|Flea Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 6 in|
|Date of Birth||October 16, 1962|
Flea is an Australian-American musician, singer, and actor. He is best known for being the bassist for the popular American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Some of his famous works along with the band include Under the Bridge, Breaking the Girl, Soul to Squeeze, My Friends, and Scar Tissue.
Michael Peter Balzary
Mike B the Flea, The Flea
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Flea went to Fairfax High School. Later, after Red Hot Chili Peppers announced a break from performing, he went on to study music theory, composition, and jazz trumpet at the University of Southern California.
Musician, Singer, Actor
- Father – Michael Balzary
- Mother – Patricia Balzary
- Siblings – Karen Balzary (Sister)
- Others – Walter Abdul Urban (Brother-in-Law), Albert Vincent Balzary (Great-Great-Grandfather), Honoretta /Henrietta /Honora Bentley (Great-Great-Grandmother)
Flea is represented by Q-Prime Management.
Funk Rock, Alternative Rock, Funk Metal, Jazz, Experimental Rock, Punk Rock, Jazz-funk, Electronica, Hardcore Punk
Bass Guitar, Trumpet, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Warner Bros. Records, Capitol Records, EMI Records (Defunct)
5 ft 6 in or 167.5 cm
70 kg or 154 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Flea has dated –
- Loesha Zeviar (1988-1990) – Flea got married to his first wife, Loesha Zeviar, in 1988. The couple has a daughter together, named Clara Balzary, who was also born in 1988.
- Frankie Rayder – In 2005, he got engaged to a model, Frankie Rayder. They welcomed their first child, Sunny Bebop Balzary, on October 26, 2005. The couple separated after a few years.
Race / Ethnicity
He has Hungarian and Irish ancestry.
Best Known For
Being the bassist for the popular American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Flea released his debut studio album, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, with his band on August 10, 1984.
He made his first theatrical film appearance in the crime drama, The Outsiders, in 1983. However, his role went uncredited.
Flea made his credited theatrical film debut in the thriller drama, Suburbia, in 1984.
As a voice actor, he made his theatrical film debut in the sci-fi horror, Nightmares, in 1983.
First TV Show
He made his TV show debut as a Mugger in the comedy series, The Idiot Box, in 1991.
As a voice actor, he made his TV show debut in the animated series, The Simpsons, in 1993.
Flea Favorite Things
- Jazz Influences – Jaco Pastorius, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie
- Punk Rock Influences – Black Flag, David Bowie, Defunkt
Source – Wikipedia
- As a child, Flea used to go fishing with his father who was an avid fisherman.
- When he turned 4, his family moved to New York from Melbourne, Victoria.
- The year 1972 marked the divorce of his parents after which his father moved back to Australia.
- After his parents parted ways, Flea and his siblings remained with their mother who went on to remarry a jazz musician.
- Flea grew up in a pretty much musical background as his stepfather would often invite musicians over to the house.
- His family again moved to Los Angeles and this time, Flea explored his fascination for the trumpet. At that time, he did not like jazz much but was greatly mesmerized by jazz music and used to listen to musicians like Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie.
- His stepfather was a raging alcoholic and later got involved in shoot-outs with police. In one of his interviews, Flea revealed that he grew up in a violent and alcoholic atmosphere and was terrified of his parents, especially of the father figures in his life.
- Due to a troubled childhood, he started smoking cannabis at an early age and did it on a regular basis. Later in an interview, he revealed that he had originally started smoking weed at the age of 11 and was addicted to other drugs as well throughout his 20s.
- He was given the nickname ‘Flea’ due to his inability to sit in one place. Later, this name transformed into ‘Mike B. the Flea’.
- In high school, he was not very popular and did not have many friends due to his different taste in music.
- He met the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ frontman, Anthony Kiedis, in high school and after talking for a short period, the two became the best of friends.
- He was lured into rock music by Hillel Slovak and into punk rock by Anthony Kiedis who influenced his musical choices greatly.
- He was asked to be the bassist for the rock band, Anthym, by Hillel Slovak.
- Flea left Anthym after a couple of months in order to join another punk rock band, Fear.
- After some time, he rejoined his friend and guitarist, Hillel Slovak, to form a band which also included Tony Flow, Kiedis, and Jack Irons. The inspiration for the band came from all of their love for the free funk band, Defunkt, and the hip group, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
- Kiedis and Jack Irons left the band after some time and Flea went on with the band along with Anthony Kiedis. This marked the beginning of the band, Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- Music critic Greg Prato of Allmusic has commented that Flea has created an original playing style by combining funk-style bass with psychedelic, punk, and hard rock.
- Apart from music, he also pursued an acting career for a short while and has appeared in films like Back to the Future Part II, III, Motorama, The Big Lebowski, Less Than Zero, Stranded, and The Blue Iguana.
- As of December 2018, he used a Custom Shop Fender Jazz Bass, modified with a Modulus Lane Poor pickup as his main stage bass. In an interview, he revealed that over the years, he has used more than 10 different bass guitars for his performances.
- Flea is also an active philanthropist and the founder of a school names Silverlake Conservatory of Music which is dedicated to helping the youth progress in music.
- He has also been very vocal about guns and gun violence in his concerts as well as the social media where he has often times posted his displeased opinions on the use of guns.
- He started writing a book in April 2014. It was said to be a memoir of his childhood and the title was announced to be Acid for the Children: A Memoir.
- Flea was close friends with American actor River Phoenix and was with him on the day he died of drug overdose. He later went on to write the song, Transcending, from the album, One Hot Minute, as a tribute to Phoenix.
- For the most part of his career, he had been very silent about his battle with drug addiction but in February 2018, he opened up about all of it in an open article through Time magazine where he also stated his opinions on the current Opioid crisis in the United States.
- He was the part of the Chili Peppers‘ performance at a free concert in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on April 15, 2012, in support of President Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign.
- Follow Flea on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Featured Image by Stefan Brending (2eight) / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0