Flea Recalls Writing A Song For Nina Hagen With Anthony Kiedis

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Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea recently posted a tweet to respond to a fan question, recalling when he and his bandmate Anthony Kiedis wrote a song for Nina Hagen.

Nina Hagen released her fourth studio album ‘Fearless‘ in November 1983, along with the German version, ‘Angstlos.’ ‘Fearless’ was a dance-pop album with disco and hip hop elements, and it marked a major musical departure from her previous new wave-oriented works. One of the songs that appeared on this album was ‘What It Is.’

‘What It Is’ was written by Anthony Kiedis and Flea, and the bass lines in this song were initially played by Flea. However, Flea revealed in a previous tweet that his original bass parts in the song were later replaced by the bassist Karl Rucker because the producer Keith Forsey wanted ‘What It Is’ to be more professional.

Recently, one of his followers came across ‘What It Is’ and decided to ask the bassist whether he played bass on the song. According to the fan, Hagen wrote in the sleeve notes that Peppers played on ‘What It Is.’ However, he thought it wasn’t Hillel Slovak or Jack Sherman who played the guitars, and neither Jack Irons nor Cliff Martinez was on the drums.

Upon seeing this tweet, Flea revealed that RHCP didn’t play on ‘What It Is.’ They recorded the song for her, but then the producer Keith Forsey decided for Hagen’s band to play it because they were more professional. The bassist also said that he and Kiedis wrote the song for Hagen. He knows there is also a cassette of them playing the track, yet he is unsure whether it is available for everyone to reach out to.

One of his fans asked Flea the following in a tweet:

“Hey, Flea, did you play on that track? Nina wrote on the sleeve notes of the record, ‘Chili Peppers played on that track.’ So it’s your bass? Pretty sure on guitar is not Slovak or Sherman and the drums – not Irons or Martinez, a drum machine instead.”

Flea responded:

“No. We recorded it for her, but then producer Keith Forsey took us off it to have her band play it; they were more professional. Anthony and I wrote the thing for her. There is a recording to a cassette of him and I playing it in our apartment the night we wrote it; that is out, no?”

You can check out the tweets below.