The 33 Best Flea Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Everyone knows Flea.

For a man and musician with a small name, he has one big, outsized personality and one big, outsized footprint on the music industry and its history.

Truly, Flea is beloved. With his elastic face and unparalleled bass playing, the rock and roll artist has made a name for himself amongst music (and movie) fans far and wide.

Whether he’s playing on hit songs like “Under The Bridge” or “Californication,” Flea is a fan favorite.

But what does the 59-year-old Australian-born artist have to say about life and love, about his craft, and the world at large, outside of the songs he plays? What are his thoughts on his instrument, movies, acting, and more?

Let’s dive into the 33 best Flea quotes.

1. “When I was a kid, and it was time to go to college, I thought, ‘College is for people who don’t have the street smarts to make it on their own—get in a band, get in a van, and get rockin’.”

2. “Being a rock star isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, let me tell you.”

3. “Kids deserve arts, and it’s just as important as science, math, history, English or athletics.”

4. “When I was growing up, in L.A., I went to these schools, Fairfax High School, Bancroft Junior High School, and they had great music departments. I always played in the orchestra, the jazz band, the marching band.”

5. “I was on a path that could’ve really led to disaster, and the one thing for me that really kept me focused and gave me something to believe in and a sense of self-worth and a discipline was music.”

6. “When I first heard about Twittering, I thought it was the most disgusting thing I’d ever heard of in my life. It’s like the devil: the idea that your personal life is there for everybody.”

7. “My whole musical life has been an educational process, and I’m just furthering my education and filling in the blanks. There’s stuff that I want to know that I don’t know.”

8. “I’m a performer and have managed to get my performing into the mainstream consciousness of the world, I guess.”

9. “It’s fun to just get out there and have a nice conversation when I’m running. To be honest, when I do longer runs, the trail that I like to run up in Malibu has mountain lions, so I always feel I want to run with someone else.”

10. “I love entertaining people, I love playing music, and I love rocking like an animal. But at a certain point, you’re playing gig after gig after gig, in town after town after town, and you’re lying down, staring at another hotel-room ceiling, and it’s like, ‘I want to be home. I’m a dad. I’ve got kids.'”

11. “Anything worth doing good takes a little chaos.”

12. “Later in high school, I met Hillel Slovak, who was the original guitar player of the Chili Peppers, and we became really close. We had a band, and we didn’t like the bass player, so I started playing bass, and I got a bass two weeks later.”

13. “I always thought I was a pretty terrible actor.”

14. “Bands develop their own weird ways of doing things.

15. “We were these arty punks from Hollywood. I considered myself an intellectual.”

16. “If you live a rebellious lifestyle, then you rebel against things because they go against your ideals and the integrity of who you are as a person.”

17. “We always write way more than we put on a record. We always write a lot-lot.”

18. “Before every show, we get into a circle, hold hands, and someone makes a speech. Most bands are too cool for that.”

19. “I love literature deeply. I view books as sacred things, and in writing my story, I’m going to do my best to honor the form that has played such a huge part in shaping who I am.”

20. “The most important thing to me with any politician is that they don’t start wars, but education is a big part of that, too, because educated people are less likely to do stupid, violent things.”

21. “I’ve always kind of been an in-the-moment kind of person. I don’t think that far in advance or have any idea what’s around the next corner.”

22. “It’s so easy to fall into a comfortable groove in life where you do the things that you like, and because of that, oftentimes, we don’t grow or change because we’re not pushing ourselves.”

23. “As a musician, I’m about expressing what’s inside, and I think everyone has a song in them that they need to get out, whatever their gig is.”

24. “Music is like the genius of humankind, universal… People who have never really taken the time to get into music, their lives are a lot smaller. Kids deserve the richness and dimension of it in their lives.”

25. “For me, music was the only reason I went to school. I was kind of a street kid, in a lot of trouble committing crimes and stuff. Music gave me something to focus on.”

26. “When you make music, you’re forming these invisible vibrations in the air into different shapes and consistencies and speeds in order to create music, and understanding how the math of that works just gives you more colors to paint with, and allows you to get to what you want quicker.”

27. “I like the idea of acting. Of all these things I’ve done, sometimes I think I’ve done well, and sometimes I think I didn’t do well, but they are more cameos, and I come in and be crazy.”

28. “Playing music is a beautiful thing. But listening to music is just as great.”

29. “I was raised to think that rock was music for ignorant people who didn’t think for themselves.”

30. “When I was in school, you could pick any instrument you want, and they’d teach you how to play it. That changed my life. I loved playing music in school, and it sent me on my path as a musician.”

31. “We must improvise, and we must experiment, and we must do things that might go wrong, and everything we bring—the people and the equipment—must serve us in that goal.”

32. “The last thing that should happen is funding cut for education; it should be increased. We need to put more money towards education, and anything else is abusive.”

33. “I love my life and my mistakes and my triumphs—all of it.”

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Rock Under The Stars)

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