Flea Recalls His ‘Awkward’ Encounter With Stevie Wonder
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea remembered when he came across the famous singer Stevie Wonder in a hotel lobby during the band’s recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show. The musician also described their meeting as very awkward by explaining its reasons.
Stevie Wonder released his sixteenth studio album entitled ‘Innervisions’ on August 3, 1973; music critics regarded it as Wonder’s departure from his classic romantic ballads. The album received very positive reviews from them and fans worldwide with its well-crafted sounds and lyrics. One of its tracks became so influential and popular that the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ members decided to cover it.
More than fifteen years after the groundbreaking record, RHCP shared their fourth studio album ‘Mother’s Milk’ on August 16, 1989, and its first single was their ‘Higher Grounds’ cover. The band’s performance of the funk song was appreciated a lot, and this hard rock version took place in several movies and tv shows such as ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,’ ‘Beavis and Butthead,’ and ‘Center Stage’ with many more.
So the musician has a special place in the band members’ hearts, and Wonder’s first meeting with Flea was very awkward, according to the bassist. He stated that when he learned that his musical hero, Wonder was in the lobby, he went and introduced himself to the musician. However, he didn’t respond to Flea’s kind words about him; later, the bassist understood that Wonder wanted to be sure whether he was joking or not. Then, after Wonder realized that he was Flea from RHCP, he invited them to his charity event, an offer bassist gladly accepted.
Flea said in his interview that:
“I had a funny experience with him once in a hotel lobby in Detroit. Someone called me and said, ‘Stevie Wonder’s in the lobby of the hotel.’ I was so excited because it’s my hero. I love Stevie Wonder, one of my greatest heroes. I ran down to the lobby to try to say hi to him, thinking maybe he’d talked to me because of the cover and stuff. He was sitting down, I walked up to him, and I was like, ‘Stevie! Hi, I’m Flea! I play in Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I just wanted to say hello. We played your cover, and I love you…’
I waited, and I felt awkward. A minute went by, and I said, ‘Okay, well, I just wanted to say hi. I’m Flea. Your music means so much to me. Anyway, have a beautiful day!’ I didn’t know what to do. Another minute went by, I got more and more awkward, and he said nothing, ignored me. I got ready to walk away. I was walking away. He goes, ‘Are you one of the members?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m the bass player.’ I thought he was gauging to see if I was full of shit or not, you know? ‘Oh, okay. Hi. Would you guys play my fundraiser next month?’ I was like, ‘However, and we can be of service, Stevie!'”
You can check out the interview and songs below.