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Flea (Michael Balzary) Biography
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, but 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 stepdad and the constant flow of musicians who trucked through. High school was not always an easy road for young Michael. He was kind of 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 were the drums, but soon he chose 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.


Flea the Bass Genius.


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, and the both almost had a fight, but 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. That's also at this time that he gained his nickname Flea, while he was joking with some friends about calling each other with 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 was always there to support them, and became the presenter of their shows, that he opened with a few jokes or improvised poems of his own. During the year 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 decided to rejoin his friends instead. With Kiedis, Slovak and Irons, they had 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 theroad 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, a organization whose aim is to provide affordable music lessons to everyone and to encourage children's musical education
 

Date of Birth: 16 October 1962, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 

Birthname: Michael Peter Balzary

Height:
5' 6" (1.68 m)




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 1989-90, 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 (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.

Has a baby daughter, Sunny Bebop Balzary, with fiancee, model Frankie Rayder, born October 26th, 2005.





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   Other Biographies: 
Red Hot Chili Peppers  Anthony Kiedis  Chad Smith  John Frusciante


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