mean, I didn't really like the film very much. I wasn't happy with my performance in it either, but, you know, it's basically a multi-million dollar piece of trash.
[on Weird 'Al' Yankovic's "Bedrock Anthem", a parody of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" and "Give It Away Now"] I didn't think it was very good. I mean "Yabba, dabba do"? I don't know. What did you think?... I mean I like "Weird" Al, but everyone has swung and missed. Except for me of course.

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