Why Anthony Kiedis And Flea Had To Ask Dave Grohl’s Permission About Kurt Cobain

Music videos that rockers make for their songs attract significant attention from the fans and the media as much as their songs and lyrics. These videos are also a form of artistic expression, but they also tend to be controversial from time to time. Some videos are greatly appreciated, while others may get criticism or even receive restrictions from broadcast networks and YouTube.

The line is generally drawn at violence, nudity, or overly sexualized content. Maybe Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t apply any of them in their music video for ‘Dani California,’ but they still sparked a debate in the music scene. Let’s see the reason for that and also why they asked Dave Grohl’s permission about Kurt Cobain.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Released ‘Dani California’ In 2006

‘Dani California’ was the first single of RHCP’s ninth studio album, ‘Stadium Arcadium,’ released on May 9, 2006. The single peaked at number one on various music charts like the Mainstream Rock and the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks charts. The track also won two Grammy Awards in Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

The track is about a poor young girl named Dani. She has a wild and rebellious character which causes her to get herself into trouble. Although the song received negative criticism regarding its originality, fans praised its well-crafted lyrics, impressive guitar solos, and high energy. The band also released an official music video for the hit track, but before that, they felt they needed to get permission from former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl about Kurt Cobain.

Why Did Anthony Kiedis And Flea Need Dave Grohl’s Approval About Kurt Cobain?

The music video for ‘Dani California’ portrays the evolution of rock music by representing notable figures in their characteristic styles. We see the band members transform into these musicians who had a massive influence on rock history. RHCP members make appearances as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, and many other figures.

The video attracted a lot of attention with its costumes, colorful atmosphere, and idea. However, it also faced a severe backlash from Nirvana fans as they thought Kiedis’ portrayal of Kurt Cobain was disrespectful. They didn’t accept it as a tribute to honor Cobain’s legacy. We see Kiedis in Cobain’s costumes that he wore in the band’s MTV Unplugged performance. It was a sentimental show for Nirvana fans since it was one of Cobain’s last performances before he died.

RHCP members were already afraid to offend anyone while making this music video. The video’s director Tony Kaye revealed that Flea asked Dave Grohl for permission to impersonate the late Nirvana frontman. Grohl gave his approval by saying that it was not a problem. Thus, the band members ensured that no one would get offended by their portrayals. Their fans didn’t hear anything from the other RHCP members about the issue, but the director cleared the air.

Tony Kaye’s words on Flea’s permission from Dave Grohl:

“Flea asked Dave Grohl if it was okay. Dave said yeah, Nirvana was about having fun.”

You can watch the music video of ‘Dani California’ below.